If you’re interested in getting a LASIK eye procedure, there are a few things to know before LASIK surgery. You’ll want to be clear on what to do before LASIK as well as what to expect during and after your procedure. Here is what to know about LASIK.
1. Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK. It’s important to choose an experienced surgeon before laser eye surgery for several different reasons. One of the top reasons for choosing a surgeon who has performed many LASIK procedures is the fact that some people just aren’t good candidates for LASIK surgery.
Even though LASIK is a common procedure, and over 700,000 Americans undergo the procedure each year, there are some situations in which LASIK is not a good match for you. Your surgeon should tell you if that’s the case for you.
Generally speaking, there are several reasons that can make you ineligible for LASIK, including:
Being under the age of 18
Having poor general health
Being pregnant or nursing
Having an eye disease or eye injury
Chronic dry eye
There may be other reasons that LASIK is not a good match for your eyes or your vision needs, but a professional eye surgeon will be able to tell if this is the case before laser eye surgery.
2. Be prepared before laser eye surgery.
It’s important that you know what to do before LASIK surgery
. Your surgeon will give you clear and specific instructions, but there are a few things to know before LASIK so you feel well prepared.
You will receive numbing drops and, if you’re nervous, a gentle sedation medication. There are no stitches or needles used in LASIK, and with bladeless LASIK, there are no blades either.
Because of sedation and possible blurred vision immediately following your surgery, it’s important to have transportation arranged to take you home safely.
Your eyes will need to rest immediately following your surgery, so be prepared to take a nap!
You should avoid wearing any perfumes, lotions, or makeup on the day of your surgery.
You will need to stop wearing contact lenses four to six weeks ahead of your surgery — duration will depend on the type of contacts you wear. Because contacts can alter the shape of your corneas, it’s important to avoid wearing them for several weeks to allow your corneas to return to their natural shape.
3. You’ll see results very quickly. A LASIK procedure is extremely fast—typically less than 30 minutes—and you’ll notice improved vision within the first several hours following surgery. Some patients even notice that their vision has improved as soon as they sit up following the procedure! As your eyes continue to heal, your vision will continue to improve.
4. You must follow the rules you’re given. Before surgery, you will need to follow some directions—like staying hydrated, not wearing contacts, and coming into surgery without anything on your face. After surgery, there will be some restrictions on what you can and can’t do as well—including holding off on certain activities, like swimming or heavy gym workouts, until your eyes have healed more. You’ll also need to wear eye shields for a short period of time.
It’s extremely important that you follow the LASIK preparation and recovery rules given to you by your doctor. Being cautious before laser eye surgery and after will help ensure that your eyes heal properly so you get the best vision correction results possible.
5. You may experience temporary side effects. One of the most important things to know before LASIK is that you may experience temporary side effects with your vision. This is perfectly normal and there’s no reason to panic. While your eyes are healing from your procedure, you may experience:
Halos or glare with bright lights
Fluctuations in vision quality
It’s helpful to keep your eye surgeon updated on any side effects you experience just so that they can monitor your healing. If you experience any pain, beyond mild discomfort 24 hours following your surgery, let your doctor know right away.
What to Know About LASIK
Most importantly, as you search for a LASIK surgeon, make sure you ask plenty of questions so you know what to do before LASIK eye surgery. Ask if they offer a complimentary initial consultation to evaluate your eyes before they give you more information. You should also ask about the surgeon’s experience, what vision correction they hope to provide for you, and what expectations you should have for your vision post-surgery.
Once you’ve chosen a highly qualified surgeon you feel good about, make sure you talk about what to expect during the LASIK procedure and how to prepare for recovery as well. Now that you are clear on what to know about LASIK, you should feel comfortable and confident preparing for your LASIK surgery. Get ready for better vision ahead!
Dr. Jeffrey Dello Russo boasts years of experience using cutting-edge LASIK eye surgery techniques
. Working alongside his esteemed father Dr. Joseph Dello Russo, Dr. Jeffrey has been active in both the creation and implementation of new LASIK surgical procedures, including bladeless laser surgery in 2002. He was also the very first LASIK eye surgeon to perform the operation in the wider New York region.
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