Are you sick and tired of having to worry about taking your contact lenses out every night? Do you have glasses but are constantly worried about breaking the frames or forgetting where you left them?
Then it might be time to join the more than 12 million people who get LASIK surgery every year.
Surgery can seem like a scary idea, but being prepared can help take the edge off. Take a look at these 7 questions to ask during your LASIK consultation.
1. Ask “Am I Eligible for the Eye Surgery?”
First and foremost you want to determine – am I a candidate for LASIK. There may be some patients who do not qualify due to their age or pre-existing health conditions.
The FDA requires patients who are 18 or older, while most doctors feel the ideal time is when the person is between the ages of 21 and 50.
It may not be recommended to have the surgery if you suffer from autoimmune disorders, a weakened immune system, or preexisting conditions like glaucoma or cataracts.
The only one who should be determining if you are eligible for the procedure should be and experienced eye care provider, who will look at your eyes during a LASIK exam and determine if you are a good candidate. You are trusting them with your eyes and vision so you want to make sure you are choosing the right surgeon and facility. Don’t be afraid to ask for their credentials.
2. Is the procedure safe and are there any risks?
LASIK surgery is one of the safest procedures you can have for vision correction surgery. The accuracy and precision of the laser have a higher success rate then procedures using a metal blade.
A common side-effect after LASIK surgery is having dry eyes. This can occur because of decreased tear production. Your eye doctor may recommend during your LASIK eye surgery consultation to get some lubricating eye drops so you are prepared for some temporary dryness after surgery. It is also normal to experience mild discomfort, blurriness and light sensitivity just after surgery, and one eye may heal faster than the other.
Be sure to follow the post-operative care instructions your doctor has provided and attend your follow-up appointments with your doctor. They will be able to make sure that your healing is on track and address any issues you may be experiencing.
3. Is Lasik Eye Surgery permanent?
LASIK is always permanent, since the laser used is removing tissue from an area of your cornea that does not regenerate tissue. Your results will vary depending on what type of correction your vision needed and how your body heals after surgery.
A little less that one percent of our patients return to our office for an enhancement procedure.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the surgery will keep you glasses-free for the rest of your life. As you age, your eyes age as well and nearly all patients will eventually need reading glasses and quite possibly cataract or other surgeries as well, whether you have LASIK or not.
4. How Long is the Recovery Time?
Generally, it will take a day or two for you to perform your usual everyday tasks. Your vision will be a little blurry and you may experience itching or burning directly after the surgery.
Be sure to have someone drive you to and from the surgery as they may give you medication to take before you get to the surgery center that may affect your ability to drive.
You should be expecting to use some medicated eye drops for the first couple of weeks after surgery to help with healing and some moisture drops to combat any dryness. You will also want to wait about four weeks before using any cosmetics around your eyes because you don’t want to rub them or place any pressure on them.
For a full recovery, it could take several weeks or several months, it just depends on the patient. You should make sure to schedule follow up visits with your doctor within the first six months to ensure that you are healing correctly and your vision is improving at an acceptable rate.
5. What Kind of Results Should I Expect?
LASIK eye surgery should provide you with improved vision without having to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses for nearly all distance vision in most cases. Most patients have a strong chance of gaining 20/20 vision (or better) after their surgery. However, each patient is different and gaining 20/20 vision in both eyes is not a guarantee for everyone.
These results depend on the specific type of correction the LASIK surgeon is performing so not all patients will have the same results. If you have an extreme case of nearsightedness or farsightedness, or a bad case of astigmatism you may have less favorable results than those who have a less extreme case of these. Your condition may be dramatically improved or improved just enough to be more manageable.
It’s best to ask this question during your LASIK exam so you have a clear and reasonable expectation.
6. Will I Need to Stop Taking My Medications?
Give your doctor a list of medications you are currently taking so they may review them and determine if you need to halt any prior to the surgery.
Some medications may be a contraindication for surgery.
7. Are There Any Potential Side Effects of Eye Surgery?
Although side effects can be rare after LASIK surgery you will want to make sure you ask what they are before you fully commit to the procedure. Usually, the side effects are only temporary. You may experience glare, dry eyes as mentioned before, and trouble with night vision.
During LASIK eye surgery consultation your eye care professional should be able to give you a good idea of what to expect based on your unique circumstance and an idea of how long these side effects should last.
Are You Ready to Find Out More?
If you have read through this list of questions and feel you are ready for the next step, please contact us and schedule your free LASIK consultation today.