Why do I need to discontinue my contacts prior to LASIK? Contact lenses can shape or mold the eye and can impact the measurements made when assessing a patient for LASIK or PRK. Soft contacts worn on a daily wear basis need to be discontinued at least two weeks; extended wear contacts or lenses that correct for astigmatism (toric) need to be discontinued for 3 weeks.
Contact wear can not only impact the mapping that’s done at a LASIK evaluation but it can impact the thickness measure as well. Even though it’s inconvenient to be out of the contacts for a period of time, understanding the importance of it can minimize the frustration that goes along with it. Contacts can alter the curvature of the eyes, impact the level of prescription found and mask the real shape of one’s corneas.
Dr Holzman and our doctors in Rockville, MD and Washington, DC TLC want to be able to map patients’ corneas after the effect of the contacts is gone so that they can make sure it is a safe procedure and an effective one.
During the period you are asked to be out of your contacts, resist the urge to put them back in even just to go to the gym on the weekend or only for a few hours for a party. Sleeping in contacts, long hours of wear and rubbing your eyes can affect them and impact candidacy for LASIK or PRK. In the end, our patients find the minor inconvenience of discontinuing contacts is worthwhile for the excellent visual results they obtain.