1. Does LASIK hurt? LASIK is performed with anesthetic eye drops which make the procedure virtually painless. You may feel a sensation of pressure during the procedure, but it is not typically described as painful.You may experience mild discomfort such as scratchiness, watering, light sensitivity or a sensation of something in your eyes after the eye drops wear off. Most discomfort can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers and should subside within 48 hours.

2. When can I go back to work?

We ask that you have someone drive you home after your procedure so you can rest your eyes – even if you experience vision improvement immediately after the procedure. Most patients see better the next morning and are able to drive. Depending on your occupation, you may be able to return to work within 24-48 hours.

3. What are the risks of LASIK?

When performed by a trained and experienced surgeon, LASIK is considered very safe. However, there are potential risks with any type of surgery, including LASIK. Serious sight-threatening complications are rare. LASIK risks can include:

  • Need for glasses or contacts
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Starbursts
  • Halos
  • Vision loss (in rare cases)

4. Will I ever need glasses again after LASIK?

LASIK is performed to change the shape of the cornea to correct a refractive error. It is considered a permanent procedure.While most patients do achieve 20/20 vision after LASIK, this type of vision outcome is not a guarantee. As a result, some patients may still need glasses after the procedure.

Even if you do achieve 20/20 or better vision after LASIK, you can still develop other vision conditions that may require you to wear glasses in the future. One such condition is presbyopia. This is a result of the normal aging process of the eye. The eye lens becomes less flexible, making it difficult to read things up-close. Reading glasses may be necessary to read restaurant menus, smart phones, books, medicine bottles and other fine print.

5. Will LASIK work for me?

Even if you have the same vision prescription as a friend or family member who has had successful LASIK, the only way to know for sure if your eyes are right for LASIK is by scheduling a LASIK screening with an experienced ophthalmologist. The doctor will check your eye measurements and analyze your eye health to identify any conditions that may interfere with healing.

Here are some general criteria for good LASIK candidates:

  • At least 20 years of age
  • Stable vision prescription for at least one year
  • Good eye health
  • No health issues that may affect your eyes
  • Tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses

6. What are the alternatives to LASIK?

Not every patient has the right vision characteristics or corneal thickness to support LASIK. The good news is that there are other procedures that may produce the same end result as LASIK.

PRK- Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)

Advanced Surface Ablation is the newest generation of Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) that utilizes the Visx Star S4 IR Active Trak Laser system and Custom Vue platform. It is designed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. ASA is recommended if your cornea is too thin for the LASIK procedure or you have significant dry eye. Both ASA and LASIK use the WaveLight EX500 Excimer Laser System treatment protocol, but no flap is created with ASA. Instead the laser is applied to the outer corneal tissue resulting in a longer visual recovery, more mild discomfort and several months of post-operative eye drops. ASA results at 6 months are comparable to LASIK results.

Visian Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)

Patients who are extremely nearsighted, or those that have thin corneas, may not be good candidates for laser vision correction. For those patients, the Visian ICL can provide clearer, sharper vision in a simple, 15-minute outpatient procedure. The foldable nature of the lens allows for surgery through a micro-incision that requires no stitches and can be performed by simply numbing the eye with drops. The Visian ICL is placed behind the iris and in front of the natural lens. Because of this unique location, vision is often described as excellent!

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

RLE may be the best alternative for patients with farsightedness, nearsightedness and who have presbyopia (the natural diminished focusing ability of the eye that occurs after age 40).Through a small incision, the lens is removed with ultrasound and replaced with an intraocular lens that is chosen based on your unique vision needs. RLE can achieve clearer distance and reading vision without glasses and eliminates the need for cataract surgery in the future.

If you have more questions about LASIK that aren’t addressed here, please schedule a complimentary LASIK screening consultation today so we can help you better understand this amazing procedure. LASIK screenings and LASIK surgery is performed by Dr. Rudd at his brand new LASIK center Aurora LASIK. Click here to learn more.

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