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Why Can’t I Wear Contact Lenses Prior to LASIK?

A lot of patients ask, can I wear my contacts before LASIK eye surgery? The short answer is no, but not everyone knows why. 

Contact lenses can distort the shape of the front surface of your eye, the cornea, and corneal measurements are crucial in LASIK calculations. After your consultation, you cannot wear contact lenses leading up to your dilated pre-op exam and surgery. This will allow your cornea to go back to its most natural shape. Contact lenses also harbor bacteria, regardless of how well you care for them. That bacteria could potentially increase the risk of infection, so there’s another reason to stay out of contact lenses before LASIK.

During your LASIK consultation at Minnesota Eye Consultants, our doctors will take measurements of your eye and will evaluate the curvature of your cornea to assess your candidacy and develop a treatment plan that fits the dimensions of your eye. If the corneal measurements during the LASIK consultation are not precise, this could compromise the accuracy of your LASIK surgery.

Prior to getting LASIK, many patients are dependent on their contacts for day-to-day vision correction. Though it might seem like an inconvenience, it’s important to follow our doctor’s instruction to stop wearing your lenses before your initial evaluation. How long you must go without your contacts prior to your LASIK appointment will depend on what type of contact lenses you wear. Typically, if you wear soft contact lenses you will need to discontinue wearing them about two weeks prior. For toric or rigid soft lenses, the timeframe is around three weeks. For hard contact lenses, you will need to stop wearing them approximately four weeks before.

A surgical plan that is based on the most accurate measurements of your eyes will significantly increase the likelihood that you’ll be satisfied with the results of your LASIK surgery. By following all the preoperative instructions our doctors provide, your LASIK procedure has a greater likelihood of resulting in the long-term correction you want.
If you’re ready to ditch the contacts and pursue LASIK surgery, contact Minnesota Eye Consultants today, and speak with our Refractive Specialist at (952) 567-6020 to see if you qualify, or visit our website and take our free LASIK Self-Test