I often sleep in my contacts and am concerned with how that will effect the readiness of my eyes for the procedure.
I Am Considering LASIK to Treat Astigmatism Using the IntraLase Method?
Doctor Answers (5)
Intra-LASIK to Treat Astigmatism
Contact lenses are very convenient however the debris that gets caught between your cornea and the contact lens can cause dryness and scarring. Removing the lenses at night allows your eyes a chance to heal from hours of use of contacts.
However, sleeping in contact lenses increases your chance of developing infections. The important thing is to leave the contacts out long enough both before your evaluation and before the procedure. Before your consult, I suggest staying out of your contacts for 1 week and at your consult the doctor will tell you how long you need to continue to be out of your contacts before the procedure.
The Intralase method also called Intra-LASIK is them method I use for LASIK and is the best for LASIK. However, this doesn't matter in relation to your contact lens use. All laser LASIK is generally a safer procedure than traditional/conventional LASIK.
Will need to stop
In order to obtain accurate measurements of the prescription and the shape of the cornea, you will need to stop contact lens wear prior to the procedure. How long for will depend on the preference of the surgeon and the type of contact lens. Typically it is 1-2 weeks.
Overnight contact lens wear and LASIK
While there are some contact lenses that have been FDA approved for overnight wear, many eye care professionals still consider sleeping in contact lenses of any sort to be an unnecessary risk. Prior to any laser refractive procedure, your vision prescription will need to be measured. An accurate measurement requires a cornea that is healthy and stable. If you have been wearing contact lenses (or sleeping in them), the doctor might require you to remain out of lenses for a period of time (1-2 weeks or longer depending on the type of contact lenses and the shape of the cornea).
If you refrain from contact lenses for a sufficient period of time, the corneas will stabilize and previous contact lens wear should not be an issue in preventing you from having a laser vision correction procedure. IntraLase is one technology used in laser vision correction. As long as no other problems exist, IntraLase should be available to you regardless of your contact lens wear history.
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Stopping contacts before refractive surgery
We've shown wearing contacts is more risky than the nonincisional Lasek procedure. You're having a flap cut with a laser which may be safer than a metal blade but still not as safe as no cut at aall you will have to be out of contacts for two weeks probably. This is just a rough guideline. You'll need a Topo or preferably an Orbscan or Pentacam preop to make sure your cornea isn't warped by your unhealthy overnight contact lens use
Removal of Contact Lenses before LASIK
The longer that you wear contact lenses, the more chance that they have to change the curvature of your eye. Before you have LASIK, it is important that the eye return to its normal shape and size. In general, I suggest that people remove their contact lenses at least a week before surgery for daily wear lenses. Two weeks for lenses worn on an extended basis and two weeks for toric (with astigmatism) lenses. If you are sleeping in toric lenses, it is probably best to be out of those lenses for a minimum of two weeks and longer would be better.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.