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7 Ways to Prevent and Reduce Pain After LASIK Surgery

Is Pain Common After LASIK Surgery?

Soreness and discomfort are both common after LASIK surgery, as are dry eye and itchiness. This is all part of the healing process and totally normal. Even if it is normal, it can be inconvenient. These tips will help you with the healing process.

Although LASIK is very safe and recovery tends to be fast, minor pain and discomfort can be expected. This is all part of the healing process and totally normal, and you should expect the pain to last just a few days post-op. Even if it is normal, it can be inconvenient, so these tips will help you with the healing process and reduce any eye pain after LASIK.

And if at any point, your pain becomes severe or concerning, call your doctor immediately. Extreme pain could indicate infection, flap dislocation, or other complications.

1. Take Pain Medication as Directed

Patients may be prescribed pain medication or may be recommended an over-the-counter pain reliever. Whatever the case, if you feel discomfort after surgery, take that medication as instructed to address these issues. Do not surpass the recommended dosage.

2. Spare Your Eyes and Get a Lot of Rest

In the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery, be sure to rest your eyes and concentrate on healing. That means no reading, watching TV, watching movies, or using the computer. Rather than strain your eyes, do your best to take it easy so the pain and discomfort pass more quickly.

3. Use Eye Drops as Instructed

You will be given medicated eye drops to use during the first days of recovery to help with the healing process. As the weeks go by, you should keep regular moisturizing eye drops handy in case of itchiness or redness. Liquid tears can help stop attacks of dry eye before they become more serious.

4. Wear Your Eye Shields as Directed

Patients will be given eye shields to wear in the first days after surgery, which prevents accidental contact with the eyes and prevents painful rubbing or scratching. Be sure to wear these to make the healing process go more smoothly.

5. Avoid Potential Dry Eye Scenarios

Dry eyes tend to be a recurrent source of pain and discomfort for weeks and even months after LASIK surgery. To help prevent painful attacks, we recommend that you avoid places that are dry, dusty, or smoky, as these conditions could increase the risk of dry eyes after LASIK.

6. Protect Your Eyes from the Harshness of the Sun

In the first days after LASIK, your eyes will be very sensitive to bright lights. When outdoors, be sure to wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim to protect your eyes from bright sunlight. Stay indoors when possible during those first few days after LASIK.

7. Stay In Contact with Our Team

If you should ever experience major pain or have questions about your recovery, our team will be here for you. Do not hesitate to speak with us if you have a concern. By addressing these matters sooner rather than later, we may be able to prevent a complication and help reduce the discomfort you are feeling.

Effectiveness of LASIK Surgery

About 9 out of 10 people (90%) who have LASIK end up with vision between 20/20 and 20/40—without glasses or contact lenses.

It is important to know that LASIK cannot correct presbyopia. This is the normal, age-related loss of close-up vision. With or without refractive surgery, almost everyone who has excellent distance vision will need reading glasses after around age 40.

To help with presbyopia, some people have LASIK to get monovision. This means one eye is left slightly nearsighted and the other eye is adjusted for distance vision. The brain learns to adapt so that the nearsighted eye is used for close work, while the other eye sees distant objects.

Monovision is not for everyone. To see if you are able to adapt to this correction, you will probably want to try monovision with contact lenses first.

Learn More About Laser Vision Correction

For more information about LASIK surgery, fill out the “Book an Appointment” button to schedule a free LASIK consultation.

If you are in the Portland area, our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible results!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is LASIK painful after?

People’s post-op experiences can vary; however, mild pain, discomfort, burning, and itching are common after LASIK surgery. Make sure to follow your doctor’s directions carefully to reduce the risk of pain and complications.

How long does pain last after LASIK?

Generally, pain after LASIK surgery should only last a few days, no more than a week. If possible, you should plan to take several days off work after the procedure to mitigate your symptoms and allow your eyes to heal.

Do they give you pain meds after LASIK?

Typically, your doctor will recommend over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, after LASIK surgery, although in some instances, you may be prescribed a prescription painkiller.

Can subconjunctival hemorrhage after LASIK be painful?

A subconjunctival hemorrhage, or a small broken blood vessel under your conjunctiva, can result in a large red spot on the clear surface of your eye. Subconjunctival hemorrhages tend to be painless and clear up on their own within a couple of days.

What are the best eye drops to use after LASIK?

There are two types of eye drops you’ll want to use after LASIK surgery, including:

  • Medicated eye drops to treat inflammation and prevent infection
  • Artificial tears to help keep your eyes from drying out

Some quality eye drops include Refresh Tears, Blink Tears, Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops, and Systane Gel Drops.


  1. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). What should I expect before, during, and after surgery?
  2. Randleman, J. B., & Shah, R. D. (2012). LASIK interface complications: etiology, management, and outcomes. Journal of refractive surgery (Thorofare, N.J. : 1995), 28(8), 575–586. https://doi.org/10.3928/1081597X-20120722-01
  3. Doshi R, Noohani T. Subconjunctival Hemorrhage. [Updated 2023 Feb 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551666/