The 3 Stages of LASIK

Dilated eye after LASIKLASIK is a fairly straightforward procedure. It only takes about 15 minutes overall and the recovery time is quick and virtually painless. However, it’s still important to have a well-rounded understanding of what you’re getting yourself into. Here’s what to expect before, during, and after your LASIK procedure.

What Happens Before LASIK

Before you can even prepare for the surgery itself, you will need to prepare for the LASIK consultation. This exam will determine if you qualify for LASIK. It’s important to not wear contacts for about a couple weeks before the exam. This is because contact lenses actually change the shape of your cornea, so in order to be examined accurately, they will need to be given time to revert back to its natural state.

The exam will include:

  • A discussion on the risks of the surgery,
  • How it can help you,
  • Your medical history including medications you’re currently on and any eye injuries or conditions you’ve had or now have, and a more in-depth look at what happens before, during and after LASIK.

Shortly before the procedure, usually at least one day, you will need to stop using anything that is applied topically to your face (think makeup, lotion, perfume). Any foreign chemicals or debris on your face can cause an infection.
You will not be allowed to drive directly after the surgery because your vision may be impaired. Make sure to get a ride from someone, or be prepared to get an Uber!

What Happens During LASIK

During LASIK, your eye will be numbed, so don’t be afraid of feeling pain. You will only feel a slightly uncomfortable sensation for a short time while a device called an excimer laser creates a flap in your cornea. If you are still nervous, you may be given some anti-anxiety medication before. As was said before, the entire surgery should take about 30 minutes, but you may be kept a little longer to rest before leaving.

What Happens After LASIK

After you are brought home, it’s very important to rest. Don’t expect to do any heavy lifting or play any intense sports for about a month. Your eyes will be very delicate, and the flap that was created will be prone to tearing if you don’t allow it to heal properly. Wear the eye shield that you’re given while sleeping for the first few days to protect yourself from rolling over and damaging your eye.

You will have a follow-up exam the day after the surgery to make sure everything is progressing normally. After that, expect to have regular checkups over the next 6 months.

While you should be able to see right after the surgery, it’s not uncommon for your vision to be blurry for a few days, and for there to be some fluctuation for a few months. You shouldn’t experience any severe pain, only mild discomfort and maybe some itching or burning. DO NOT rub your eyes. This can cause the flap to tear open.

If you experience any intense or painful symptoms, do not hesitate to call your eye care professional. All in all, it may take up to 6 months for your vision to completely stabilize, so don’t panic if it seems to be taking longer.

Call Us to Find out What LASIK Can Do for You

This post won’t help you the same way a face-to-face visit will. Everyone’s eyes are different, so it’s important to get a professional opinion. New England Eye Center is here to make a difference in your eyesight. Contact us at our Boston, MA office to book a LASIK consultation today!

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