Imagine waking up each morning and ditching glasses or contact lenses. For many, laser eye surgery offers this life-changing possibility. But with any eye procedure, some apprehension is natural. One of the biggest questions for people considering vision correction treatment is: Are you awake for laser eye surgery?

This comprehensive guide will address everything you need to know about being awake during laser eye surgery.

We’ll delve into the world of laser eye surgery, explore the different types available, explain why you typically don’t need to be completely asleep, and provide a detailed breakdown of what to expect during the procedure.

So, breathe easy, and let’s explore achieving a clear vision on your terms!

Ditch The Glasses, See Clearly: Laser Eye Surgery Explained

Are You Awake For Laser Eye Surgery checkupEver dream of waking up and ditching the glasses fumble or the contact lens solution routine? Laser eye surgery might be your ticket to that freedom!

It’s a vision correction procedure that works like a tiny eye sculptor, reshaping your cornea (the clear dome at the front of your eye) to bend light just right. This lets light hit your retina precisely, giving you sharper, clearer vision—like a brand-new HD filter for your eyes!

Laser surgery can be a game-changer for folks who struggle with:

Short-Sightedness (Myopia)

You know the feeling—squinting to see your friend waving across the street or struggling to make out that movie without the front row.

Long-Sightedness (Hyperopia)

Holding your phone at arm’s length to read or feeling like the world is constantly slightly out of focus? That’s long-sightedness in a nutshell.


This one makes everything seem blurry, no matter how close or far it is. Think of it like your eye is shaped a little more like a rugby ball than a perfect sphere.

Laser eye surgery has the potential to ditch the glasses or contacts for good and let you experience the world in a whole new light—literally and figuratively!

Not Quite Sleeping Beauty: The Different Types Of Laser Vision Correction

Now, let’s talk about the different types of laser vision correction procedures available. Think of them as picking the right tool for the job—your eye surgeon will recommend the best option for your vision conditions and corneal shape.

Here are the most common types:

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis)

This is a well-established technique. Imagine a skilled surgeon creating a thin flap in your cornea, much like lifting a tiny lid.

Then, a laser does its magic, reshaping the tissue underneath. Finally, like a puzzle piece, the flap is gently put back in place to heal naturally.

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

This method works by removing the surface layer of your cornea with the laser. Your cornea then reshapes itself naturally as it heals. Think of it like gently buffing out an imperfection on a precious gem.

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction)

This minimally invasive technique uses a fancy femtosecond laser to create a lenticule within your cornea, like a tiny sculpted piece.

Then, the surgeon removes it through a small incision. It’s kind of like taking a small cookie-cutter approach to reshape your vision.

PRESBYOND Laser Blended Vision

This innovative technique is designed to address age-related presbyopia, the condition that makes it difficult to focus on near objects. It uses laser sculpting techniques to create a specific blend of vision zones in each eye.

One eye might be optimised for distance vision, while the other prioritises near vision. This allows you to see clearly at all distances, potentially reducing or eliminating your need for reading glasses.

During your initial consultation, your eye surgeon will discuss these options in detail and recommend the one that best suits your unique situation and vision goals. Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Why wouldn’t you need to be completely asleep for this vision quest?

Awake And Aware: Why You Don’t Need To Be Snoozing During Laser Eye Surgery

Are You Awake For Laser Eye Surgery procedureSo, you might wonder, “Why wouldn’t I need to be completely asleep for laser eye surgery?” Unlike major surgeries, laser vision correction procedures are performed on the eye’s surface after applying anaesthetic drops. They’re also relatively quick, usually taking just a few minutes per eye. Think of it like a lunchtime express service for your vision!

Now, while most patients do just fine staying awake during laser eye surgery, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. Some people might experience significant anxiety or have a strong aversion to being still.

Don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns with your eye surgeon if this sounds like you. They can explore alternative options, like light sedation, to ensure you feel comfortable and relaxed throughout the procedure.

The Big Day Arrives: What To Expect During Laser Eye Surgery

The day of your laser eye surgery has arrived! Feeling a few butterflies fluttering around in your stomach is normal, but take a deep breath—you’re in good hands. Here’s a peek at what you can expect:

Pre-Surgery Prep

Your eye surgeon will likely give you specific instructions about what to avoid before the procedure, like wearing eye makeup or certain lotions.

Meet The Surgical Team

Upon arrival at the clinic, you’ll be greeted by a friendly and professional team who will walk you through the process and answer any last-minute questions.

Getting Comfortable

The procedure begins with you being comfortably positioned in a reclining chair. Numbing eye drops will be applied to anaesthetise the area, and you might be offered a mild sedative to help you relax even further.

Lights, Camera, Correction

The laser will do its precise work, guided by your eye surgeon. You might see some flashing lights or blurred shapes, but don’t worry; you won’t be able to see the intricate details of the procedure itself. The process is usually quick, taking just a few minutes per eye.

Recovery Room Relaxation

After the procedure, you’ll likely relax in a recovery room. Initially, your vision might be a bit blurry, but that’s completely normal. Your eye doctor will provide specific instructions for eye care during the healing process before your follow-up visits, typically involving using medicated eye drops and avoiding strenuous activity for a short period.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What if I move or blink during the surgical procedure?

The numbing eye drops and special devices used will minimise discomfort and prevent blinking. Modern laser systems also have eye-tracking technology that can adjust for slight movements.

Will I see anything during my LASIK surgery?

You might see flashes of light or blurred shapes, but you won’t be able to see the details of the procedure.

What happens after the LASIK procedure?

Your vision may be blurry initially, but it will gradually improve over the following days. During the healing process, you’ll be given specific instructions for eye care. Most patients experience minimal discomfort and can return to most activities within a day or two.

Can I participate in contact sports after refractive surgery?

Your eye surgeon will advise you on when it’s safe to resume contact sports. Generally, waiting a few weeks after surgery allows the corneal surface to heal fully and minimises the risk of injury.

A Brighter Future With Laser Eye Surgery

Are You Awake For Laser Eye Surgery consultationLaser eye surgery can be a truly liberating experience. Imagine waking up each morning and stepping into the world with a crisp, clear vision, free from the constraints of glasses or contact lenses.

The thought of undergoing any eye surgery can be nerve-wracking, but understanding the procedure and knowing you won’t be completely asleep during laser eye surgery can be a big relief for many people considering this vision correction option.

Remember, clear communication is key. With careful planning and the expertise of your eye surgeon, laser eye surgery can open a door to a world of sharper vision and newfound freedom from glasses and contacts. So, take a deep breath, ask all your questions, and get ready to see the world in a whole new light!

Contact Dr Anton van Heerden, Melbourne, VIC, at (03) 9000 0389 to reclaim your beautiful vision with laser eye surgeries.

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


Dunkin, Mary Anne. “A Guide to Refractive and Laser Eye Surgery.” WebMD, 6 Mar. 2023,

“Is It Possible at All to Have LASIK Surgery While Under General Anesthesia?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 7 Mar. 2018,

Research, Center for Biologics Evaluation And. “What Should I Expect Before, During, and After Surgery?” U.S. Food And Drug Administration, 11 July 2018,

Sakimoto, Tohru, et al. “Laser eye surgery for refractive errors.” Lancet, vol. 367, no. 9520, Apr. 2006, pp. 1432–47.

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