Rubbing Eyes After LASIK – What You Need to Know

Rubbing Eyes After LASIK – What You Need to Know

October 4, 2022

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After laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, you’ll be sent home with instructions on how to treat your eyes during the healing process. Especially on that first day, the eyes can be inflamed and may feel itchy. You may wonder, can I rub my eyes after LASIK? This may or may not be covered explicitly in your post-operative instructions, but the short answer is NO, it’s important not to disrupt the eyes while they’re healing from LASIK.

How Long Should You Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes After LASIK

When the urge is strong, you may be wondering how long it will be until you can rub your eyes. Generally speaking, you should avoid it for at least one month after surgery. Even then, rubbing your eyes is a practice that’s best to avoid indefinitely. 

Common Risks from Rubbing 

Common Risks from Rubbing 

You may know that you’re not supposed to rub your eyes, but you may also wonder what happens if you do? 

  • Eye infection – Our hands are usually not as clean as we think, they carry microbes that can be introduced to the eyes during rubbing. While this could cause an infection at any time, it’s even more likely post-surgically, when the eyes are particularly vulnerable.
  • Eye injury – When you rub your eyelids, you could inadvertently scratch your eye with your finger or fingernails.
  • Flap complications – The flap that is created during LASIK surgery is initially quite delicate. It needs to stay in place without disruption in order to heal properly. When you rub your eyes, you risk moving the flap out of place, hindering your healing.
  • Dark undereye circles – If you need a cosmetic reason not to do it, rubbing your eyes can rupture the tiny vessels in the skin around your eyes, contributing to the appearance of dark circles. 


Not rubbing your eyes is a small price to pay for the clear vision and freedom from glasses and contacts that you’ll get from LASIK. If you’d like to find out if you’re a candidate, schedule a consultation with one of the experts in refractive surgery at the Kraff Eye Institute today. 

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Dr. Colman R. Kraff

Committed to advancing new technologies in the field of ophthalmology, Dr. Colman Kraff helped to pioneer laser vision correction. In February of 1991, as part of a five-site, U.S., FDA clinical trial team, Dr. Kraff successfully performed the first excimer laser procedures in the Chicagoland area using the VISX Excimer Laser.

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