If you’ve considered LASIK eye surgery before, but have some questions, these frequently asked questions (and answers) are very helpful.
1. Does LASIK Hurt?
Before the LASIK procedure begins, your eye is made numb by drops. While you may feel a pressure sensation as the corneal flap is being made, actual pain is rare. Any discomfort you may feel subsequent to the LASIK procedure will last only a few hours. Sleep and lubrication, as well as Tylenol or ibuprofen, are usually enough to counteract any discomfort.
2. Is 20/20 Vision Guaranteed?
As with any surgical procedure, there are no guarantees. Although the results are extremely good (95% of patients in national studies no longer need glasses for driving), the results of the procedure depend on your initial refraction, your own healing characteristics, and other factors. It is good to look at LASIK vision correction surgery as a way of achieving an extreme decrease in your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. If 20/20 vision is not obtained after the primary LASIK procedure, enhancements may be effective to further improve vision. 20/20 can only be achieved in patients who have the potential to obtain 20/20 vision. For example, LASIK performed on a patient with a lazy eye that can only see 20/40 will only achieve 20/40 best-corrected vision.
3. Can Both Eyes Be Done at Once?
LASIK is often done on both eyes at the same sitting. The results are so predictable and the procedure safe enough that most people undergoing LASIK surgery prefer to have both eyes done on the same day. The advantage of bilateral surgery is the convenience of having both eyes done at once. It also restores your balanced vision as quickly as possible, especially if you are unable to wear a contact lens in the unoperated eye.
4. Who Is a Candidate for LASIK Vision Correction?
You must be at least 18-years-old and have a stable prescription. Good candidates have myopia up to -14.00 or hyperopia up to +6.00. Your level of astigmatism may be as high as 6.00 diopters. You cannot be pregnant or nursing, have any unstable medical condition, or any uncontrolled eye diseases. It is also important that you have reasonable expectations.
5. How Long Will the Correction Last?
Once your eye has stabilized (which is about three months with LASIK and six months with PRK), your correction is permanent. Any additional need for glasses after that will be the result of normal aging processes that befall everyone and not due to any instability in the refractive procedure.