What is LASIK?
LASIK, short for Laser-Assisted-In-Situ Keratomileusis, is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
If you are tired of being dependent on eyeglasses or contact lenses to see, speak with our eye doctor to see if refractive eye surgery can be a good solution for you.
LASIK uses a laser to reshape the cornea to enable light entering the eye to properly focus onto the retina for clearer vision and correct the above conditions
Even though for many, LASIK is synonymous with refractive eye surgery, LASIK is not the only type of surgery you can get to correct your vision. Other common refractive eye surgery options include PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), SMILE (SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction) or LASEK (Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LASIK SURGERY?Khiem2020-06-24T12:12:22-07:00
- 20/20 or near 20/20 clear vision at distance or near, without the need for glasses or contact lenses (high-risk patients may only be able to get results comparable to their best-corrected vision but without glasses or contacts)
- Essentially painless
- LASIK surgery takes only about 10 minutes per eye
- Quick recovery time with no bandages or stitches – vision is corrected nearly immediately or within 24 hours of surgery
- Dramatic reduction of cost and dependency on glasses or contact lenses
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF LASIK OVER OTHER REFRACTIVE EYE SURGERIES?Khiem2020-06-24T12:11:55-07:00
Compared to PRK or LASEK, LASIK healing times are significantly shorter, with most LASIK patients returning to work and normal life very shortly after their LASIK procedures. Noticeable vision improvement after LASIK is virtually overnight, and it’s very common to treat both eyes on the same day.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF LASIK SURGERY?Khiem2020-06-28T21:33:30-07:00
LASIK surgery cost varies by location and providers but patients can anticipate to pay between $1,500 to $3,000 per eye. Insurance plans typically don’t cover the cost as this is considered an elective procedure. Financing option is usually available.
The fees typically cover:
- Pre-surgery care
- Surgery, including any medications given as part of the surgery
- Post-operative exams and care
- Follow-up “touch-up” surgeries (commonly called LASIK enhancement) if you do not get the vision correction you expect
HOW SOON CAN I RESUME NORMAL ACTIVITIES AFTER LASIK SURGERY?Khiem2020-06-24T12:10:17-07:00
Every patient is different and the surgeon will provide specific guidelines for your post LASIK care. For most patients, they can return to work and normal daily activities after 24 hours. Our optometrist will perform an eye exam after the day of the procedure to determine if you can resume driving. By the end of the first week, most may return to exercise and wear eye makeup. For contact sports, patients should wait at least one month.
For best surgery outcome, you are expected to have follow-up eye exams 1-day, 1-week, 1-month, 3-month, 6-month and 1-year after LASIK surgery.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH REFRACTIVE EYE SURGERY IS RIGHT FOR ME?Khiem2020-06-24T12:07:00-07:00
The surgeon will explain and help you decide if LASIK, PRK, SMILE, or LASEK is best for you during your complimentary pre-surgery consultation.
- PRK is a good option for patients with thinner, asymmetrical or irregular corneas as well as patients who are predisposed to chronic dry eye, and patients whose jobs or lifestyles cause them to take a lot of direct contact to the eyes. The visual results of PRK are comparable to LASIK and SMILE. PRK is considered to be the first generation of vision correction procedures with excimer lasers. The procedure involves reshaping the surface corneal tissue and not the inner corneal tissue like LASIK.PRK differs from LASIK in that no corneal flap is required but PRK has the longest recovery period out of all 3 laser surgeries.
- SMILE is often the right solution for patients with nearsightedness (it can’t correct farsightedness and astigmatism yet) and for those with thin corneas, dry eyes, or contact lens intolerance. SMILE causes less disruption of the corneal nerves than other laser vision procedures as it does not create a flap like with LASIK. As a result, you may have even lower chances of dry eye. However, SMILE takes a slightly longer time for recovery (1-2 days) when compared to LASIK (“instant” visual recovery).
WHAT ARE THE SIDE-EFFECTS AND RISKS OF LASIK?Khiem2023-06-07T13:10:12-07:00
Long-term complications are considered rare and generally result from poor pre/post-op care, wound healing or infections.
Most side-effects resolve themselves over time. They include:
- Halos around images
- Trouble driving at night
- Fluctuating vision
- Dry eyes
- Scratchy eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Small bruises on your eye
Our optometrists strongly recommend that moderate-to-severe dry eye patients treat their chronic dry eye symptoms seriously prior to doing any LASIK or refractive surgery. A stable tear film is crucial for the healing process in order to minimize long-term visual and comfort issues.
HOW LONG DOES LASIK LAST?Khiem2020-06-24T12:05:05-07:00
Though LASIK is meant to last a lifetime, your vision may still change with age and time. The following may still impact you, regardless of the type of refractive eye surgery you got:
- Under-correction: If you experience a refractive error, your doctor can adjust it and you can do a follow-up “enhancement” surgery to achieve the level of visual acuity you expect
- Eye health changes: eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy… etc. can still affect your vision
- Cataracts: cloudiness of the lenses due to aging
- Presbyopia: most people will struggle with the ability to clearly focus up close after age 35-40 and may still need reading glasses
How can my optometrist help me decide if I want LASIK or refractive eye surgery?
During your comprehensive eye exam, our optometrist can discuss and review:
- Refractive surgery options
- Eye history and refractive stability
- Medical evaluation of the cornea
- Eyelid health and tear film evaluation to minimize dry eye risk post-surgery
- Lifestyle, motives, age and timing of surgery
Once you are determined as a suitable candidate, your information will be forwarded to Dr. Thomas Tooma and his team at NVISION® Eye Centers for a complimentary consultation with the surgeon, who will further go over the actual surgery details and financing options.
If you choose to proceed with surgery, all pre and post-operative care will be managed by our optometrist. We will conduct regular follow-up eye exams to monitor visual outcomes and the health of your eyes in order for you to keep your eligibility in the NVISION Lifetime Commitment guarantee.
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