LASIK surgery is the poster child of modern vision correction. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, chances are you’ve considered undergoing the surgery yourself. Many people are on the fence and just need some solid information on what to expect to pull the trigger. Are you thinking about LASIK? This Q&A is for you!
What Is LASIK?
LASIK surgery is a laser vision correction procedure that corrects common refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
Is It Safe?
Yes! LASIK surgery has been around for years with little complication. Today, LASIK Surgery is extremely advanced and safe. Complication rates during and after LASIK are extremely low.
What Happens During LASIK?
LASIK surgery is fairly simple and very quick. To start out, your surgeon will use wavefront technology to create a detailed map of the surface of your eye. Then, they will create a thin, hinged flap on the cornea. This flap will be moved back to expose the inner layers of the cornea for reshaping. To reshape the eye, your surgeon will use an excimer laser. The excimer laser will systematically remove microscopic amounts of corneal tissue to reshape the eye. When the proper adjustments have been made, your surgeon will smooth the flap back over. That’s it!
Does It Hurt?
LASIK surgery is not very painful. Before the procedure, your surgeon will administer numbing eye drops to ensure you don’t feel pain. During the procedure, you may feel a bit of discomfort in the form of pressure on your eye. Immediately following the surgery, some patients report mild to moderate discomfort, usually described as a slight stinging sensation or pressure. This discomfort is temporary and usually disappears within 24-48 hours. We will give you pain medication should you need it.
How Long Is Recovery?
Recovery depends on the person, of course. However, you can expect to rest for the remainder of the day following your surgery. You must have someone drive you home the day of surgery and to your one day follow up appointment.
In the week following your surgery, you will be instructed to use multiple types of eye drops as well as abstain from activities like contact sports and swimming. Your doctor will let you know when it is safe to return to these activities.
In the next few weeks, you may notice some side effects like dryness and light sensitivity. Glare and halos also may occur at night or when driving. These side effects usually subside within a few weeks.
Will I Be Able to see without My Glasses or Contacts?
Most patients will be able to see without glasses or contacts following their Lasik surgery. Some patients with really bad eyesight prior to surgery may not be able to completely toss their glasses and contact lenses to the side, and may need them for certain activities. However, they should notice a marked improvement.
If you are interested in LASIK surgery, be sure to contact Balin Eye & Laser Center in Northampton, MA to schedule a consultation!