If you’ve ever dreamed about seeing without contact lenses or glasses, you should consider having LASIK. The LASIK procedure is minimally-invasive and can give you incredible vision and eliminate the need for traditional visual aids.
However, before you can get LASIK, though, you need to have a LASIK consultation. You’ll be evaluated as a candidate for the procedure during your consultation.
You’ll also be able to learn more about LASIK and how it works. But knowing a little about the LASIK procedure before you go in for your consultation can be helpful. Keep reading for some things you should know about LASIK before your consultation!
LASIK Means Visual Freedom
When most patients have LASIK, their goal is to be able to see without contact lenses or glasses. The vast majority of LASIK patients achieve that goal.
Over 95% of LASIK patients have 20/20 vision or better after their LASIK procedure. After you have LASIK, you can look forward to living your life without the many inconveniences of glasses and contact lenses.
You’ll have visual freedom because you can see with your own two eyes! Who wouldn’t want to wake up every morning with crystal-clear vision?
LASIK is a Quick Outpatient Procedure
LASIK is a relatively simple outpatient vision correction procedure. You’ll go home once it’s complete. The procedure itself only takes a few minutes per eye. Here’s how it works:
- First, you’ll have your eyes numbed with eye drops
- After the numbing eye drops take effect, your LASIK surgeon will create a flap in the cornea with a femtosecond laser to provide access to the cornea
- With the cornea exposed, your surgeon then uses an excimer laser to shape the cornea to correct your specific refractive error by removing tiny amounts of tissue in particular areas
- Once the procedure is complete, the corneal flap is replaced. The flap acts as a natural bandage that protects the eye as it heals. It eventually fuses back with the rest of your eye without needing stitches or sutures
With the flap replaced, the procedure is complete. Because of the numbing eye drops, you don’t feel any pain during LASIK.
LASIK only takes about 20 to 30 minutes in total. After it’s over, you’ll spend some time in a recovery room, and then you can go home.
Most People Qualify for LASIK, But Not Everyone
About 85% of patients who get evaluated for a LASIK procedure make good candidates for the procedure. If you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, chances are you’ll qualify for LASIK.
There are some factors necessary to be a good LASIK candidate. Some of these include being at least 18, in good health, and you should have a stable prescription, meaning it hasn’t changed in at least a year.
You can get a good idea of if you’re a good candidate before your consultation, but there are some things that you can’t evaluate on your own. One significant factor is that your cornea needs to be thick enough to accommodate creating a corneal flap.
LASIK can be dangerous if your cornea is too thin, meaning you won’t qualify for LASIK. During your evaluation, you’ll have your corneas measured, along with your pupil size and tear production.
You’ll likely be a good LASIK candidate if you meet the initial qualifying factors, but there’s a chance you may not be. You may qualify for an alternative vision correction procedure if that’s the case. Talk to your eye doctor to discuss alternatives if you aren’t a good LASIK candidate.
LASIK Has a Short Recovery Time
After getting LASIK, you can return to many of your usual activities the day after the procedure. Discomfort from the procedure usually only lasts a few days at most.
Your vision will continue improving in the weeks after LASIK. During this time, you can live your life normally, but you do have to be careful to avoid getting anything near your eyes.
This means you must be careful to wear eye shields at night and avoid certain activities, like wearing eye makeup and playing contact sports. After a month, most patients’ eyes will feel completely normal.
The eyes won’t be fully healed until 3-6 months after LASIK, but during this time, you’ll notice your eyesight continuing to improve. You’ll still see significant visual improvement immediately after LASIK, but your vision will only improve until you reach your peak vision once your eyes are fully healed.
While you won’t see the full results of LASIK until a few months later, you’ll be able to recover and get back to your life without any discomfort in almost no time at all.
LASIK is Permanent
A LASIK procedure doesn’t “wear off.” It permanently changes the shape of your eye.
As long as your prescription is stable before the procedure, which it has to be to qualify, your vision will continue to be incredible for years and years to come after getting LASIK.
Now, it is true that you can still get age-related eye conditions that may affect your vision, like presbyopia. Presbyopia can make it hard to see up close, so many people over 45 need reading glasses.
LASIK won’t prevent presbyopia or any other age-related vision problems, but it won’t stop you from treating those conditions. If you want the most out of your LASIK procedure, you should have it while you’re still young.
The younger you are, the more years of clear vision you can look forward to! Now that you know a bit more about LASIK, you can go ahead and schedule your commitment-free consultation!
Request your LASIK consultation at New England Eye Center in Boston, MA, and begin your journey to better vision!