LASIK surgery has given this freedom to many people, so why not you? The idea of surgery on your eyes might have you feeling a bit timid, or maybe you’re just not sure about having a procedure done that you know so little about. Here’s what to expect from every aspect of your LASIK surgery.
WHAT IS LASIK?
First of all, what is LASIK surgery and how does it work? During LASIK surgery, a laser is used to shave away very thin layers from the cornea to gently reshape it to its optimum focusing ability. Depending on the degree of imperfection in your cornea, you may still need reading glasses after surgery. Some people come away with perfect vision, while others come away with vision so much improved that they only need glasses for a smaller percentage of their daily activities instead of wearing them all the time.
PREPARING FOR LASIK SURGERY
Before you go in for LASIK surgery, you will go in for a baseline evaluation of your corneas. Before the evaluation, you should switch to wearing glasses if you wear contacts. Your contacts change the shapes of your corneas, and it can take a few weeks for them to revert to normal after regular wear.
During this evaluation, your doctor will tell you what you can expect as far as vision improvement and how LASIK will change your daily life. They’ll also go over your medical history to make sure that there’s nothing preventing you from having the surgery.
Do not wear any makeup, creams, lotions, cologne, or perfume the day before or the day of surgery. You’ll also want to make sure that you’ve arranged for transportation to and from the doctor’s office. Though you won’t be under general anesthesia, it’s not advisable to drive after the procedure due to the medication you’ll be administered beforehand.
DURING LASIK SURGERY
LASIK surgery only takes about 30 minutes. Your eye will be numbed, and a suction device may be applied to your cornea. If so, you may feel pressure from that device, but you will feel no pain. You’ll also experience dimmed vision throughout the procedure.
AFTER LASIK SURGERY
A shield will be placed over your eyes to keep you from rubbing them. They may feel itchy or uncomfortable at first, but this will soon pass. Recovery takes only a few days, but you’ll need to see your doctor between 24 and 48 hours after the procedure for a follow-up to make sure that everything has healed properly.
Follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions, and don’t engage in rigorous physical exercise for a week or two after the procedure. For a few months, you may have some fluctuations in your vision. Visit your eye doctor if this happens, and they’ll be able to examine your eyes and make sure that everything is continuing to heal and settle.