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Can I wear cosmetic contact lenses after LASIK?

October 31, 2011

I get this question quite a lot. If you were to ask your friends, I believe that more than 50% of them will tell you “no”.

The correct answer is: It Depends.

It depends on the amount of short-sightedness you have and the curvature of your cornea before LASIK. These 2 numbers will tell the doctor if you can still wear contact lenses after LASIK. Your cornea will be less curved after LASIK, if it is flatter than the lenses available from your optical shop, the lens will fit poorly on your eye and you will find it rather uncomfortable. Therefore you will need to custom make a contact lens to sit nicely on your flat cornea. This will cost quite a fair bit.

Some people think the answer is no because the lens may damage the cornea flap. This is true if the person were to use the lens in the first week and remove the lens by pinching too hard on the cornea. I would suggest not to cosmetic  contact lenses in the first month after LASIK so as to reduce the chance of injuring the cornea flap. Having said this, I use a medical grade contact lens to protect the cornea flap in some cases in the first 24 hours. This lens is placed in very gently and also removed very gently with a sterile instrument.

So, if you are interested to know, ask your doctor this question when you go for your pre-LASIK assessment. He will be able to tell whether you can still wear lenses after your LASIK by looking at the data of your eyes.

Do you have more questions on LASIK? You will find the answer to some of your questions by clicking the “LASIK” category tab on the right.

Feel free to comment on this post or to ask questions. :)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. karina permalink
    December 2, 2012 7:40 am

    Stumbled across your blog. Lots of great info, but I wish there was information on here about PRK surgery. Very litte layman’s literature. I was wondering about the cosmetic contacts post-PRK. Now I know to ask my doc because it’s more than just a yes/no Q&A. Thank you!

  2. lily potter permalink
    December 8, 2012 10:55 am

    hi dr. lee… I need 2nd opinion from you. my opthalmologist not advise me using cosmetic color softlens due to risk of infection and corneal hypoxia after my 6-month post lasik. prior lasik, i have myopia and astigmatism on both eyes. (left eye: s.2, 25/cyn 0, 75; right eye: s 4,25/cyn 1, 50). my corneal curvature said within normal limit. but I want to use it, can I? if can, what should I notice on color softlens content? thankyou do much dr lee

    • December 8, 2012 4:06 pm

      Hi Lily,
      If your cornea curvature is at the lower end of the normal limit before LASIK, the curvature after the LASIK will be flatter than lenses available over the counter. This means the lens will not fit well and you will feel uncomfortable. Note that this is from the curvature point of view.
      An eye that is unwell from years of lens wear is dry and may have abnormal blood vessels growing into the cornea. I do not recommend any form of lens wear (cosmetic and non-cosmetic) for a person with this.

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