Q: What are the long-term effects of LASIK?Take Our LASIK Self-Test
A: LASIK has been performed in North America and abroad since the mid-1990s. More than 2 million procedures have been performed in the United States. Large university studies show that LASIK is a safe, effective, and durable treatment.
Q: What are the LASIK side effects?
A: The most common side effects of LASIK are temporary symptoms of dry eye and seeing glare or halos under low light conditions. These symptoms normally resolve as the eyes heal. Other complications have been reported, including infection and surgical flap difficulties. While rare, these very unusual problems can typically be treated. Studies show that the risk of rare complications can be reduced even more by choosing an experienced surgeon.
Q: How long does LASIK take?
A: The procedure takes 5-10 minutes per eye. A patient can anticipate being at the laser center for about 90 minutes on the day of the procedure, with the procedure itself lasting about 15 minutes for both eyes.
Q: Can I “see” the procedure being performed?
A: Patients are awake, but relaxed, during the procedure. Patients can expect the vision to become distorted during the procedure, and not to see details of the procedure.
Q: What if I move my eyes or blink during the laser?
A: Patients are asked to look in the direction of a red light target during the procedure. Even the most relaxed patient will involuntarily have some eye movement. This need not cause anxiety because the VISX laser is tracking the eye so that treatment is being applied to the cornea where it belongs despite eye movement. Patients do not have to worry about blinking because the surgeon controls opening the eyelids.
Q: Are both eyes operated on the same day?
A: If a patient needs LASIK in both eyes, typically they are done the same day. PRK, on the other hand, is a refractive surgery that is often performed on separate days, with the second eye done three or four weeks after the first.
Q: What are the restrictions after surgery?
A: Patients should avoid rubbing or itching their eyes as they are healing. Patients can drive themselves to their one-day post-operative appointment if they feel comfortable. Most patients can return to work the day after the procedure. Patients can bath the day after the procedure but should avoid shower water, soap, or shampoo to the eyes for about a week after surgery. Swimming should be avoided for about a week after surgery.
Q: Does LASIK hurt?
A: Patients generally describe LASIK as painless. Some patients describe pressure on and around the eyes during the procedure. Numbing drops are placed so the patient is comfortable and medication is prescribed by mouth to relax on the day of the procedure. Most patients elect to take this medication for relaxation. Post-operatively, patients may describe scratchiness or dryness which rapidly resolves with healing.
Q: Will I need reading glasses after surgery?
A: In most cases, the goal of LASIK is clear distance (driving) vision without glasses. If a patient is in their early forties or older, he or she can anticipate benefiting from reading glasses for near vision after LASIK. “Presbyopia”, or blurry near vision without glasses with age, is unavoidable, even with laser vision correction.
Q: What makes the LASIK experience different at Nashua Eye?
A: Nashua Eye is an established member of the southern New Hampshire medical community, with well-educated, well-trained, and experienced surgeons. Because Nashua Eye provides complete eye care services, the practice is not dependent on doing refractive surgery to be viable. Nashua Eye offers refractive surgery services to enhance the quality of life of patients in our community, and not as a business model. The surgeons at Nashua Eye personally perform the pre-operative consultation, evaluation, and post-operative care.
Q: Has anyone at Nashua Eye undergone LASIK?
A: Many of the doctors, opticians, and staff have undergone LASIK, as well as their family members and friends.