LASIK questions and answers

— Staff Writer

Can LASIK make you go blind?

It is a myth that LASIK may cause blindness. There are no known cases of blindness caused by LASIK in the United States, either directly or as a complication of the procedure. It may be that the LASIK results are less than satisfactory, or correct vision impairment but reduce acuity. It should be remembered that LASIK has an excellent track record, but is still only 96 percent effective.

Are you awake during LASIK?

Patients are awake during the procedure, and may be required to comply with instructions, or provide feedback to help ensure success. A local anesthetic is given to the patient, and there should be no sense of pain or feeling in the eye.

Can LASIK surgery be covered by insurance?

LASIK is seldom covered by insurance as it is considered an elective surgery. Specialist insurance which deals with vision directly may cover certain procedures. However, there are many other options to help in financing. It is recommended to discuss your options with your preferred clinic.

How bad do your eyes have to be to get LASIK?

Ultimately, you will have to be tested. A determination can only be made by a trained professional. Simple vision scores such as 20/100 only describe acuity, or sharpness of vision. They do not include underlying conditions or impairments which might increase the need for corrective surgery, or make surgery impossible. Our recommendation is to go in for a free consultation if you are interested in improving your vision, and make a decision based on that information. It may be that LASIK is right for you, but that you will postpone your procedure until your vision has stabilized.

Should I have LASIK?

LASIK can greatly benefit people suffering from specific conditions, such as those which stem from a high refractive error. However, each individual must weigh the risks and rewards to come to a personal decision. Slight vision impairment which is corrected through low strength prescription glasses or contacts may not see improvement. It may be best to seek a free consultation to make an informed decision.

What is the best age to do LASIK?

Generally, the eyes reach a stable shape by the age of 25, meaning LASIK surgery should not be undone by continued growth. Due to potential complications, surgery is suggested for healthy individuals between the ages of 25 and 40. Additionally, it is best if a patient has had a stable prescription for two years or more.

What are the disadvantages of laser eye surgery?

It is possible that LASIK may result in the loss of a patient’s best vision. Though certain impairments may be corrected, the greatest level of acuity may be lost, especially that achieved through the use of prescription glasses and contacts.

Complications during surgery may also occur in certain procedures. When cutting the cornea, the created flap may be damaged, causing problems which may impair vision. Choosing a skilled surgeon may reduce this risk.

What is the success rate of laser eye surgery?

Although the success of surgery should not be reduced to a statistic, LASIK does enjoy a 96 percent success rate. This is accepted as quite high, and has resulted in LASIK being a widely accepted solution to common vision impairments.

Does LASIK surgery last a lifetime?

LASIK should be considered long lasting. Only 1-2 percent of patients seek an enhancement procedure within the first twelve months. Only one percent per year seek enhancement after the first twelve months. This amounts to 10 percent of patients requiring an additional procedure in the first 10 years.

Do you need reading glasses after LASIK?

LASIK is used generally to correct refractive errors and distance vision. Presbyopia is the common problem requiring patients to need reading glasses, and is an age related issue. Those under 40 are not likely to need reading glasses, though they may develop presbyopia as a natural part of the aging process.

Yes. It is possible to blink and move during the procedure, but the application of an anesthetic will reduce your blinking and movement. Although blinking is a common concern, it is seldom a problem.

Can you see anything during LASIK?

There is not much to see. Though you will be free to look around, the procedure is both short and simple. Some patients report a light pressure as the surgeon makes the corneal flap, but there is no pain, and no noteworthy activity.

Can I have coffee before LASIK?

It is best to avoid coffee or caffeinated beverages before your procedure. Coffee tends to dry out the eyes which can make the procedure less comfortable.

Does LASIK eye surgery hurt?

No. Patients are administered numbing eye drops which reduce movement and pain. At most, a light pressure may be felt during the procedure.

How many times can you get LASIK?

The number of procedures is determined by the amount of corneal tissue that can be reshaped, and general condition of the cornea, as well as other health factors. Most people have an average of two procedures, their primary corrective surgery and a following enhancement surgery. However, there is no set minimum or maximum.

Do I qualify LASIK?

LASIK is approved for people over the age of 18, however it is recommended that patients have a stable prescription for two or more years, and be healthy, and free of diseases, injuries, or infections. Ultimately, one should seek an expert opinion in a free consultation to make the final determination.

What prescription is too high for LASIK?

Excimer lasers used in LASIK procedures can correct up to the following: 5.00 diopters(D) of astigmatism, +5.00 D of farsightedness, and -11.00 D of nearsightedness.

How long does laser eye surgery take?

Most procedures last for roughly ten minutes per eye. The laser portion of the procedure takes less than a minute to make corrective adjustments to the eye. However, patients should set aside an hour and a half for their surgery.

What happens after laser eye surgery?

Following surgery, patients may report burning, itching, dryness, or something in their eye. Mild discomfort is expected, and a pain reliever may be recommended by your doctor. It is crucial that patients not rub their eyes, as it may dislodge the corneal flap, requiring surgery to repair the damage.

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Staff Writer

Hi! I'm a staff writer for Way to Vegas.