If you wear glasses, you know how inconvenient it can be. Sometimes, our eyes or lifestyles just aren’t cut out for contact lenses. Luckily, there are other options for vision correction like laser eye surgery.
Through a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist can determine if you’re a good candidate for LASIK—one of the leading laser eye surgery procedures today. They will be able to give you all the specific information for your situation, but let’s look at what this procedure is and what to expect from a LASIK consultation.
What is LASIK?
Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, is what most people think of when they think of laser eye surgery. Many people associate LASIK as the only type of laser vision correction. However, there are several other surgery options. LASIK is just the most common, primarily because of its high success rate and fast recovery.
LASIK is a two-step procedure that takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete on average. Before treatment, the surgeon instills a numbing drop in your eye and then uses a special device to hold your eyelids open.
Two separate computer-guided lasers are then used to assist the surgeon during the procedure. The first laser creates a thin corneal flap that the surgeon will treat underneath, while the second laser reshapes the underlying corneal tissue. These two lasers use special computers that input your eye’s prescription according to previous measurements and use prior treatment data to craft the perfect prescription for you onto your eye.
LASIK recovery is very quick. While full results can take up to six months, most patients drive their car the very next day with only minor, temporary side effects.
What to Expect at a LASIK Consultation
There are two parts to a LASIK consultation. First, your optometrist will perform a comprehensive eye exam and take a few additional measurements to decide whether you are a safe candidate for the LASIK procedure.
If you are a candidate, they will be able to discuss anything specific to your situation and schedule you for a consultation with an Ophthalmologist who performs the LASIK procedure.
Comprehensive Eye Exam
The comprehensive eye exam allows the eye doctor to rule out any eye conditions that may put you at a higher risk for complications from LASIK. It also enables them to get up-to-date eye measurements that determine the laser’s modifications.
The exam also tells the doctor what they will be correcting with the surgery. There are a few different things that LASIK can fix:
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- Hyperopia (farsightedness)
Discussing Your Options
Once the exam is completed, your eye doctor can explain how the procedure works. They will usually give you specific instructions for eye care on the days leading up to the surgery.
This is also a perfect time for you to ask any questions or have the doctor address any of your concerns about the surgery.
Preparing for Your Consultation
There isn’t much you need to do in preparation for the LASIK consultation. But here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The eye doctor will likely dilate your eyes for the exam, so finding transportation in advance is a good idea.
- Come prepared with any questions or concerns you have about the procedure. Some possible questions might be about: potential discomfort, pricing, recovery time, side effects, or eligibility.
Sometimes you aren’t a candidate for the surgery. Several factors like age, the severity of the refractive error, or corneal thickness play into whether you can get LASIK. Fortunately, there are still a few options you have:
- Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK): Unlike LASIK, PRK doesn’t involve an incision. The results are the same as LASIK, but the recovery from the procedure typically takes longer than LASIK. PRK is ideal for people with active lifestyles, specific jobs, previous history of refractive surgery, or corneas that are too thin for LASIK. If LASIK isn’t an option, discuss whether or not PRK is an option in your case.
- Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE): This procedure is usually most beneficial for people with age-related eye conditions. Essentially, your eye’s natural lens is replaced by a synthetic one. Even if you’re not a candidate for LASIK, this is often an option. This is a common procedure for fixing cataracts.
If your eye doctor determines that you can’t (or shouldn’t) get LASIK, these are a couple of the options you’ll be able to discuss with them.
Booking a LASIK Consultation
If LASIK sounds like something you want to consider, the first step is booking the consultation and receiving a comprehensive eye exam. Call our office today; the helpful staff of 2020 Eyecare is ready to chat with you.