06 Jun Tips for Preparing for LASIK
Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) uses advanced medical laser technology to repair eye abnormalities that otherwise meant relying on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly. About 16 million LASIK procedures have been performed in the United States since its first use here in 1991, and it’s proven remarkably effective in correcting nearsightedness, astigmatism, and farsightedness.
Dr. Witlin and his Witlin Center team have extensive experience in LASIK treatment and are happy to offer people the opportunity to see the world in all its detail without using corrective lenses. The LASIK procedure is safe and typically lasts less than 30 minutes, but there are a few things you can do in advance to help ensure the outcome you’re anticipating.
Expect a thorough eye exam
While LASIK surgery is safe and effective for certain eye abnormalities, it’s not for everyone. Before recommending the procedure, Dr. Witlin will conduct a thorough evaluation that includes a careful review of your medical history and comprehensive eye exam to make sure your issues are correctable with a LASIK procedure.
Sometimes, for instance, your nearsightedness may be too severe to respond to a LASIK procedure. It’s also not typically recommended for age-related farsightedness (presbyopia), which is caused by loss of elasticity in the lens of the eye. The good news in those cases, however, is that Dr. Witlin may be able to offer other procedures to correct your vision if he doesn’t feel you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery.
Make a list
You’ll also have ample opportunity during the evaluation to ask questions about what to expect during and after the procedure, and it helps keep you focused if you make a list of questions you’d like to ask Dr. Witlin.
A common question is how well you’ll be able to see after you have LASIK surgery. Most individuals can expect visual acuity of 20/25 or better after they’ve healed. But it can take several weeks to heal completely and for your vision to stabilize. Knowing this in advance helps prevent unnecessary worry.
Stop wearing your contacts
Because contact lenses can temporarily alter the shape of your cornea, they can throw off the measurements that are taken before your surgery. Faulty measurements can greatly affect the accuracy of your vision following a LASIK procedure, making it imperative that you stop wearing your contact lenses as directed before surgery.
Exactly when you should discontinue their use generally depends on your overall eye health, how long you’ve been wearing contacts and the type of lenses you wear. It’s typically longer for rigid, gas permeable lenses.
Most surgeons recommend you discontinue use of soft lenses two weeks before the surgery, three weeks before if you wear contacts to correct astigmatism and four weeks before if you wear rigid lenses.
Dr. Witlin will give you precise instructions about when to stop wearing your contact lenses before he schedules your surgery.
Arrange a ride home
Make sure you arrange to have a friend or family member drive you home after LASIK surgery.
Even though it’s an outpatient procedure that’s done in the office, your vision may be blurry afterward, and you may be feeling some effects from medications used during the procedure that make driving unsafe.
Skip the eye creams and makeup
Expect Dr. Witlin and his team to provide precise instructions about how to cleanse your eye area, including your eyelashes, on the days leading up to the procedure. It’s generally recommended, however, that you don’t use eye creams or makeup the day before or day of your LASIK procedure.
This helps prevent oily residue or debris left behind by these products from getting into your eyes and interfering with the procedure or increasing your risk of infection. To further protect your eyes from irritants on procedure day, wear comfortable clothes that don’t shed and avoid gels, sprays, or other hair products that might flake.
Eat your breakfast
Unlike many other surgeries, there’s no need to fast before a LASIK procedure. We do recommend, however, that you avoid excessive alcohol use or medications that may cause drowsiness. Talk with Dr. Witlin if you’re not sure about stopping other medications you take regularly. You should never stop any medicine a physician has prescribed without checking first.
If you think you’re ready for LASIK surgery or have more questions about the procedure, call today to schedule your consultation or click below to make your appointment.