While almost everyone has heard of LASIK, far fewer actually know much about it. But if you’re thinking about having LASIK surgery, you want to have the right information about it.
LASIK is a far more common procedure than you may realize. It’s also far more accessible now than it’s been in the past.
But there’s also a lot of false or incomplete information out there. Keep reading for answers to some of the most common questions prospective patients ask about LASIK!
Is LASIK Safe?
Every surgery, no matter how minor, has risks. You should always be aware of these risks and measure your expectations.
But as far as surgeries go, complications with LASIK are pretty rare. The most common complications can also be easily avoided by properly caring for your eyes during recovery.
Most of the time, the worst that can happen is your surgery won’t entirely correct your vision. If this happens, you may need a touch-up procedure to fully correct your vision.
But you can easily avoid this by choosing a reputable, experienced surgeon.
While most people can get LASIK, 10-20% of patients that go in for a consultation don’t qualify. For these people, LASIK can be dangerous.
When you’re evaluating a surgeon or practice, be sure they screen out around 15% of patients. This is a good way to know that they make their patient’s safety a priority.
Does LASIK Hurt?
You do need to be awake for LASIK surgery. But you will receive numbing eye drops so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.
Some patients report a slight discomfort when the surgeon creates the corneal flap. This takes only a matter of seconds and is often described as a slight pressure against the eye.
It isn’t painful, but it may feel a little awkward. For the majority of the procedure patients report that they can’t feel anything.
Is My Prescription Too High for LASIK?
Some people assume that their prescription is too high for LASIK. LASIK can actually correct your vision dramatically, especially if you’re nearsighted.
The surgery can correct up to -11 diopters of nearsightedness. If you’re very farsighted or have a major astigmatism, LASIK may not be able to correct your vision fully.
It can correct up to +5 diopters of farsightedness and 5 diopters of astigmatism. So if you fall in these ranges, you’re probably a good LASIK candidate.
What if I’m Not a LASIK Candidate?
If you go in for a LASIK consultation and end up being screened out, it doesn’t mean you can’t have an alternative procedure. For instance, if your cornea is too thin for LASIK, you may be able to have PRK surgery.
PRK is a procedure that also uses an excimer laser to shape the cornea. But it doesn’t need the surgeon to make a corneal flap, so your cornea doesn’t need to be as thick.
PRK has a longer recovery period, but it’s just as safe and effective as LASIK.
Other alternatives include an implantable contact lens (ICL), refractive lens exchange (RLE), or Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE). If you’re not a LASIK candidate, be sure to ask your surgeon about these alternatives.
Wondering if LASIK is the right vision correction procedure for you? Schedule a LASIK consultation at New England Eye Center in Boston, MA and find out!