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LASIK  FAQs

What is LASIK vison correction?

It is a surgical procedure that uses a cool (non-thermal) beam of light to gently reshape the cornea — the surface of the eye — to improve vision. The laser removes microscopic bits of tissue to flatten the cornea (to correct nearsightedness), steepen the cornea (to correct farsightedness) and/or smooth out corneal irregularities (to correct astigmatism).

The goal of laser eye surgery is to change the shape the cornea so it does a better job of focusing images onto the retina for sharper vision. LASIK and PRK are two types of laser vision correction.

Is LASIK safe?

The FDA recognizes LASIK as proven, safe and effective. Laser vision correction uses a cool (non-thermal) beam of light that is computer controlled. The surgeon turns the laser on and is able to turn it off at any moment. Many safeguards are in place to reduce the risk of error. However, risks are associated with any surgical procedure.

Are there risks with LASIK surgery?

Although no one knows the exact number of complications, studies suggest that the incidence of minor difficulties such as dry eyes and nighttime glare is around 3 percent to 5 percent, while the risk of serious incidents such as lost vision is thought to be less than 1 percent. There are no known cases of blindness from LASIK or PRK. Again, outcomes generally are very good.

Can I have both eyes done at the same time?

Yes, in most instances both eyes will be done at the same time. Your surgeon will determine if there is a reason to do the eye surgery separately and discuss your options with you.

Does LASIK hurt?

You won’t feel pain during your LASIK procedure, because your surgeon will place anesthetic eye drops in your eye first. Afterward, you maybe prescribed pain medication if necessary. Many LASIK patients report no more than mild discomfort for a day or so after surgery

How long does the LASIK Procedure take?

The laser treatment itself usually takes less than a minute, while the entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes per eye. It’s important to note, you will be at your surgery site longer than this time for pre-op and post-op care.

How do I know if I'm eligible for laser vision correction?

Your eye care practitioner can help you decide, but here are some general guidelines:
• You must have healthy eyes — no glaucoma, infection, cataracts, severe dry eye or any other condition that would affect postoperative healing.
• You must be an adult: age 21 or older (with some exceptions).
• Your vision must be stable for at least a year before surgery.
• If you’re pregnant or nursing, your hormonal levels can affect the shape of your eye. You’ll need to wait until your hormones are back to normal levels.
• You cannot have a degenerative or autoimmune disease, since this would affect healing.

What happens on the day of my LASIK procedure?

LASIK is an outpatient procedure. Someone else must drive you home, because your vision will be a little blurry right after surgery.

You’ll lie down in a reclining chair. The surgeon will place anesthetic drops in your eye, position your head under the laser and place an eyelid speculum (retainer) under your lids to hold your eye wide open.

In LASIK, the surgeon creates a thin flap in the top of the cornea, folds it back out of the way, uses the laser to remove some corneal tissue and then puts the flap back in place. If you’re having PRK, no flap is created: The laser simply removes the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium), which grows back after surgery.

When may I resume driving?

You may begin driving as soon as you can see well enough, excluding the day of your surgery.

When may I go back to work?

Most people who have LASIK return to work the next day.

When may I resume wearing eye makeup?

You may resume wearing eye make up two weeks after surgery. However, it’s important to throw out your old makeup and buy new to decrease the risk of infection.

Are there any side effects?

Some people experience dry eye after LASIK, which usually is relieved with eye drops and disappears over time. Others may experience starbursts or halos around lights, especially at night. Usually this effect lessens or disappears over time, too. In a small number of people (probably less than 1 percent), their vision worsens rather than improves.

What if time passes and I’m not seeing better?

A small number of patients see well after surgery then experience regression, a gradual worsening of vision. If this happens, consult with your eye care practitioner to determine the cause and to see if retreatment (enhancement) is appropriate.

Will I still need glasses after LASIK?

While most people see very clearly without glasses after laser vision correction, you still might need or desire corrective lenses for certain activities (driving at night, for example) if you have mild residual refractive error after surgery.

If you’re over age 40 and have signs of presbyopia, eyeglasses with progressive lenses will give you clear vision at all distances and also shield your eyes from dust, debris and drying wind or air conditioning.

Photochromic lenses are beneficial because they protect your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays and darken automatically in sunlight. (This is particularly helpful if you are sensitive to light after surgery.)

Whatever type of glasses you choose to wear after LASIK (including reading glasses), you will experience the best clarity and comfort if the lenses include anti-reflective coating. Ask your optician for details.

I have more questions about LASIK, who can I talk to?

Please call our office at (920) 452-5400 and schedule a Free LASIK Consultation to find out if LASIK is right for you. We will be able to answer all your questions and let you know if you are a good candidate for LASIK!