Are you tired of losing your glasses when you need them the most? Are you frustrated by needing to put in your contacts every morning? You’re not alone!
By 2020, research estimates that over 720,000 Americans will have swapped out their conventional eyeglasses and contacts for the life-changing LASIK surgery. Indeed, there are over 20 million people across the world enjoying better vision- without the daily effort!
Are you wondering if you’re an appropriate LASIK eye surgery candidate? We’ve got you covered. Let’s get into what you need to know:
LASIK is the most common laser eye surgery treating myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.
LASIK primarily works by reshaping the eye’s cornea- which bends the light entering the eye to focus on the retina for improved vision.
During this procedure, the doctor uses a two different laser. The first creates a thin flap on the front of your cornea. The doctor folds back the flap to access the secondary layer of the cornea and then reshapes that layer using another laser..
If you are nearsighted, the doctor will flatten the cornea. If you are farsighted, he or she will create a steeper cornea. After the reshaping, the flap is repositioned, and then it seals back in place.
The entire procedure only takes about 15 minutes, and it is painless for most people. The results are immediate and continue to improve over the course of the next few days.
Preparing For LASIK
Before surgery, the doctor will conduct a thorough eye exam. This exam will determine the shape and thickness of your cornea, your pupil size, and other relevant eye conditions.
Before your final measurements for surgery are completed, your doctor will advise you to avoid wearing contact lenses for a designated period. This ‘absence’ will provide a more accurate assessment of your prescription.
During the surgery, the doctor applies eye drops to anesthetize the eye and eliminate discomfort. He or she will position your eye under the laser. Your eyelids will remain open during the procedure.
You will be instructed to stare at a target light. This is so the doctor can monitor your eye as the laser reshapes your cornea.
You may feel some pressure, but the procedure will not hurt. Afterward, you may experience some mild discomfort like itching or burning.
Immediately After LASIK
It is normal to experience a sense of haziness and blurred vision shortly after the surgery. However, it should improve quickly- within a day or so for most patients. While some people return to work the following day, you may be advised to spend a day resting.
Your doctor will also discuss when it’s appropriate to engage in rigorous exercise. It may take up to a week before you can resume your standard workout routine, as strain can cause you to squeeze your eyes, which can impact the healing process.
Finally, you will need to arrange for transportation home after the procedure. It may be a few weeks before you can start using eye makeup or lotions on your face.
How To Determine If You Are A Suitable LASIK Eye Surgery Candidate
As with all surgical procedures, potential candidates must meet a few essential criteria before being considered a candidate for the surgery. Let’s get into the guidelines.
1. You’re Over 18
LASIK is currently FDA-approved for adults over age 18. That said, many experts recommend that prospective patients wait a few more years until their eyes stop changing before considering the procedure.
Why? Their prescription tends to be more stable, and they’ve already had a regular prescription for at least two years.
Note that around age 40, your eyesight naturally starts to change. It continues to change in the coming years after that. Nearly all patients will eventually need some reading glasses to help with near vision after the age of 40. Don’t delay! The longer you put off having the procedure the fewer years you will enjoy with glasses-free vision.
2. You Are Generally Healthy
A suitable LASIK candidate maintains good health and does not have any medical conditions that may jeopardize the immune system’s response. You should consult with your doctor for a general health evaluation if you are unsure of your overall health. If you do have any medical conditions, it’s crucial to consult with your LASIK doctor.
Furthermore, this procedure is not suitable for pregnant or nursing women. That’s because the woman’s hormones may affect her prescription stability. Women must wait until at least three months cycles after the last nursing to be eligible for LASIK in most cases.
3. You Accept The Reasonable Risks
All surgical procedures present with some level of risk. LASIK does present with potential risks, and it’s essential that candidates understand them thoroughly. Like any surgical procedure, you should always discuss risk factors with your doctor.
4. You Meet Other General Eye Requirements
Patients pursuing LASIK should not have any current eye injuries, infections, or consistent, chronic, untreated dry eyes. They also should be free from significant eye diseases including:
- corneal disease
- various retinal and optic nerve diseases
- herpes simplex and herpes zoster outbreaks around the face or eyes
Moreover, they need to notify their doctors about specific eye problems including:
- strabismus (muscle imbalance)
- keloid scarring associated with past surgical healing
- back problems
- amblyopia (lazy eye)
- mental health conditions and claustrophobia
Thousands of people have enjoyed the life-changing benefits related to LASIK eye surgery. Imagine a life with no more glasses or contacts or squinting to see the words in front of you!
At Eye LASIK Austin, we specialize in giving you the vision of your dreams. Interested in learning more about whether you’re an appropriate LASIK eye surgery candidate? We’ve got you covered! Check out this guide today.