Does LASIK Eye Surgery Hurt or Cause Pain?

LASIK is one of the country’s most popular and effective vision correction procedures. Every year, millions of people across the world choose LASIK to correct their vision problems and receive positive results. However, as with any procedure, many people have questions about LASIK including complications with the procedure and how much LASIK will hurt.

What Is LASIK?

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis and is referred to colloquially as laser eye surgery. This is a type of procedure that can correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism with the use of lasers to reshape the way that light refracts through the cornea and therefore improves vision. LASIK involves creating a small flap so that the laser can correctly reshape the cornea. Understandably, many patients can become concerned with the discomfort that may accompany these sorts of procedures. However, the good news is that, while LASIK can cause some discomfort, the amount of pain that each patient experiences is virtually nonexistent.

How LASIK Works

Looking for more information about this procedure and the vision problems it corrects?

Is LASIK Painful?

Many people understandably wonder if LASIK is painful. However, Dr. Haddad and the other professionals at Laser Eye Institute are highly trained to keep each patient not only pain-free but comfortable during the entire procedure. LASIK is indeed a surgical procedure, however, the incision made is very superficial–about 100 micrometers which is equivalent to about 1/100th of an inch or approximately two strands of hair. Each patient also receives powerful local anesthesia eye drops before the surgery to completely eliminate the possibility of pain. 

Understandably, many patients may be nervous or apprehensive about undergoing a LASIK procedure. It is completely normal to feel nervous, but if you’re concerned about being too nervous and affecting the procedure, Dr. Haddad can administer a mild oral sedative before beginning the procedure. In the majority of cases, this is unnecessary, but the option is available to ensure your comfort.

Finally, the cornea is one of the fastest-healing parts of the body. The outer cells of the eye–the epithelial cells–turnover very quickly which leads to one of the fastest recoveries for any procedure ever. Dr. Haddad’s years of experience and training, the noninvasive nature of the procedure, and the swift healing cornea all combine to make LASIK a very easy and painless procedure.

What Might Make LASIK Hurt After Surgery?

While LASIK is painless, this doesn’t mean that the recovery is totally free of discomfort. It is normal and expected that patients experience a number of side effects for the hours and days following the successful LASIK procedure. These can include:

  • Itchy and dry eyes
  • A gritty feeling in the eyes
  • Halos around lights
  • Starbursts
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity

It’s not normal for patients to experience pain during or after the surgery. While true complications are rare, If you feel pain, believe you may have an infection, or experience worsening vision, seek medical help immediately. 

Aftercare Instructions

After the LASIK procedure, it is important to follow all of your physician’s instructions to ensure a full recovery. Dr. Haddad will give you eye drops to use after your LASIK procedure as well as a list of instructions. The recovery process is swift and most people can resume normal activities the very next day or within a few days. 

What is the Recovery Time for LASIK Eye Surgery?

Avoid Blue Light

Blue light can cause a lot of irritation in your eyes even when they’re not recovering from a procedure. Avoiding blue-light emitting screens and other devices for the first day or so after surgery can help minimize irritation. By far the most important thing that you can do immediately after the procedure is to rest both your eyes and your body.

Don’t Exert Yourself

People who elect to have a LASIK vision correction frequently ask how soon they can return to the gym and other intense exercises. The answer may depend on the person, however, it’s recommended to wait several days or even weeks before returning to vigorous exercise. Patients who routinely engage in swimming should also let their surgeons know as the pool water may represent additional recovery concerns.

Attend All Follow-Up Appointments

In addition to following all of Dr. Haddad’s instructions, make sure to attend all follow-up appointments to ensure that the healing is progressing well. During the follow-up appointments, Dr. Haddad will make sure that the recovery process is coming along appropriately. These appointments will help reduce the likelihood of any post-procedure complications.


LASIK is one of the safest and most effective procedures which is why so many people trust their vision to it every year. Many patients have concerns about how much pain LASIK will cause, but the physicians at Laser Eye Institute can totally eliminate eye pain during the procedure. 

If you’re considering LASIK, please set up your free consultation today. Not ready to commit to a consultation just yet? Schedule a 15-minute phone call with a LASIK coordinator OR take this quick quiz to find out if LASIK, PRK or SMILE is right for you.

Share This Article
Posted by

David Lemieux, BA from Oakland University is a LASIK expert and marketing professional that has worked with Dr. Dan Haddad and the Laser Eye Institute since 2017. David believes in education and cutting through the noise to deliver facts and opinions about LASIK, SMILE, and all things Laser Vision Correction.