When Is It Ok to Rub Eyes After Lasik?

It's only been 2 weeks since LASIK. I have been so careful but last night, I rubbed my right eye while I was half asleep. I woke up straight away and panicked. It was a pretty good rub you would do on a normal unoperated eye. I haven't experienced any changes with my vision tho. I called the clinic and was told it Should be ok if I hadn't experienced blur vision. My next check up is in 2 weeks, and I am very worried that I might wrinkled the flap.

Doctor Answers 6

Rubbing the Eye After LASIK or Surgery for Cataracts

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Modern surgical methods have allowed surgeons to make much small incisions(in the case of cataracts) and precision created corneal flaps(in the case of LASIK) that make rubbing the eye much less of a threat than in the past. That being said, regarding either procedure, the patient should be careful not to rub or bump the operated eye(s) for about two weeks postop. In my 25 years of doing laser vision correction surgery, and surgery for cataracts, I can count on one hand the number of times any problems have been created by post operative trauma. So, while you should be careful(ie, no kick boxing for 2 weeks after Lasik) you need not be overly paranoid either.

In your particular case, I would call your surgeon and have him/her take a look at you. I think you will feel better just knowing you have done no harm.

Baltimore Ophthalmologist

Avoid rubbing your eyes after LASIK

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Just yesterday, I performed a flaplift for a one day post operative patient who rubbed his eyes following LASIK. In my experience eye rubbing is likely to cause a problem only on the first post op day. After one month following LASIK, the risk of displacing the flap with eye rubbing is very low. However, there is no benefit to rubbing your eyes ever. I would advise that you resist the urge to rub and use tears to lubricate your eyes instead. One of the reasons I like PRK is that there is no risk of flap displacement.

Joseph W. King, MD
Renton Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Rubbing Your Eyes After LASIK

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It is actually fairly difficult to dislodge a LASIK flap 2 weeks after the procedure. The symptoms would include significant decrease in vision, light sensitivity, foreign body sensation and or eye pain.

We frequently get calls from patients who inadvertently rub their eyes in the first couple of weeks after the procedure. It is very rare to see a slipped flap caused by such accidental rubbing. If such occurs it is almost always associated with change in vision.

Of course, the safest thing to do is to get it checked out, however, if the vision is unchanged and the eye is not uncomfortable or red, it is ok to wait until the next check up in 2 weeks.

Arthur Benjamin, MD
West Hollywood Ophthalmologist

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Rubbing your eyes after LASIK

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It depends how fast you heal. Normal healing usually takes about two weeks. It is difficult to dislodge the flap  two weeks after LASIK. But it is a good question to ask a doctor on your follow up appointments. If you are rubbing your eyes because they are itchy let your doctor know at your follow up as there are eye drops that can help.

William Ellis, MD, FACS
San Francisco Ophthalmologist

Rubbing Eyes After LASIK

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Normal eye rubbing two weeks after LASIK shouldn't be a problem at all. If your vision is normal and you have no pain you are almost certainly fine. Having said that, it is always best to avoid eye rubbing if possible wether you have had LASIK or not.

Michael K. Tracy, MD
San Diego Ophthalmologist

Lasik lasek trauma rubbing

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A LASIK flap never fully heals! So if you rub it incredibly hard or get hit, the flap can come back up

In LASEK there is no flap, so no matter how hard you rub or get hit, there is no risk of a flap dislocation

If the flap dislocates, it has to be repositioned, and often sutured back into place, which is a lot of work

After a few days, you can gently rub your eyes after either LASIK or LASEK

Emil William Chynn, MD, FACS, MBA
New York 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.