Individual surgeons may have different preferences regarding when to stop wearing contact lenses before LASIK surgery. However, in general, most surgeons recommend that you stop wearing soft contact lenses at least two weeks before surgery. Before the procedure, you will be asked to stop wearing your contact lenses. Therefore, contact lenses alter the shape of the cornea, making it difficult for the surgeon to make accurate evaluations.
Going without contact lenses for at least one week before the procedure will allow the cornea to take its normal shape. In turn, this will allow the doctor to make accurate calculations on corneal remodeling. If you wear hard contact lenses, it is recommended that you remove them at least four weeks before surgery. You can wear glasses if you think you need them.
No matter how used to wearing makeup you will need to refrain from wearing makeup at least 24 hours before surgery. Ironically, the doctor sometimes recommends that patients wear contact lenses before LASIK to sample a vision style, such as monovision. The surgeon may allow you to wear your contact lenses until the day of your appointment, as long as you understand that if you are a good candidate and want to have LASIK surgery, you will have to stop wearing them for a specific period of time between the consultation and the day of surgery. In addition, the use of contact lenses can affect the tear film and cause dry eyes; it can also affect corneal healing after LASIK surgery.
If you wear rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, you should stop wearing them for a longer period of time before LASIK surgery, usually three weeks or more. ClearChoice eye doctors recommend that patients stop wearing soft contact lenses for five days before the LASIK preoperative exam.