Can I Wear Contact Lenses After LASIK?
Although the goal of LASIK usually is to fully correct a person's nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism and eliminate his or her dependence on eyeglasses and contact lenses, there are times when contacts may be needed or desired after LASIK surgery.
One example is a person who had a very high refractive error that was not fully corrected with LASIK, but a LASIK enhancement is not possible or recommended. This person might want to wear contact lenses full-time after LASIK surgery.
Another example is a person whose vision was fully corrected with LASIK, but they've become older and are now experiencing presbyopia. This person might want to be fitted with a contact lens on one eye for monovision, rather than becoming dependent on reading glasses.
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Still another example is a person who has perfect vision after LASIK but wants to wear color contact lenses to change or enhance their eye color, either on a daily basis or just for specific occasions.
Whatever the case, the good news is that, in most cases, it's safe and effective to wear contact lenses after LASIK. If the lenses are being worn on both eyes for vision correction, many people find that rigid gas permeable contact lenses (including scleral lenses) or hybrid contact lenses provide sharper vision than soft contacts after LASIK.
Successfully fitting contact lenses on eyes that have undergone LASIK surgery can be more challenging, due to the altered curvature of the front surface of the eye after LASIK. For this reason, it's a good idea to seek an eye doctor who specializes in fitting contact lenses for hard-to-fit eyes if you want to wear contacts after LASIK.
Most LASIK surgeons recommend that you wait two to three months after LASIK before being fitted with contact lenses. Ask your eye doctor or LASIK surgeon for his or her specific recommendation about this if you want to wear contacts after LASIK.
[Page updated September 2016]