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Using Contact Lenses after LASIK

Contacts After Lasik Why might I need contacts after refractive surgery?
Like any medical procedure, LASIK and other vision correction surgeries come with possible side-effects and complications. While many patients will walk away with 20/20 or better vision and no adverse effects, others may experience under-correction, over-correction, halos, glare, starbursts, or blurred or distorted vision.

For some, these problems will be mild and tolerable, but others will find that these vision problems interfere with their daily activities. Oftentimes these complications can be lessened or fixed with an additional surgery (generally referred to as an "enhancement"), but for some patients with thin corneas or other issues, this will not be an option. They will need special contact lenses or glasses.

Why can't I use soft contacts or regular eyeglasses?
During refractive surgery, tissue is removed from the surface of the eye. This can result in irregularities in corneal surface, causing the complications described above.

Soft contacts conform to the shape of the eye and cannot smooth out these irregularities to correct the problems they cause. Similarly, while standard eyeglasses change how images reach the eye, they cannot correct for small variations and defects in the surface of the cornea.

Options after surgery

See a specialist, and expect to pay a little more
A post-surgical contact lens fitting is not a simple task. Refractive surgery can drastically alter the shape of the cornea. Measurements will need to be taken, and special contact designs may be required. You will likely need to see a specialist, as your regular doctor may not have the necessary expertise or equipment. Such a fitting will also cost more than a standard one, since it is more time consuming for the physician. Your eye doctor should be able to refer you to someone who specializes in this area.

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