Frequently asked questions
How do I know if I am a good candidate for LASIK?
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 LASIK candidate.
Should I have a Custom LASIK eye surgery treatment or a conventional treatment?
The best treatment for you depends on the measurements we take from the Aberrometer and your other clinical measurements and vision complaints. This will indicate the presence and severity of aberrations, or distortions, which will necessitate a Custom Laser Eye Surgery treatment. You may have specific complaints that are related to the optical aberrations that are not corrected by your current glasses or contact lenses. Finally, Custom Laser Eye Surgery is usually indicated for anyone who has had previous corneal surgery.
How long does LASIK take?
In our practice, LASIK is performed as an office procedure in the comfort and convenience of an excimer laser eye surgery suite. The entire treatment takes about 5 to 7 minutes per eye or approximately 15 minutes for both eyes.
Is the effect of LASIK eye surgery permanent?
Yes. Following an initial healing period of two to three months, the effect of the treatment is lifelong. However, very high minus (nearsighted) patients are more at risk for regression of results.
Will I need reading glasses after the treatment?
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 changes in the focusing lens 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.
How many times do I need to be seen following the treatment?
How soon after the treatment can I bathe or take a shower?
Your LASIK Surgeon 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.
How soon can I drive after the treatment?
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.
How soon can I use eye makeup?
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.
What kind of anesthesia is used during the treatment?
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.
Can you have both eyes treated at the same time?
LASIK 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.
Is LASIK painful?
The LASIK 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. Your eyes may sting the first few hours after surgery. With LASIK, some patients may experience a gritty feeling of “something in the eye” for a day or so after treatment.
Will I be able to see the LASIK treatment as it is being performed?
You will be “awake” but very relaxed. You will not be able to see any of the details of the LASIK treatment. You will see a number of lights, but the images will be blurred.
Will I experience pain after LASIK?
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.
How soon after the surgery will I see well?
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.
Will my eyes be patched?
No, you only leave with a pair of sunglasses, and a protective shield you wear at bed time for about a week.
When can I go back to work?
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.
Will I need glasses or contact lenses after LASIK?
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.
Why should I have custom LASIK eye surgery when conventional LASIK eye surgery worked fine for my friends?
Conventional LASIK has provided excellent results for literally millions of people. However, if you are a patient who has unusual aberrations not readily corrected by conventional LASIK, customized laser eye surgery is the best choice for you. The best thing to do is to come in for a complimentary consultation and together, the LASIK surgeon and you, can determine which treatment option is necessary and best suited for your individual needs.
What is the real difference between conventional laser eye surgery and custom LASIK eye surgery?
Conventional laser eye surgery treats the vast majority of common optical aberrations called “lower order” aberrations. These are responsible for causing nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Custom LASIK eye surgery provides a more precise treatment for patients who have “higher order” aberrations or imperfections, which we can now measure with the Aberrometer. For these patients, customized laser eye surgery may provide a better quality of vision by measuring and addressing all of these aberrations as part of the treatment plan.