When Should I Stop Wearing Contact Lenses Before LASIK?

Contact Lenses

A common question that people have before getting LASIK is, “When should I stop wearing Contact Lenses before LASIK?”

Most doctors will recommend that you stay out of your contact lenses for a prescribed length of time before your LASIK procedure. In fact, most doctors will have a length of time that they want patients out of contact lenses prior to taking the patient’s pre-operative measurements.

The length of time that the doctor recommends that you stay out of contact lenses can vary from doctor to doctor. The reasons that the doctor recommends that patients abstain from wearing contact lenses are likely the same.  These are the reasons that LASIK patients are required to stay out of contact lenses.

  1. Contact lenses cause corneal swelling that could affect the accuracy of important measurements of your eyes prior to surgery.
  2. Contact lenses can cause dry eye. Dry eye can affect healing after surgery.

When To Stop Wearing Contacts


The ClearChoice doctors recommend that patients stop wearing soft contact lenses for five days prior to their LASIK pre-operative exam. If the patient wears a toric contact lens, the Clear Choice doctors recommend that patients stay out of them for ten days prior to preoperative measurements are taken.  Toric contact lenses are contact lenses that correct astigmatism. This type of contact lens usually fits the eye tighter, and the patient’s eyes need more time to return to their natural unaffected shape.  With both soft and toric lenses, the ClearChoice doctors recommend that patients stay out of contact lenses for fourteen days before the procedure day.

Exceptions To The Rules


Different contact lenses will require different times. If you wear hard contact lenses or rigid gas permeable contact lenses, the ClearChoice doctors will recommend a longer time out of lenses than with soft.  Most patient who wear a hard or gas permeable contact lens will need to be out of contact lenses for a minimum of six weeks. The doctors recommend a week out of contact lenses for every decade that the patient wore hard lenses.  The Clear Choice doctors will help the patient to transition into soft lenses for most of the time required to be out of lenses.  However, there will still be some time that the doctor will require the patient to be sans contact lenses.

Ironically, sometimes the doctor will recommend that patients wear contact lenses prior to LASIK in order to sample a style of vision, like monovision.  The patient can try it for a very abbreviated time frame, such as an hour or two. Or, the patient might trial the monovision contact lenses prior to the required time without contact lenses.

Learn More


In summary, follow your doctor’s recommendation for being out of contact lenses for both your pre-operative exam and your surgery. It will maximize your visual result.

If you are interested in finding out more, schedule a free consultation today! A highly-trained consultant would be happy to tell you everything that you need to know. We’re happy to answer any and all of your questions.

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