How to Reduce Stress Before LASIK By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on February 11, 2021

An eye with digital laser crosshairsIf you want to improve your eyesight without glasses or contacts, consider LASIK, a popular laser vision correction procedure. Although LASIK is only a minor surgical procedure, it's normal for patients for feel a little anxious about it. Taking steps before surgery to alleviate stress can help patients go into surgery calm and ready to improve their vision.

Dr. Andrew E. Holzman provides advice on how to reduce stress before LASIK. You can even apply these tips to other medical procedures and stressful situations. You can schedule a consultation at our eye centers serving Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia if you still feel anxious about laser eye surgery.

Relax In a Warm Bath

The night before LASIK eye surgery unwind in a warm bath. Add bubble bath, bath salts, or essential oils with calming scents such as lavender or chamomile. The warm water and relaxing aromas can help loosen your muscles and ease stress.

Listen to Music or a Podcast

Listening to music or a podcast may be just the distraction needed to get your mind off of preparing for LASIK eye surgery.

Soothing music or lighthearted podcast may be obvious choices, but listening to anything that you enjoy can do wonders to reducing stress and improving your mood.

Discuss Your Concerns with Your Doctor

In many cases, stress over vision procedures comes from a place of uncertainty. Discussing your concerns with your LASIK surgeon can help clarify any issues and clear up any worries.

In addition to addressing your concerns, simply having an understanding of what to expect during the procedure and the recovery process can help alleviate stress.


Exercising in the days leading up to surgery can help burn off nervous energy and boost endorphins. For some, a light walk alone is all it takes. Others may experience a greater benefit from lifting weights, running, biking, or from sports like tennis.

Yoga is also a good choice for stress-relieving exercise. It helps encourage controlled breathing and incorporates stretching and meditative practices, all of which contributes to peace of mind.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and relax the body. Deep breathing helps signal the brain to relax and calm down.

One technique that may help is the 4-7-8 breathing technique:

  • Start by breathing in through your nose to the count of four
  • Hold your breath to the count of seven
  • Release your breath through your mouth to the count of eight

Bring a Supportive Friend or Family Member

Bringing a supportive friend or family member to wait with you before you undergo LASIK can help ease nerves and provide a comforting distraction.

This same person can also greet you after your surgery and drive you home to recover. Just knowing your loved one is nearby can help provide a level of comfort if you are feeling stressed about LASIK surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

For answers to your questions about LASIK or more tips to relieve stress before your procedure, please call (703) 556-9155 or schedule a consultation online.

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Dr. Andrew Holzman

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS, is one of the most well-respected ophthalmologists in the greater Washington, DC, area. He is regularly sought out by professional athletes, media personalities, and other doctors for laser eye surgery. Dr. Holzman is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American College of Surgeons
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • The American Medical Association
  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery

To schedule a consultation at one of our five locations, please fill out our online form or give us a call at (703) 556-9155.

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