Frequently asked questions (LASIK)
Wavefront-optimized LASIK is the type of laser treatment available on the Wavelight laser. This treatment is also based On the patient’s eye power and also takes into account corneal curvature and thickness, and applies laser energy in a unique fashion in the periphery of the cornea. This laser has been found to reduce the aforementioned complications such as glare, halos, and other nighttime visual aberrations that can occasionally occur with conventional treatments.
Will my vision improve immediately?
You should be able to see reasonably well within a few days after your procedure. If you have had a SURFACE PRK procedure, your vision may fluctuate for the next 1 to 3 months and reading fine print may be difficult. If you have had a LASIK procedure, your vision is likely to stabilize around a month after the procedure.
What are the possible side effects of the procedure?
Early side effects of any corneal procedure include light sensitivity, glare and foreign body sensation in the eye. Both SURFACE PRK and LASIK can sometimes result in under correction or incomplete removal of the refractive error. Occasionally, an overcorrection eg., the correction of more myopia than intended, can also occur. A change in the clarity of the corneal tissues – termed corneal haze – can also occur in some patients.
How do I know if I am a suitable candidate for Lasik?
A large percentage of nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatic patients are potential candidates for LASIK. Patients who are 18 years of age or older, have healthy eyes that are free from retinal problems, corneal scars, and any eye disease are suitable. Along with being medically suitable, the best candidates are people with a lifestyle or occupation in which they are dissatisfied with their contact lenses or glasses. By having an evaluation, examination, and consultation with you, the doctor will be able to determine if you are a good candidate.
How long does LASIK take?
In our practice, LASIK is performed as an office procedure in the comfort and convenience of an excimer laser suite. The entire treatment takes about 5 to 7 minutes per eye or approximately 15 minutes for both eyes.
Is the effect of LASIK permanent?
Yes. Following an initial healing period of two to three months, the effect of the treatment is lifelong.
Will I need reading glasses after the treatment?
Generally, patients under 40 years of age read well without glasses following the treatment. Patients over 40 may need magnification for reading fine print. Presbyopia is the term that refers to the natural weakening of the focusing muscles that occurs in our early to mid 40s, causing us to need the magnification that reading glasses provide. The LASIK treatment does not correct or prevent presbyopia.
How soon after the treatment can I bathe and take a shower?
Your physician will advise you as to the specifics, however, typically you can bathe the same day of the treatment but you should not shower for 2 weeks after the treatment. As always, avoid getting soap or water directly into your eyes. Avoid rubbing your eyes during the first month after surgery.
When can I drive after the treatment?
You should not drive on the day of the treatment. After that, you may drive when you feel confident that your visual acuity and eye comfort allow you to drive safely.
How soon can I use eye makeup?
You may resume wearing eye makeup 4 weeks after your treatment. It is strongly recommend that you purchase new eye makeup, specifically mascara, to avoid potential infection following your treatment.
How soon after the treatment can I exercise?
Non-contact sports can be resumed as soon as you feel capable. Eye protection is always recommended for racquet sports or rough sports where there is a risk of being hit in the eye.
How soon can I swim?
You should stay out of the swimming pools for two weeks after your treatment, and rivers, lakes and oceans for 3-4 weeks following your treatment.
What kind of Anesthesia is used during the treatment?
Numbing eye drops are used. Sometimes an oral medication is used to help with relaxation. No needle or intravenous drugs are used.
Can both the eyes be treated at the same time?
In LASIK– Both eyes are performed same time, but SURFACE PRK and Epi LASIK is performed one eye at a time. The timing of treatment of the second eye is best decided in consultation with your ophthalmologist.
Does LASIK hurt?
The treatment itself is painless because we put a few numbing drops in your eyes to make you even more comfortable. You will feel pressure on and around the eye during treatment. With LASIK, some patients may experience a feeling of “something in the eye” for a day or so after treatment.
Can I see the treatment as it is being performed?
You will be “awake” but very relaxed. You will not be able to see any of the details of the treatment. You will see a number of lights, but the images will be blurred.
Will I experience pain after the treatment?
Some patients experience a feeling of burning or scratchiness. This feeling generally lasts from one to three hours following the treatment. Most people feel fine if they take a nap soon after the treatment.
Will my eyes be patched?
No, but clear, protective eye shields will be placed over your treated eye(s) following the treatment, and will be removed in our office the next morning. You will continue to wear these eye shields at bedtime for 1 week for protection.
Will I need to wear spectacles or contact lenses after the procedure?
Both SURFACE PRK and LASIK are designed to allow you to discontinue the use of corrective lenses. In some patients with high refractive errors and in those over 40 years of age, corrective lenses may still be required. In some patients however, it may be possible to perform a second refractive procedure to correct a residual refractive error.
Is the LASIK procedure covered by insurance?
LASIK (Corneal Refractive Surgery) is considered as elective/ cosmetic surgery and it is not covered by many health insurance plans. You may also contact your insurance agency for the same.
When can I resume my normal activities?
If you have had a SURFACE PRK, you will be able to return to work within three to four days of surgery. If you have had LASIK procedures, you can return to work on the following day. Eye medications should be continued during working hours as instructed by the surgeon. While most activities can be resumed after this time, the face should not be placed under water for at least one week following LASIK. Care should also be taken to avoid any trauma to the eye including rubbing of the eyes during this period.