Whether you are a candidate for LASIK surgery after speaking with your eye doctor or just starting to learn about the procedure, you likely have some questions about this procedure as an alternative to glasses and contact lenses.
Let’s go over the most frequently asked questions about LASIK surgery and the most essential information you need to know before moving forward.
What Is LASIK?
LASIK surgery is a type of laser eye surgery used to correct refractive eye conditions. LASIK surgery has been around for decades, with the FDA approving the first laser for LASIK surgery in 1998.
What Conditions Can LASIK Treat?
LASIK treats refractive eye conditions, a type of vision error that makes it challenging to see without glasses or contacts.
Refractive eye conditions include:
LASIK surgery is effective for treating mild to moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Am I A Candidate For LASIK?
If you have a refractive eye condition, you might wonder if you are a candidate for LASIK surgery. There are several factors one must keep in mind when considering if LASIK surgery is right for you.
First, LASIK is only effective for treating mild to moderate refractive eye conditions. If your prescription is too high, you might not be eligible for LASIK.
Significant eye problems aside from refractive eye conditions may disqualify you from receiving LASIK surgery. If you have struggled with corneal ulcers, keratoconus, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, you are likely not a good candidate for laser eye surgery.
We offer free LASIK screenings so you can find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK. Even if you are not a LASIK candidate, our Newsom Eye team offers alternative solutions to correct your vision and reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts.
How Does LASIK Work?
During LASIK surgery, your Newsom Eye ophthalmologist uses a laser to reshape your cornea. After your provider reshapes your cornea, incoming light will then correctly hit your retina, allowing you to see clearly.
Your Newsom Eye ophthalmologist follows a systematized process to complete your LASIK surgery. They follow the following steps.
- The surgeon will numb your eyes using specialized eye drops as well as medicine to help you relax during your procedure.
- The surgeon will use a speculum to keep your eyelids open during the procedure.
- The surgeon will use the first laser to create the corneal flap.
- You will look at a target light while the surgeon sends light to your cornea through the 2nd laser. These pulses are the force that reshapes the cornea.
While LASIK is a multi-step process, it takes less than 10 minutes per eye.
Will I Be Awake During LASIK Surgery?
Yes, you will be awake during LASIK surgery since your eyes need to stay open throughout the procedure. Patients report little to no pain associated with LASIK. Topical anesthetic eye drops will be administered prior to and through the duration of the laser treatment to prevent any possibility of discomfort and to keep you relaxed.
LASIK Surgery Over 40
While you can get LASIK surgery at any adult age, there are a few unique considerations to review before getting laser eye surgery over 40. Statistically, after the age of 40 you are more prone to eye problems than those under 40. It is possible to get LASIK surgery at age 40 and beyond, but you should talk to your doctor and ensure you are a good fit for this procedure.
LASIK Surgery Under 18
To get LASIK surgery, you need to be at least 18 years old. Our team advises that patients wait until their early to mid-twenties to get surgery because the eye is still developing and changing up until you reach this age. It is best to wait until you’ve had a stable prescription for at least one to three years.
Can You Get LASIK With Astigmatism?
Contrary to popular belief, you can get LASIK surgery if you have mild to moderate astigmatism. LASIK can be a very effective treatment for astigmatism.
Does LASIK Have Side Effects?
LASIK is known to be a highly effective surgery for those who are good candidates for the procedure. Side effects of LASIK are usually minimal and can include:
- Dry, itchy eyes
- Light sensitivity
Certain medical conditions can increase your risk of side effects from LASIK surgery. While discussing the surgery with your doctor, they will ask you about any existing conditions and consider how they may affect you if you decide to get LASIK. The doctor will measure your eyes, perform a thorough examination, and take other precautions to ensure that you are a great candidate for LASIK and minimize your risk of severe side effects.
Are There Alternatives To LASIK?
While LASIK is the most common type of eye procedure used to treat refractive eye conditions, there are numerous alternatives to LASIK for those who are not good candidates for this type of laser eye surgery.
Some examples include:
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a great solution for those who are not ideal candidates for LASIK. PRK can be preferred to LASIK, particularly for patients who have hobbies or careers with a high risk of physical contact to the eye. Additionally, it is a suitable solution if your cornea is too thin for LASIK because unlike LASIK, PRK does not require the creation of a protective corneal flap. PRK is a great solution to your vision problems so you can eliminate your need for glasses and contacts.
- The Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) is an artificial lens that is placed in your eye and sits between the iris and your natural lens. This is a great alternative to both LASIK and PRK. The EVO ICL corrects nearsightedness and astigmatism and can eliminate your need for contact lenses or glasses. Inside the contact lens is collamer, which is biocompatible and made of collagen which is naturally found in our eyes and body. The EVO ICL procedure is performed by one of our Newsom Eye Ophthalmologists in an AAAHC-accredited surgery center and the procedure takes only fifteen minutes per eye.
Our team offers the latest technology and options in vision correction solutions. Discover the options and determine which solution best serves your needs, lifestyle, and hobbies
LASIK surgery is one of the most popular elective surgeries in the United States. Our team has helped thousands of people just like you enjoy their best vision with LASIK at Newsom Eye. You Deserve NEWSOM EYES! Schedule your appointment today.