Life After LASIK: Using Contacts After The Procedure


Laser vision correction procedures like LASIK have offered countless patients the gift of clearer, better sight. While the vast majority of these procedures go off without a hitch, there are a few cases where further corrective action is necessary after the surgery. Custom contact lenses can help reduce and correct many of these post-surgery issues.

Why You May Need Post-Surgery Contacts

Of the 600,000 LASIK procedures performed each year in the U.S., approximately 90 percent of them successfully correct common vision problems, including nearsightedness and astigmatism. However, there are a few rare cases where the procedure, which removes microscopic portions of corneal tissue, can cause visual irregularities to develop.

These irregularities usually include starbursts and halos around street lights and headlights. Others may suffer from irregular astigmatism, which can cause your vision to become less distinct after the procedure. These issues can be traced back to irregularities in the cornea's shape, which can be corrected with the use of post-surgery contact lenses.

Types of Corrective Contacts Used

There are several types of corrective contact lenses used to help correct irregularities after a procedure:

  • Gas permeable lenses are commonly used to eliminate corneal aberrations that cause blurring and distortion in post-LASIK patients. Unlike ordinary contacts, gas permeable lenses hold their shape on the eye instead of adopting the shape of the cornea. These lenses may also be modified to address a wide range of corrective issues.
  • Scleral contact lenses are commonly recommended for non-surgical post-LASIK vision correction. True to their name, these lenses cover not just the corneal surface, but the entire sclera (the "white" portion of the eye). Scleral lenses can help reduce post-surgery dry eye symptoms in some patients.
  • Hybrid contact lenses combine the benefits of gas permeable lenses with the comfort offered by soft contacts.

Special Considerations

Fitting corrective contact lenses can be a bit challenging due to the cornea's irregular shape. For this reason, your ophthalmologist may use special computerized instruments to create the most accurate measurements for fitment. It may also take longer than usual to fit these lenses properly, which can make such procedures more expensive than normally expected.

There's also the comfort factor. It may take some time to get used to wearing these special contact lenses. For instance, you may have to wear these lenses part-time for a few days until you've gotten used to wearing them.

Your ophthalmologist should be able to help you if you have any other issues concerning corrective contact lenses after LASIK surgery. You can also contact a LASIK clinic such as Vision Associates of Marlboro for more information.


20 October 2014