Whats the Best Time to Stop Using Contact Lenses Before Laser Eye Surgery?

i want to get laser eye operation. my power is 5 both the eyes.my doctor recommend me to stop wearing contact lenses for an year and then the operation can happen. is it right? can i wear lenses occasionally.Will it effect mi operation?

Doctor Answers 5


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For people who wear soft contact lenses it is advice to be out of contacts for a minimum of one week. For those that wear hard contact lens, then the recommended time is at least 2 weeks.

Beverly Hills Ophthalmologist

When to Stop Using Contact Lenses Before LASIK

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This really depends on the type of contact lenses you wear. 


Soft contacts should be discontinued two weeks before your exam and left out two weeks before surgery. 


Hard contact should be out for six weeks to six months before LASIK, depending on how long you have worn them. 


If your corneas look abnormal on the topographic scan, your doctor will want you to leave them out until your scan normalizes.

Michael K. Tracy, MD
San Diego Ophthalmologist

Leaving Contacts Out Before Lasik or PRK

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I prefer contact lenses to be removed approximately 10-14 days before Laser Vision Correction(Lasik or PRK). The reason for the time spread is that patients with a low level of astigmatism do not need to leave their lenses out for as long. Contact lenses can cause a very temporary "warpage" to the corneal surface, so the worse the astigmatism, the longer I like the lenses out, in order to uncover natural warpage rather than lens induced warpage. I see no reason to leave contacts out for a year before Lasik, unless there is some health issue with your cornea that makes this necessary.

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist

Contact lenses and LASIK

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Contact lens wear should be stopped prior to laser vision correction because contact lenses themselves can alter the shape of the cornea. This can affect the measurments we take to correct the vision. How long you need to be out of the contacts depends on their material, shape and your wearing habits. The usual period is between 1 and 3 weeks but sometimes, particularly with hard lenses, it can be 6-8 weeks.

Ilan Cohen, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

Stopping contacts before laser vision correction

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it depends on the type of lens, how you wear it, the fit, if you wear it overnight, etc

so there are no hard rules, only very loose guidelines

the real test if your corneal topography must be normal and unwarped before surgery

sometimes this takes no time at all, sometime it takes months

the very LOOSE rules-of-thumb are:

soft contacts 1-2 weeks

soft toric lenses 2-3 weeks

extended wear lenses 2-3 weeks

hard lenses 1-3 months

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.