What Getting LASIK is Really Like
Are you considering having LASIK? The prospect of achieving visual freedom can sound incredible but also a little daunting.
When you get LASIK, it’s all about your results and enjoying crystal clear vision and freedom from visual aids like glasses and contact lenses.
LASIK has high patient satisfaction rates of over 96%, but it’s natural to wonder what it’s like to get it. Thanks to an extensive consultation that ensures only candidates can undergo LASIK, the process of getting LASIK is simple. The procedure itself is also quick, low risk, and pain-free.
Keep reading to learn more about what getting LASIK is really like and find out if it may be the right vision correction procedure for you!
Before you can get LASIK, you need to schedule a LASIK consultation. Having a LASIK consultation with your eye doctor at the Nielsen Eye Center is the only way to determine if you’re a good LASIK candidate.
Although many factors go into LASIK candidacy, at the very least, you have to be 18 even to consider getting LASIK. You also need to have a stable prescription that’s remained unchanged for a minimum of a year to ensure the best possible results.
Your LASIK consultation will make sure that you and your eyes are in reasonably good health and that there’s nothing that may make it harder to heal after having the procedure or anything that might make it less effective. The majority of people who get evaluated for LASIK, about 85%, end up being approved for surgery.
If you aren’t approved for LASIK, there may be an alternative vision correction procedure that you’re a better candidate for, like PRK or the Visian ICL. Talk to your eye doctor about alternatives if you find out that you don’t qualify for LASIK.
But if you are a good candidate for LASIK, you can then schedule your procedure within just a few weeks.
The most important thing you need to do before having LASIK is to stop wearing your contact lenses when you’re told to. Wearing contacts regularly changes the shape of your eye.
The effect is minimal, but it can interfere with how your eye shape is measured and modified during LASIK. Your LASIK surgeon will give you more specific instructions on just how long you need to go without wearing contacts, but you’ll generally have to go 1 week without contacts, depending on what kind of contacts you wear.
You may also have to take eye drops to prepare your eyes before having LASIK. Usually, you only need to take these drops the day before.
Besides taking eye drops, there isn’t much you have to do the day before surgery. LASIK doesn’t require general anesthesia, allowing you to eat normally.
On the day of your LASIK procedure, you must come with a clean face. Ensure there is no makeup, lotions, perfumes, or any residue on your face.
You will need to find a friend, family member, or Uber that can drive you to have LASIK, as you won’t be able to drive yourself home after it’s complete. LASIK is an outpatient procedure, so you’ll go home the same day you get surgery.
Because numbing eye drops are used, your vision may be blurry, making it unsafe to drive. You may also get a mild sedative. You may want to have your ride stay while you’re having LASIK so they can easily bring you home after you’re cleared to leave.
Once you’re checked in on the day you’re scheduled to have LASIK; you’ll fill out some standard intake forms before being taken to the room where the procedure is performed. Your LASIK surgeon may give you a sedative to help you relax.
Then they’ll numb your eyes using eye drops so that you won’t feel any pain during LASIK. After the eye drops spread over the surface of your eye and numb them, your LASIK surgeon will begin by creating a flap in your cornea.
The cornea is the transparent front part of your eye. They’ll create the flap using a small ring and a laser. You may feel slight pressure when the flap is made, but it’ll only last a few seconds.
After creating the flap, your surgeon will then use a pre-programmed excimer laser to reshape your cornea under the flap. Reshaping your cornea will correct any refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
After reshaping the cornea on both eyes, your LASIK surgeon simply replaces the flap on the cornea. There are no bandages or stitches used. The flap acts as a natural bandage and will eventually fuse back with the rest of the cornea.
Many LASIK patients notice an immediate improvement right after LASIK, but it can also take a day or two. In the days and weeks after LASIK, your vision will only get better.
As the numbing eye drops wear off, your eyes may feel itchy, dry, or uncomfortable. These are all normal reactions as you heal after LASIK and will go away on their own.
Any feelings of discomfort should begin dissipating a day or two after the procedure. Most people go back to work the day after having LASIK.
You’ll need to use eye drops to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. You’ll also need to attend follow-up appointments, with the first one occurring the day after your procedure. These appointments are quick and help ensure your eyes have started to recover properly.
During this initial recovery time, you’ll have to avoid wearing eye makeup and anything else you use on your face near your eyes. You shouldn’t use any pools or hot tubs, and be careful about getting running water near your eyes.
You can still exercise but stick to light or moderate activity for the first two weeks, and avoid contact sports that may result in head or face injuries. Within a month, you can get back to full-contact sports.
You’ll achieve your peak vision several months after LASIK once the corneal flap has fully healed. Up until this point, your eyesight will only continue to improve.
As you move past the initial recovery stage, the healing process is barely noticeable as your vision continues improving. Once you reach your peak vision, you’ll have decades of clear eyesight to look forward to. LASIK is one of the best investments you can make!
Ready to find out if LASIK is right for you? Schedule a LASIK consultation at the Nielsen Eye Center in Boston, MA!
Our Patient Advocates are waiting to answer any questions, so give us a call at 617-471-5665 and find out everything you need to know about vision correction!