Monday, April 23, 2012

LASIK & Rigid Contact Lenses

Question: How long before having LASIK do you have to stop wearing  rigid gas permeable contact lenses?

Answer: While LASIK for Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lens wearers can be an excellent option for vision correction, patients do need to understand that the long term wear of contact lenses-especially rigid contact lenses-does cause changes to occur within the Cornea, its shape and curvature, its thickness and the actually eye surface with regard to the tear film. If at all possible your LASIK Surgeon will want to have all of those changes, if any, revert back to a more normal and stable condition prior to having LASIK Surgery. The length of time it takes for these changes to reverse is really a function of how long you have been wearing the contacts overall, how much and what type-regular or irregular-change in BOTH curvature and shape have occurred in the Cornea and to what extent there are changes to the tear film stability and integrity-all of which can vary widely based on the contact lens fitting characteristics. Further, all of these changes vary from individual based on how rigid-ocular rigidity-the eye itself is. So it is very complex. Some LASIK Surgeons apply a simple rule of thumb as a guideline for patient education that states patients must have their rigid contact lenses out one week for each year that they have been wearing contacts. THIS IS A GUIDELINE. Most of the time it is possible for the LASIK Surgeon to be able to measure stability and consistency of the curvature and shape after some 6 weeks or so-but this does vary. The best results with LASIK are achieved when the quality and consistency of the measurements is VERY stable. Your LASIK Surgeon will ask you to come in for multiple repeated visits to determine when that stability has been achieved and then once achieved you should be able to have LASIK almost immediately thereafter.

Important Note: The information presented on the See With LASIK Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask LASIK Surgeons section on is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to LASIK. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask LASIK Surgeons section of is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and LASIK surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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