LASIK is the most popular refractive surgery available today. Each year, more than one million LASIK procedures are performed in the United States.
LASIK has become the premier surgery for vision correction because it’s quick and painless, there is little or no discomfort after the procedure and vision recovery is rapid – within 12-24 hours in some cases.
LASIK corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. With a special technique called Monovision, it can also reduce the need for reading glasses among patients over age 40 who wear bifocals.
Q: Am I a good candidate for LASIK?
A: Laser eye surgery isn't for everyone. Here are six guidelines to help you decide if LASIK is right for you:
To find out if you’re a good candidate for LASIK, call our visit at 562-904-1989 to schedule your complimentary LASIK exam.
LASIK can reduce your dependence on glasses and almost always gives you the ability to function well without the need for glasses or contact lenses. Not everyone is a candidate and should be properly tested.
Remember: LASIK is an elective procedure, not a required one.
The LASIK Procedure:
LASIK is an outpatient procedure. The actual surgery usually takes less than 15 minutes for both eyes, but expect to be with us for at least an hour or more.
LASIK is a two-step procedure. In the first step, the surgeon creates a thin, hinged flap of tissue on your cornea with an instrument called a microkeratome or with a laser. This flap is folded back and the second step – the laser reshaping of your eye – begins. After the laser treatment, which usually takes less than a minute, the flap is repositioned and the surgeon moves on to your other eye.
Q: What is wavefront LASIK?
A: Wavefront LASIK (also called wavefront-assisted, wavefront-guided or custom LAISK) means the laser treatment (or “ablation”) is determined by a computerized mapping of the power of your eye called wavefront analysis. Wavefront-guided procedures are more precise than ablations determined by using only an eyeglasses prescription, and they can correct subtle optical imperfections of the eye called “higher-order aberrations” that regular ablations can’t treat. Several studies show wavefront-guided ablations provide sharper vision than conventional, non-wavefront LASIK and may reduce the risk of nighttime glare and halos.
Q: What should I expect after LASIK surgery?
A: You can open your eyes and see well enough to walk without glasses, but you must have someone drive you home. Rest when you get home from surgery that day. You may also be more comfortable if the lights in your house are dimmed. Using medicated eye drops several times a day for a week or so to protect your eyes from infection and help your eyes heal properly. Also use artificial tears frequently to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. The following day, you should be seeing well enough to drive and can resume most activities. Do not to rub your eyes. You will have a 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 month and 1 year post-operative exams. Post-operative exams allow Dr. Brown to check your vision and healing. At this visit, you typically will be given additional instructions about using eye drops and artificial tears.
Q: Do I need an annual eye exam after LASIK?
A: Yes, it is important to continue to have routine eye exams after LASIK. Even if your vision is perfect, you still need to have your eyes checked for glaucoma and other potential problems.
Q: What if my vision is still blurry after LASIK?
A: Though most patients see quite clearly in a matter of days after LASIK, it can take several months before your eyes are completely stable. Until then, improvements in your vision still occur. Your vision may fluctuate from day to day, a few things are happening:
1.) Your brain is trying to adjust to the new images being projected to the retina.
2.) Your eyes may be dry, though they don’t feel dry applying artificial tears more frequently in the first month will help.
It is rare, but if several months pass and your vision are still blurred, usually a second LASIK surgery (enhancement) can sharpen your eyesight further. If for some reason an enhancement is not desired, eyeglasses or contact lenses may help.
Q: What type of eyewear should I purchase after LASIK?
A: Keep in mind that, even if your vision seems perfect after LASIK, you still need to protect your eyes from the sun (whether you have LASIK or not).
When outdoors, it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays with sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.
If you play sports when wearing sunglasses, make sure the lenses have polycarbonate lenses for extra protection. Any time you’re working with power tools or doing anything else when an eye injury is possible, wear safety glasses with polycarbonate lenses.
If you’re over 40 (or soon will be), it’s likely you’ll need reading glasses after LASIK, unless you have selection Monovision LASIK.
We are happy to serve all your eyewear and eye care needs before and after your LASIK. Our LASIK patients receive 30% off all our designer frames. Call Brian M. Brown M.D., at 562-904-1989 to find out more information.