Going into any medical procedure, it’s natural to have a few questions that you would like to ask your surgeon. Here are some answers to your top LASIK questions to help ease your mind.
How Does LASIK Work?
LASIK is a simple and safe procedure that corrects blurry vision caused by common refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (an irregularly shaped cornea). LASIK consists of a doctor creating a flap in the cornea with either an instrument called a microkeratome or, in All-Laser LASIK, a laser. Next, the flap is gently lifted and the cornea is reshaped by removing a specific amount of tissue with a laser. The flap is laid back down and the healing process begins immediately.
Does LASIK Hurt?
The simple answer is no, LASIK does not hurt. Numbing drops are applied to the eye before the procedure; during you’ll feel pressure on your eye which may cause some discomfort, but no pain. After LASIK, you may experience a strange sensation in your eyes, but still no pain. Some patients experience dry eyes after LASIK. This is commonly treated with simple lubricating drops. A treatment called a comfort plug is available for patients who are worried about dry eyes due to pre-existing conditions.
How Long Will My Eyes Take to Recover?
Most patients will have blurry vision immediately after the procedure. However, patients with very high prescriptions will notice an improvement as soon as they sit up from the operating table. The next day, vision is dramatically improved. Most people will have recovered enough to return to work, school, and other normal activities comfortably. The time needed for full recovery varies by patient, but most people will feel 100 percent better within several days. Check out our recommended post-LASIK activity schedule.
How Long Does LASIK Last?
LASIK is permanent and your corrected vision is likely to last for the rest of your life. While the procedure is permanent, a few patients will experience regression, in which a portion of their prescription returns. In this case a touch-up procedure can be performed later in life to regain perfect vision. LASIK will not prevent you from getting presbyopia, which is the age-related eye condition that causes most people in their 40s to need reading glasses. Other age-related eye problems, such as glaucoma or cataracts, may still occur. These conditions are unaffected by LASIK.
Have more LASIK questions? Check out our Ask an Expert page, full of helpful answers to frequently asked questions. Have questions specific to your eyes? Come in for a free consultation and ask all the questions you want about your eyes and what procedure is right for you.