Wear Soft Contacts Before Lasik?

I've Worn RGP Contacts for over 10 Years.  I've been told that I would have to wear glasses for 6 weeks or more before I could have LASIK to make sure my eyes return to their original shape. I understand why but I hate wearing my glasses. Can I switch to soft contacts for a few months and then just go the usual week to 10 days before my LASIK?

Doctor Answers 2

Hard contact lenses vs. soft contact lenses

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Gas permeable and hard contact lenses can cause corneal warpage.  Generally, one must be out of hard contacts at least 4 weeks but it can be much longer.  Measurements must be stable.  We often will switch to soft contact lenses because they cause less warpage.  Unfortunately, vision is often sharper with RGP or hard lenses, especially if any astigmatism is present.

New York Ophthalmologist

Soft and Hard Contacts Before LASIK

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If you have a history of gas permeable or hard contact lens wear, my thinking on leaving them out before Laser Vision Correction(LVC) is the following: gas permeable contacts should be removed one month per decade of wear before LVC. For example, a patient who has worn GP lenses for 30 years would need to leave them out three months before Laser Vision Correction. If that same patient(this sounds like you) wants to switch to soft contacts for 3 months, rather than glasses, that is fine with me as long as the corneas will tolerate this. Then, the patient would just need to leave the soft contacts out for 10-14 days prior to LVC. Sometimes I think figuring out how to leave the contacts out prior to laser correction is the hardest part of the surgery!

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist

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.