LASIK is a life-changing eye surgery that treats a range of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. If you’re considering having LASIK done to improve your vision and help you ditch the glasses or contact lenses, here are a few things you should know about the procedure.
Your prescription needs to remain stable for one year prior to the LASIK procedure. If your prescription continually changes, it could mean you are dealing with an eye disease or another condition that would not make you a candidate for surgery. The goal of LASIK is to correct the refractive error present in the eyes at the time of the surgery.
The procedure isn’t painful. The surface of the eyes is numbed with anesthetic eye drops before the procedure. After surgery, most people have an increased sensitivity to light, dry eyes and a “gritty” sensation in their eyes. This is temporary and usually disappears within 1-2 days. Most patients are able to return to work at that time.
LASIK patients will see well the day after the procedure. The goal of LASIK is to reduce dependency on glasses and contact lenses. While there is no guarantee of perfect vision, the majority of patients see better than 20/30 without correction, and many see at 20/20 or better.
Most patients get both eyes treated at the same time. Treating the eyes together means only one healing period, minimizing discomfort and inconvenience. If you get only one eye done at a time, your doctor may have you wait for a certain period of time before having surgery on the other eye.
If you’ve been told you’re not a candidate for LASIK, there is another option. The implantable contact lens known as Visian ICL works with the eye to correct vision. It’s positioned inside the eye between the iris and the natural lens, where it stays indefinitely. If your vision changes dramatically, the implantable lens can be removed.