LASIK Eye Surgery FAQ

Do you have LASIK eye surgery questions? Well we’ve got answers! Browse the questions below to get answers to some of the most common questions about LASIK eye surgery! From the cost of a LASIK eye surgery to LASIK eye surgery recovery!

Q: What is LASIK?

A: LASIK is a brief, surgical procedure that is intended to reduce a patient’s need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. LASIK utilizes a powerful laser to reshape your cornea, which enhances your vision. While LASIK doesn’t always completely eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contacts, it greatly reduces one’s dependence on them.

Q: How much does LASIK cost?

A: According to a recent survey, the average cost of LASIK was $2,170 USD per eye in 2010. A number of factors can affect the cost of your LASIK procedure, including the type of instrument used to create the corneal flap, whether or not your medications and examinations are covered in the fee, the skill and reputation of your surgeon, and your geographic location.

Q: What are the risks of LASIK?

A: LASIK comes with a few serious risks that you should be aware of. Some patients lose vision or require additional treatments (only a few achieve 20/20 vision without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses). Some patients also develop dry eye syndrome, a condition in which the eye does not produce enough tears to adequately lubricate itself — this condition may become permanent in some cases. It is recommended that you consult your eye doctor regarding all of the risks of LASIK eye surgery before you have the procedure.

Q: How can I prepare for LASIK?

A: Before the surgery your eye doctor will need to perform a baseline examination to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery. If you wear contacts, it is recommended that you stop using them a couple of weeks before the baseline examination and use your eyeglasses. Contact lenses affect the shape of your cornea and this could affect the results of the LASIK procedure. It is also recommended that the day before the surgery you do not use creams, lotions, makeup, or perfumes since they can increase the risk of infection both during and after the surgery. You will also need to arrange for transportation after the surgery.

Q: What can I expect during LASIK?

A: LASIK eye surgery typically takes less than 30 minutes. Your physician will place numbing drops in your eye to reduce any discomfort you may experience. Keep in mind that while your eyes may be numb, you may feel some mild pressure during the procedure. Once your doctor begins using the laser to reshape your cornea, you may notice a smell similar to that of burning hair — this is normal. After the surgery your doctor will provide you with eye protection to keep your eyes from being damaged from intense light or sunlight.

Q: What is the recovery time for LASIK?

A: You should notice the results of LASIK immediately after the procedure. It is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that you wait 1-3 days before participating in any non-contact sports, avoid the use of lotions, creams, or makeup around your eyes for up to two weeks, and avoid swimming for up to two months. Contact sports should also be avoided for at least four weeks after your surgery. The most common side effects of LASIK eye surgery are fluctuations in vision (up to six months after the surgery), difficulty driving at night (up to a month), and dry eyes (up to a month). You should consult your physician if you have any of these side effects lasting longer than normal.

Q: What can I expect after LASIK?

A: After the surgery you may notice that your eyes slightly burn or itch; it is VERY important that you do not rub or touch your eyes in any way. Doing so could severely damage your eye since it has not fully healed. You may also experience sensitivity to light, glare, or bloodshot eyes. Your doctor will also likely give you medicated eye drops to use for the first few days after surgery.

Q: What are the alternatives to LASIK?

A: LASIK has a number of surgical and non-surgical alternatives. Surgical alternatives include conductive keratoplasty, implantable lenses, and orthokeratology. On the non-surgical side of alternatives, you may consider eyeglasses or contacts. When deciding on the right alternative to LASIK, it is highly recommended that you consult your eye doctor.

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