The following information answers questions that we frequently hear from our patients about LASIK eye surgery, however, these questions also apply to PRK, Advanced LASIK and Zyoptix Customized LASIK. For more information, please contact us.
Who is a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery?
LASIK candidates are nearsighted (myopic) or farsighted (hyperopic) and may have astigmatism. Additionally, a suitable LASIK candidate will have a stable vision prescription for approximately one year and good overall eye health.
LASIK candidates must be at least 18 years of age (and preferably 21) so that the eyes – and vision – will have matured sufficiently.
Although Clear Advantage has performed LASIK on people over the age of 60, in most cases, significant changes, such as the formation of cataracts, have already started. In these cases, our surgeon will recommend a cataract evaluation to determine whether a lens replacement will provide better visual results.
How long does a LASIK procedure take?
Even though the procedure itself is fast, we avoid rushing the patients in and out and like to take plenty of time with each of them. We tell our patients to plan to be in the laser center for approximately one hour.
However, because the time for the actual laser treatment is typically less than one minute per eye, most patients will be in the office for 45 minutes, and in actual surgery for about 15 minutes.
Additionally, our beautiful and comfortable waiting area is an ideal spot to have a friend or family member wait for the patient and assist the patient through post-operative instructions.
Is LASIK painful?
Throughout the entire procedure, your eyes will be numbed so that you will not feel any discomfort or pain For approximately 1-3 hours after the surgery, you may experience mild tearing or a foreign body sensation, like an eyelash or a backward contact lens in your eye.
This sensation disappears after sleeping and, if needed, a topical eye drop is supplied for use after surgery. Usually, any discomfort goes away after a few hours.
Will I have both eyes treated on the same day?
Yes, it is recommended to have both eyes treated at the same time and most of our patients prefer to do so. However, if you choose to, you can have one eye treated at a time. There may be an additional charge due to the additional surgery supplies and follow up time required.
Is the procedure done under anesthesia?
Yes. Prior to surgery, the eye is anesthetized with eye drops. The anesthetic used is the same powerful eye drops used during cataract surgery, which is far more invasive than LASIK. As a result, it is considered a painless procedure.
How soon can I go back to work?
Although you will be able to see immediately after LASIK eye surgery, our surgical team will instruct you to go home and “rest” your eyes following the procedure.
A mild sedative, such as Valium, will be prescribed for those who are nervous about the procedure or need assistance in taking a nap afterward. After returning to Clear Advantage Vision Correction Center for a quick 1-day follow up exam, most patients return to work the day after surgery.
How often do I need to return to Clear Advantage Vision Correction Center for my follow up care?
Follow up appointments are critical in monitoring your progress after surgery. Although a large majority of our patients do not have any complications after surgery and are enjoying their lives without contact lenses or glasses, it is imperative that you are seen on a regular basis after surgery.
Your follow-up appointments will be as follows:
- Surgery Day
- The day after surgery (1-day follow up)
- One week after surgery
- One month after surgery
- Three months after surgery
- One year after surgery
Can I see my regular doctor for my follow up visits?
We work closely with over 475 optometrists in the surrounding area. If traveling to our office for follow up appointments is an issue, chances are your regular eye doctor is already part of our network.
If you do not have a regular eye doctor, we may be able to find a doctor in your area that is willing to provide your follow-up care at no additional charge to you.
What are the most common side effects of laser vision correction?
A small number of patients have reported fluctuating vision, night glare, and dry eyes during the first few weeks after LASIK. However, these side-effects are greatly reduced with our advanced screening and treatment technology, such as the Orbscan.
For example, we measure the size of your pupils and the thickness of your cornea to prevent night vision problems. Advanced or Customized LASIK procedures also reduce the likelihood of glare and halos at night for those with larger pupils or more significant prescriptions.
Will I still need glasses after my LASIK procedure?
For most patients, LASIK eye surgery will correct refractive errors so much, that they no longer require the use of their eyeglasses or contacts. However, the need for reading glasses occurs naturally in most people in their early 40’s whether they are nearsighted, farsighted, or normal.
Laser vision correction can be calibrated to avoid reading glasses after 40 if one eye is kept slightly nearsighted – this is called Monovision LASIK.
What is “Monovision LASIK”? Is it a good option for people who wear bifocal contacts or glasses?
The simple answer to this question is “maybe”. Although LASIK, PRK, and Advanced LASIK treatments can achieve perfect vision, you still could develop a condition called presbyopia typically between the ages of 40 and 50. Presbyopia is the inability of the eye to focus at all distances, usually noticed when the fine print starts to blur.
Presbyopia is said to be caused by the hardening and thickening of the natural lens of the eye (crystalline lens), which is located inside the eye. Normally, both your eyes work together equally when you look at an object, to produce what’s called binocular vision.
However, you probably have a dominant eye that your brain tends to favor (most right-handed people are right-eye dominant, for example). Optometrists often take advantage of this”one-eye dominance” to produce Monovision.
Many people who require bifocals already have tried Monovision using contact lenses. When using contact lenses to demonstrate Monovision, one eye is fitted for distance vision (typically the dominant eye) and one for near vision. LASIK treatments can be performed in the same manner, essentially treating both eyes for distance, but leaving the non-dominant eye slightly “under-corrected” to produce a dominant eye for near vision.
Not everyone likes their vision treated this way, so if Monovision is not an option, you would be treated for distance vision and both eyes and require reading glasses after surgery.
Is LASIK permanent?
Yes, the laser permanently etches the correct shape to your cornea.