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Questions About LASIK

What conditions can LASIK correct?

LASIK has proven effective in the correction of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, although not everyone who suffers from one of these conditions is a candidate for LASIK.

How do I know if LASIK will work for me?

A thorough eye exam by a qualified ophthalmologist will determine if you are nearsighted or farsighted and whether you have astigmatism. To be a viable candidate for LASIK surgery, you must also be over 18 and meet certain requirements pertaining to the condition of your eyes and general health.

How does LASIK surgery work?

Generally speaking, LASIK surgery entails the use of a laser to reshape your cornea. Your eyes will first be numbed with anesthetic eye drops. Then your surgeon will create a hinged flap on the outer portion of your eye, called the epithelium, which will expose the cornea. Using an excimer laser, your surgeon will next use pulsed bursts to reshape your cornea before replacing the flap, which will heal on its own. Because your eyes and vision are unique, your ophthalmologist can help you determine whether you’re better suited for traditional LASIK or custom LASIK, the latter of which uses Wavefront technology to create a precise, three-dimensional map of your eyes.

How long does LASIK surgery take?

LASIK surgery may take as little as 15 minutes, with each eye requiring a procedure of approximately five to seven minutes.

Is LASIK performed on both eyes in the same procedure?

In most cases, it’s best to perform LASIK surgery on both eyes in a single sitting to avoid a vision imbalance.

Is LASIK surgery painful?

Most patients report little to no pain during the procedure and minimal discomfort afterward. Your surgeon will use eye drops to numb your eyes during surgery, and you will be given moistening, anti-inflammatory eye drops for use following your procedure.

What is the recovery time from LASIK?

Within a couple hours following surgery, you may experience some eye irritation, tearing and blurry vision. In most cases, vision clears and irritation subsides within several hours after surgery, but it may take several days for your vision to completely stabilize. You may be able to return to work and resume routine activities within a day or two following surgery, although strenuous exercise and sports should be avoided until your eyes are fully healed, which may take several months. Your eye doctor will monitor your progress during a series of follow-up visits.

Will I need glasses after LASIK surgery?

Although there is no guarantee of perfect vision with LASIK surgery, most patients experience improved vision without the need for corrective lenses. LASIK, however, does not eliminate the need for reading glasses or bifocals as a correction for presbyopia, a loss of near vision that typically begins after age 40.

How long does LASIK correction last?

LASIK correction is intended to be permanent, but some patients require enhancement procedures later due to natural changes of the eyes.

Is LASIK safe?

While LASIK enjoys one of the highest success rates of any surgical procedure, all surgeries have risks. Choosing an experienced LASIK surgeon can increase the likelihood that your procedure will be effective. LASIK complications are rare, although some require a corrective follow-up procedure.

What are the possible side effects of LASIK?

The most common LASIK side effects are dry eyes and sensitivity to light, both of which may cause minor, temporary irritation. Discomfort due to dry eyes can be alleviated with prescribed moisturizing eye drops, and sensitivity to light can be lessened by the use of sunglasses. Your doctor will explain all the potential side effects associated with LASIK prior to your surgery.

Click here to learn about LASIK vs. PRK.

If you would like to learn more about LASIK surgery options or find out if you may be a candidate for LASIK, please contact an experienced ophthalmologist in your area for a consultation.

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