6 Ways to Lower Your Anxiety Before Your Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery, which LASIK is a popular variation, is one of the safest vision correction treatments. Over 90% of people who undergo this procedure obtain 20/20 vision without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses after it.

However, even if the success rates are high, if you have been deemed a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery in Dubai and are planning to undergo the procedure soon, you may still feel worried about your upcoming appointment. After all, any kind of surgical procedure, even non-invasive ones, can make anyone feel anxious and nervous.

Reducing your anxieties before your laser refractive procedure, though, is an important pre-surgery step you have to take. Extreme nervousness can interfere with your ability to relax prior to surgery. This, in turn, can affect your recovery.

Calming Your Pre-Surgery Anxiety

To avoid the complications of pre-surgery anxiety, below are the six best tips that can help you reduce your worries and relax more before undergoing a laser refractive procedure:

1. Get all the facts.

Knowing everything you have to expect before, during, and after surgery can put your mind at ease prior to the procedure. As such, do enough research about laser refractive treatment once you are sure you are undergoing it.

Go online to read facts about laser eye refractive surgery. Make sure you choose the websites you get your information from so that you don’t get confused by contradictory details.

Your laser eye refraction surgeon can also give you all the information you need to feel more at ease with the surgery. Ask them to walk you through the whole process and other questions you have regarding the procedure.

When you have all the information you need and all your facts straight, you will feel more confident before and during the procedure.

2. Know your surgeon.

Although laser eye surgery is non invasive, it involves a high degree of trust with someone you might not know well. If you don’t have confidence in your surgeon, you won’t be able to reduce your worries about the procedure.

If you are still not comfortable with your surgeon, don’t hesitate to see and talk to them as often as you want. When you visit their clinic, you will see first-hand how they run their office and treat their patients.

Not being embarrassed to ask your eye specialist questions about the procedure not only allows you to have a better mindset; it also helps you get an idea of their competency. You can request details regarding their qualifications, training, and experience.

If you are comfortable with your surgeon’s background, you can feel more at ease with your upcoming surgery.

Additionally, you will have a better idea of your doctor’s bedside manner when you keep asking them questions about the procedure.

3. Focus on the benefits.

If you have had poor eyesight for years or have cataracts, keep reminding yourself of the benefits you will experience once you get laser eye refractive surgery.

Doing so will allow you to focus on the positive side of the procedure instead of the things you may be worried about.

One of the noteworthy benefits of ophthalmic laser treatment is that since it is non-invasive, you will feel minimal discomfort and be treated on an outpatient basis. This means that you won’t have to stay in the hospital for days to recuperate.

Moreover, due to laser technology, you can avoid the risk of infection. You will experience minor side effects within a shorter period as well.

Lastly, as mentioned, laser eye surgery has a high success rate. Because of this, you can trust the technology to treat your vision problem safely and effectively.

4. Practice positive visualization.

Knowing the benefits of laser eye surgery will help you greatly in practicing another stress-reduction method: visualization, an effective technique for reducing stress and anxiety.

Positive visualization entails visualizing and believing in what you want or need to happen. It means adopting an optimistic outlook and expecting things to go your way.

To reduce your anxiety before your surgery, visualize the benefits you will experience after the procedure.  These can include watching TV or at the cinema without having to squint and wear glasses or contacts.

It can also include not worrying about ruining your eyeglasses or losing your contact lenses whenever you play a sport or go for a swim.

Positive visualization works well since you can change based on your goal. It also helps you focus on the benefits you can experience after the procedure instead of your worries.

5. Meditate.

Meditation is another relaxation technique that can help reduce pre-surgery anxiety.

Meditating before surgery, though, doesn’t require you to sit cross-legged with your hands resting on your knees. You only have to learn how to relax, focus, and mindful breathing anytime.

When you can do all three, you can practice meditation anywhere and anytime.

Meditating days and minutes before your surgery can help slow down your breathing and restless heart. It will also calm your mind and body.

All these will help calm down your nerves and alleviate your worries before the procedure.

6. Practice muscle relaxation.

Muscles tend to tense up often when you are nervous. This can make you feel uncomfortable and aches all over your body.

Muscle relaxation is an anxiety-reduction technique that has been effective for years. It helps give you a better sense of control over your body’s anxiety response.

Progressive muscle relaxation is one of the most popular and effective techniques. It involves alternating tension and relaxation in your body’s major muscle groups.

As a result, you will become more mindful of the difference between tension and relaxation.

A simple technique you can try is tensing your shoulder and neck muscles for a few seconds and following it up with a prolonged period of relaxation.

The longer you do this, the more you will enjoy the feeling of relaxation sweeping through your body. You will also notice your anxieties and fears slowly melting away.

To get the most from this exercise, practice this technique days before the surgery. Don’t forget to do this several hours prior to the procedure to reduce your worries.

Undergoing laser eye surgery can be a life-changing experience. Make sure you are fully prepared for the procedure and reap all the benefits by following these tips to reduce your pre-surgery anxieties.


Dr. Millicent M. Grim, Specialist Ophthalmologist & LASIK Specialist, is the Medical Director of Gulf Eye Center in Dubai. Since 2002, Gulf Eye Center’s highly qualified ophthalmologists and optometrists/ODs have been successfully treating a wide range of eye conditions using advanced techniques. They also provide comprehensive eye care and vision restoration procedures for people of all ages.