LASIK Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if I am a good candidate for LASIK?
A: A large percentage of nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatic patients are potential candidates for LASIK. Patients who are 18 years of age or older, have healthy eyes that are free from retinal problems, corneal scars, and any eye disease are suitable. Along with being medically suitable, the best candidates are people with a lifestyle or occupation in which they are dissatisfied with their contact lenses or glasses. By having an evaluation, examination, and consultation with you, the doctor will be able to determine if you are a good candidate.
Q: How Long Does LASIK Take?
A: In our practice, LASIK is performed as an outpatient procedure. The entire treatment takes about 5 to 7 minutes per eye or approximately 15 minutes for both eyes.
Q: Is the Effect of LASIK Permanent?
A: Yes. Following an initial healing period of two to three months, the effect of the treatment is lifelong.
Q: Will I Need Reading Glasses After the Treatment?
A: Generally, patients under 40 years of age read well without glasses following the treatment. Patients over 40 may need magnification for reading fine print. Presbyopia is the term that refers to the natural weakening of the focusing muscles that occurs in our early to mid 40s, causing us to need the magnification that reading glasses provide. The LASIK treatment does not correct or prevent presbyopia. We also will be glad to discuss another option called monovision.
Q How Many Times Do I Need To be Seen Following the Treatment?
A: Most patients are usually seen the day following the treatment, at one week, and then at least 1 month and 3 months following the treatment. Some patients require more visits. Remember, we are available 24 hours a day when you have any questions, concerns or need attention.
Q: How Soon After The Treatment Can I Bathe or Take a Shower?
A: Your physician will advise you as to the specific, however typically you can bathe the same day as the treatment but you should not shower for 2 days after the treatment. As always, avoid getting soap or water directly into your eyes. Avoid rubbing your eyes during the first month after surgery.
Q: When Can I Drive After The Treatment?
A: You should not drive the day of treatment. After that, you may drive when you feel confident that your visual acuity and eye comfort allow you to drive safely.
Q: How Soon Can I Use Eye Makeup?
A: You may resume wearing eye makeup starting 1-2 weeks after your treatment. We strongly recommend that you purchase new eye makeup, specifically mascara, to avoid potential infection following your treatment.
Q: How Soon After The Treatment Can I Exercise?
A: Non-contact sports can be resumed as soon as you feel capable. Eye protection is always recommended for racquet sports or rough sports where there is a risk of being hit in the eye.
Q: How Soon Can I Swim?
A: You should stay out of swimming pools for one week after your treatment, and rivers, lakes and oceans for two weeks following your treatment.
Q: What Kind of Anesthesia is Used During the Treatment?
A: Numbing eye drops are used. Sometimes an oral medication is used to help with relaxation. Don't worry -no needles or intravenous drugs are used.
Q: Can you Have Both Eyes Treated at the Same Time?
A: Treatment can be performed on both eyes on the same day. This decreases the troublesome effect of being nearsighted in only one eye between the two treatments. You may elect to have one eye done at a time.
Q: Does LASIK hurt?
A: The treatment itself is painless because we put a few numbing drops in your eyes to make you even more comfortable. You will feel pressure on and around the eye during treatment. With LASIK, some patients may experience a feeling of "something in the eye" for a day or so after treatment.
Q: Can I See the Treatment as it is Being Performed?
A: You will be "awake," but very relaxed. You will not be able to see any of the details of the treatment. You will see a number of lights, but the images will be blurred.
Q: Will I Experience Pain after The Treatment?
A: Some patients experience a feeling of burning or scratchiness. This feeling generally lasts from one to three hours following the treatment. Most people feel fine if they can take a nap soon after the treatment.
Q: How Soon After Surgery Will I See Well?
A: Each patient is different. The eye drop medications cause some blurring, but most patients notice a dramatic improvement even as they leave the office. More than 4 out of 5 patients can pass a driving test without glasses or contact lenses after the treatment.
Q: Will My Eyes be Patched?
A: No, but clear, protective eye shields will be placed over your treated eye(s) following the treatment, and will be removed in our office the next morning. You will continue to wear these eye shields at bedtime for 1 week for protection.
Q: When Can I Go Back To Work?
A: Most patients are back to work full-time the day after treatment. An additional day or two is rarely required before returning to work. If you can we, recommend that you take it easy for a couple of days.
Q: Will I Need Glasses or Contact Lenses After The Treatment?
A: The goal of refractive surgery is to reduce your dependence on glasses and/or contact lenses, but LASIK patients still may benefit from reading glasses or distance glasses when they desire perfect near or distance vision. A nominal percentage of patients wear a thin pair of prescription glasses for night driving.
Q: How Much Does Laser Vision Correction Cost? Can I Afford It?
A: The surgical fees vary depending on the type of laser vision correction you and your doctor choose. As compared with eyeglasses and contact lenses, LASIK can pay for itself in over several years. Eyeglasses usually have to be replaced once a year or so and contact lenses, depending on the type, can be extremely costly. Speak with our Refractive Surgery Coordinator for more information.
Q: What are the options to Pay for LASIK?
A: You can pay for the surgery upfront with personal check or credit card. You can also apply and pay through CareCredit. Many companies have implemented health care options that make elective surgeries such as LASIK an affordable alternative. These insurance programs are referred to as Flex Plans, cafeteria plans or alternative health plans. These plans designate a limited amount of pre-tax dollars to pay for the employees’ predetermined elective surgery. Generally the employee must decide which surgery they are planning to have and declare this to their employer. You can contact your human resource office to find out when your company's enrollment period begins.