Can You Be Put to Sleep for Laser Eye Surgery?

Can you be put to sleep for laser eye surgery


In this blog, you’ll learn about the different anesthesia options for laser eye surgery, including whether you can be put to sleep for the procedure. It also covers the basics of laser eye surgery, such as how it works, the conditions it can treat, and the risks involved. Additionally, the blog provides insight into what happens during the surgery, how to stay calm while awake, and what to expect in terms of blinking during the procedure.

The following topics will be discussed in this blog:

Understanding Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery, or LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), offers a corrective solution for vision issues like farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. By utilizing brief pulses of ultraviolet light, invisible to the naked eye, this procedure precisely reshapes the cornea, often reducing or eliminating the dependence on corrective lenses.

During LASIK, a small amount of corneal tissue, thinner than human hair, is removed to refine the corneal curvature, enhancing the eye’s ability to focus images on the retina for clearer vision.

Although the surgery itself is brief, typically lasting only a few minutes, post-operative care is crucial for ensuring proper healing. Patients may experience sensations like grittiness, watering, or itching in the eye, which are common and manageable with medicated eye drops that provide numbing relief lasting several hours. Additionally, wearing a protective night shield can aid in the healing process.

Follow-up appointments are typically scheduled to monitor healing progress and address any concerns, ensuring optimal outcomes for patients undergoing LASIK surgery.

Conditions Treatable with Laser Eye Surgery

Laser surgery aids in correcting or minimizing vision problems stemming from refractive errors. Many individuals encounter:

  • Myopia, also known as nearsightedness
  • Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness
  • Astigmatism

These are typically the conditions targeted by laser eye surgery, aiming to lessen reliance on glasses or contact lenses or eliminate the need for them.

Understanding the Risks of Laser Eye Surgery

Like any medical procedure, laser eye surgery carries inherent risks. However, in many cases, the potential benefits may outweigh these risks.

Risks of Laser Eye Surgery Related to Corneal Flap Complications may Include:

Potential Risks of Laser Eye Surgery Include:

  • Eye infection
  • Corneal flap dislocation
  • Corneal ectasia (rare)
  • Striae (vertical lines in the eye)
  • Epithelial growth underneath the flap, leading to inflammation or flap melting

Other Risks Can Include:

  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Blurred, foggy, or hazy vision
  • Glare sensitivity
  • Scratchy eyes
  • Starbursts or halos around lights
  • Small red or pink patches in the whites of the eye, which typically resolve over time
  • Light sensitivity

What Happens if You Move or Blink During LASIK Corrective Eye Surgery?

Contrary to the dramatic images some conjure up, undergoing laser eye surgery is far less daunting than they imagine. To begin with, you’ll recline comfortably, your head cradled for support.

Your surgeon will then employ a specialized device to gently hold your eyelid in place, ensuring it remains still throughout the procedure. Coupled with cutting-edge equipment capable of tracking eye movements at incredible speeds exceeding 4,000 times per second, rest assured, you’re in capable hands.

The precision and accuracy of the surgical instruments utilized by your surgeon are remarkable. LASIK stands as one of the most successful surgical interventions today, boasting minimal risks and scarce side effects. By the time you entertain concerns about potential mishaps, your LASIK procedure will have drawn to a close.

How to Keep Calm While Awake During LASIK Eye Surgery

At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, we acknowledge that pre-surgery nerves are common among patients. Our dedicated team is committed to your comfort and peace of mind throughout the LASIK procedure. You can rely on our continuous communication and attentive care to help you stay calm. On the day of surgery, we’ll administer a gentle sedative to alleviate any anxiety and ensure a relaxed experience for you.

What Occurs If You Blink During LASIK Eye Surgery While Awake?

During LASIK eye surgery, there’s no need to fret about blinking. Before the procedure, we administer numbing eye drops, mitigating your natural reflex to blink. Additionally, we utilize a small device to gently keep your eyelids open, ensuring they don’t interfere. Each eye is only exposed for one to two minutes, minimizing any discomfort you might feel.

Feedback from patients who’ve undergone LASIK while awake often includes remarks like, That was surprisingly easy!” and “I should have done this sooner!

Now that you understand the process and our commitment to your comfort, it’s time to arrange your complimentary LASIK consultation. Reach out to us today, and our team will eagerly address any questions you may have. We’re excited to meet you!


In this blog, we’ve explored the question of whether you can be put to sleep for laser eye surgery, delving into the various anesthesia options available for procedures like LASIK. While some may prefer the idea of being asleep during the surgery, it’s reassuring to know that modern techniques and anesthesia methods ensure a comfortable and safe experience for those who remain awake. Laser eye surgery, such as LASIK, offers a transformative solution for vision issues like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, providing many with the freedom from glasses or contacts they’ve long desired.

Additionally, we’ve discussed the risks associated with laser eye surgery, emphasizing the importance of understanding these potential complications while recognizing the significant benefits this procedure can offer. Ultimately, whether you choose to undergo laser eye surgery while awake or under anesthesia, it’s essential to consult with your eye care provider to determine the best approach for your individual needs and preferences. With advancements in technology and the expertise of skilled surgeons, laser eye surgery continues to be a safe and effective option for enhancing vision and improving quality of life.


Q1. Can I be asleep during laser eye surgery?

A1.Unfortunately, patients must be awake for LASIK surgery. Being conscious allows for optimal cooperation with the doctor, leading to better outcomes.

Q2. Can I blink during laser eye surgery?

A2. Blinking during surgery is not a problem. Special adhesive drapes and eyelid retainers are used to keep the eyes open and prevent interference during the procedure.

Q3. Do I receive anesthesia for laser eye surgery?

A3. Yes, you are awake during the procedure, but it typically lasts only a few minutes. Beforehand, you’ll be given medication to help you relax, and your eye will be numbed with anesthetic drops.

Q4. How can I stay calm during laser eye surgery?

A4. Listening to music or playing a game on your smartphone can help keep your mind occupied before treatment. Some surgeons may even allow you to listen to music during the procedure. If you need additional relaxation, don’t hesitate to ask.

Q5. What if I blink during LASIK?

A5. Blinking isn’t a problem during LASIK surgery. The eye doctor will use a small device to hold your eyelids open, ensuring that you don’t accidentally blink during the procedure. LASIK is painless and non-invasive, with oral and topical anesthetic medications used to keep patients comfortable.

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