Everything You Need to Know about the LASIK Procedure: Part 1
There are thousands of patients thinking about having LASIK today, but they still have multiple questions. Last month we covered a few of them namely 1) the recovery time, 2) what makes a good candidate and 3) the safety of LASIK.
Now we will get a little more specific and highlight exactly what happens before LASIK and post LASIK. If you are one of those who wants to know more about laser vision correction before taking the plunge, let’s start with the steps leading up to surgery and what comes after so everything you need to know about the LASIK procedure will become a little clearer.
Your First Step: the Pre-Operative Evaluation
Here is where you find out if you are really a candidate. It’s the first step in your journey toward better vision. You already are familiar with the basics of what make you a good candidate, but until you go through the comprehensive consultation, you will not know for sure if you fit into that category.
Of course your visual acuity will be tested so your surgeon knows exactly the severity of your nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Once any eye diseases that affect your ability to have the procedure are eliminated, a series of painless tests will be taken. Among them:
- A topography or map of your cornea
- A wave scan of both eyes like a fingerprint to show their unique imperfections. This information is transferred to the laser for the ultimate treatment to correct your vision
- A measurement of the depth or your cornea
Just because you have poor eyesight does not mean you can safely have LASIK. You must undergo all the necessary tests to find out for certain.
Discuss your lifestyle and your expectations with your surgeon and make your decision.
Next Step: Preparing for LASIK
You decide you want to improve your life with LASIK! Now what must you do to prepare for the big day. Typically it includes the following:
- You cannot not wear contact lenses for a period of time prior to surgery. Two or more weeks is a common time period. If you have worn contacts for a particularly long time or if they are hard/ gas permeable lenses, then it could be longer. Contacts change the shape of your cornea and in order to achieve your desired visual results, your cornea needs to be in its natural state. Your surgeon will provide instructions.
- Wear warm and comfortable clothing on the day of surgery
- Do not wear any make-up, cologne, after shave on the day of surgery. Especially concentrate around your eyes, and be sure all eye makeup is thoroughly removed.
- Be sure to bring a driver to take you home after the procedure.
- Relax; your surgery is being performed by the best.
After the Procedure
Day of the procedure: once you are cleared to leave after the LASIK procedure, you will be instructed to go home and rest. At least a two hour nap is recommended after LASIK. Darken your bedroom and try to sleep.
You can take Tylenol or Advil to alleviate any post-surgical discomfort. Your eyes may feel scratchy or you may have a sensation there is something in your eyes. Once you awaken from your nap, this discomfort will be gone and your vision will be improving.
Expect your eyes to be dry so administer the moisture drops and any other medications you have been given as instructed. Relax the rest of the day and wear the sunglasses even inside.
Next day you will return for your day one post-operative exam and your vision will be much clearer. You may even be able to drive yourself, but use your best judgment.
During the next week to 10 days you will have certain restrictions.
- No swimming, or going into a hot tub
- Women should remove all eye makeup (this one is a bit shorter; just a couple days!)
- Do not rub or scratch your eyes
- Do not participate in any sports which could result in trauma to your eyes
- Stay out of smoky or dusty environments (don’t mow your lawn or clean out the garage!)
Otherwise, you can return all normal activities with a day or so. Your eyes will continue to heal over the next several weeks. Expect some fluctuation in your vision as you heal. This is perfectly normal.
You will return for post- operative appointments for the next few months and up to a year. It is essential that your vision and eye health are monitored during this time.
Now you are aware of everything you need to know about the LASIK procedure before and after.
The answers are getting clearer, now it’s time for your vision. Contact OptiVision Eye Care.