What effect does wearing a contact have on your cornea before Lasek?

Hi I'm 25 years old and I have been wearing soft contact lenses for about 5 years.I want to know that does it effect on cornea diameter and because of that the surgery would be impossible or not?tnx

Doctor Answers 4

Discontinue lens wear 2 weeks before vision correction surgery

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Most surgeons recommend discontinuing contact lens wear 2 weeks before surgery.  Soft contact lens wear is not a contra indication for Laser Vision Correction.

New York Ophthalmologist

Contact lens warpage pre LASIK LASEK

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Contacts can warp the corneas, and so must be discontinued pre-LASIK or LASEK. The amount of time depends on many factors, including the type of lens, fit, your age, how many hours a day you wear them, etc.

The real answer is we do an OrbScan on each and every patient to make sure their corneas aren't warped, once the OrbScan is normal then it's fine, sometimes the scans are normal when they take the lenses out (like their fit is fine and they don't wear them overnight). The problem with lasering a warped cornea is then when it unwarps (after you no longer wear lenses) you'll wind up w some type of residual prescription, i.e. you should only laser a stable fully unwarped cornea.

Also, please note that if you go to a LASIK center and they say your cornea is a bit warped and they can't laser you because they think you may have Keratoconus or KC, you still may be a candidate for the newer, safer, less invasive, non-cutting LASEK that we now do on everyone! This is because you are not destabilizing the cornea by cutting it in half, but are instead gently reshaping the surface, and getting rid of any small amount of irregular astigmatism you might have, also.

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

Effect of Wearing Contact Lenses on Candidacy for LASEK

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It is recommended that you discontinue contact lens use before having a consultation and measurements for laser eye surgery.  The amount of time to discontinue soft contact lenses is usually one week but may be longer for individuals wearing astigmatic [toric], extended wear or high prescription contacts.  Your eyeMD should be able to determine your candidacy for laser eye surgery by performing corneal topopgrahy, thickness measurements, shape of the eye, prescription, as well as a complete eye examination.

Sandy Feldman, MD
San Diego Ophthalmologist

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Contacts and Lasek

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Amy, the soft contact lenses you've been wearing are unlike to have any lasting effects relevant to lasek or other laser surgery to the cornea. Corneal diameter is never affected by soft contacts. Corneal thickness could theoretically be affected by contacts but it's not likely. Before you go in for a laser vision surgery consultation, you will likely be asked to leave your contacts out for about 2 weeks. This is to avoid any contact lens-related irritation of the surface of the cornea that might interfere with some of the measurements.

Howard S. Kornstein, MD
White Plains 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.