Lasik Surgery FAQ
What is LASIK eye surgery?
LASIK is a type of laser eye surgery that can significantly reduce or, in some cases, completely eliminate a person’s dependency on corrective lenses by reshaping the cornea with a computer-controlled excimer laser. Using an extremely precise instrument called a microkeratome, the surgeon carefully creates a thin flap on the surface of the cornea, which he then folds back to expose the midsection of cornea. The computer-controlled laser corrects the curvature of the exposed corneal tissue according to predetermined calculations. After the corneal irregularity is corrected, the flap is replaced and the patient can return home. Stitches are not necessary, and most patients experience little or no discomfort after the procedure. Full restoration of visual acuity occurs within 24 to 48 hours of surgery.
If you live in Columbus, central Ohio, West Virginia, or Kentucky, high-quality, affordable laser eye surgery is only a short drive away. Contact our office today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Who is a candidate for LASIK?
LASIK is designed for individuals 18 years old or older who suffer from myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and/or astigmatism. Those who need glasses only when reading are not good candidates. A LASIK patient should have generally healthy eyes and corneas that are sufficiently thick for surgery. Pregnant or nursing women and people with active autoimmune disease should not undergo LASIK laser eye surgery. Aside from the visual and medical prerequisites, the best candidates tend to be individuals who are unhappy with having to wear glasses or other corrective eyewear, either due to lifestyle or occupation. Those interested in LASIK should be mindful of the results of this procedure and others like it. “Perfect vision” may not be reliably obtained with any kind of vision correction surgery. Ultimately, only a caring and experienced ophthalmologist, who takes time to become familiar with a patient’s condition and goals, can help inform a patient as to whether they would benefit from LASIK.
Please contact our practice in Newark and Columbus, Ohio, to see if you are a good laser eye surgery candidate. Our friendly staff would love to meet you.
How successful is LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures?
In studies conducted by the FDA, all treatments produced enhanced natural vision (vision without eyeglasses). Additionally, 95 percent of the treatments resulted in 20/40 vision or better, enabling patients to pass a driving test in most states as well as perform everyday activities without the need for glasses or contact lenses. More than two-thirds of the subjects achieved at least 20/20 vision. The results are even better for custom LASIK. In one custom LASIK eye surgery study carried out by the FDA up to 98 percent of patients achieved 20/20 vision. It is important, however, to keep in mind that every patient’s condition is unique and that attaining perfect vision through laser eye surgery may not be likely even with the best technology.
What is the difference between the lasers used in LASIK eye surgery?
In the United States, there are several lasers that have received FDA approval for the LASIK procedure. They each have been tested and approved for certain range of corrections. Each carries certain strengths and weaknesses. Some are best suited for thicker corneas; others are better choices for custom treatments, etc. Our patients in the Columbus, Ohio and West Virginia can undergo laser eye surgery with one of our cutting edge laser systems: VISX CustomVue™ or Nidek Quest for wavefront-guided and topography-guided treatments, respectively. During your free LASIK surgery consultation we discuss and decide which laser is ideally suited for you.
What is the difference between LASIK, PRK, and LASEK?
These are slightly different surgical procedures. LASIK eye surgery is the most common laser vision correction procedure. It involves making a flap in the cornea and reshaping the underlying tissue with an excimer laser. In PRK, the laser is applied after reducing the epithelium (the protective layer of the cornea), without making a flap. In LASEK, the epithelium is peeled away and then replaced after a laser is applied. Since there is no corneal flap in either PRK or LASEK, there is no risk of flap complications, and more corneal tissue is preserved; however, there is a slight chance of corneal haze at the surface, and the healing is also more prolonged. Generally, LASIK, PRK, and LASEK result in the same quality of post-operative vision.
Are laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK painful?
The procedures themselves are usually painless due to the topical anesthetics that are used. Patients who have undergone PRK may experience mild to moderate pain for a few days following the procedure. Eye drops and oral medications may be used to alleviate the discomfort. LASIK patients rarely report any pain following surgery. Any discomfort that may be experienced is usually likened to a feeling of irritation on the surface of the eyes. In such situations, lubricants are used to eliminate the discomfort. Our patients in Columbus, central Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia who have undergone LASIK surgery and other types of laser eye surgery will find our well-trained staff available 24 hours a day to address any post-operative concerns and make appropriate recommendations.
What if I am currently wearing contact lenses?
We ask that you bring your glasses or a copy of your contact lens prescription when you visit our office in central Ohio for your LASIK laser eye surgery evaluation. In addition, it is important to note the following: If you wear hard or gas permeable contacts, they must be removed from your eyes at least three weeks prior to your exam. Soft lenses must be removed at least one week before your visit.
Is there an age limit for LASIK?
We prefer to treat patients who are at least 18 years old with a stable prescription. There is no upper age limit, though if you have early cataracts, we may recommend a lens implant procedure instead.
Are both eyes treated at the same time?
For the most part, if everything goes well with the first eye, we treat the second eye at the same time. The LASIK laser eye surgery procedure, however, may require two visits in certain instances. This is an issue you will want to discuss with your doctor.
What range of nearsightedness and farsightedness can be treated?
In the United States, excimer lasers are primarily approved for the treatment of nearsightedness up to 12.00 diopters and astigmatism up to 4.00 diopters. For farsightedness, lasers are approved for up to 6.00 diopters. Custom LASIK is available for up to 11.00 diopters of correction. Our Columbus laser eye surgery experts have found that for high prescriptions, a better quality of vision can be achieved with various lens implant procedures than with laser vision correction methods. In addition, the thickness of the cornea may dictate the surgical plan. During your free consultation, you will be informed as to which procedure is best for you.
What if I have astigmatism?
In patients with astigmatism, the cornea is in the shape of a football rather than a basketball. The excimer laser used in LASIK eye surgery is approved to treat astigmatism. For extreme amounts of astigmatism, we sometimes recommend relaxing incisions in the peripheral cornea to reduce the amount of astigmatism prior to LASIK surgery.
As always, feel free to contact our eye care experts in Newark or Columbus, Ohio, to have all your LASIK surgery and other laser eye surgery questions answered. One of our friendly team members will be happy to speak with you.
Do I need to take time off of work to have LASIK surgery?
You will most likely be able to return to work within one to three days following your surgery. Many of our Ohio and West Virginia LASIK patients undergo surgery on a Thursday or a Friday so that time away from work is minimized. With PRK and LASEK, recovery time is somewhat extended; therefore, our doctors only treat one eye at a time in these procedures.
What are the side effects of LASIK?
Light sensitivity, dry eyes, and visual halos tend to be the most common side effects of LASIK surgery. Individuals with large pupils may observe a glare following surgery, however, this usually disappears with time. Incomplete alignment of the cornea and retina may occur, and contact lenses or eyeglasses may be needed to achieve ideal vision after surgery. When this happens, we usually schedule an enhancement appointment to help improve post-operative vision. In some instances, atypical corneal curvatures and/or visual haze may result, and corrective eyewear may not improve vision. Fortunately, the types of complications that seriously threaten vision are extremely rare. However, since no surgical procedure is 100 percent safe, it is important to be aware that you may be affected by these complications. During your comprehensive eye exam at one of our facilities in Newark, or Columbus, Ohio, our LASIK eye surgery specialists will provide you with a more thorough discussion of the issues that may affect your laser eye surgery.
Will the results last?
While the long-term results of LASIK are not known, we consider the procedure permanent. The cornea generally does not change beyond the initial healing period. Your eye may change for other reasons, however. For instance, many people will eventually develop a cataract and a prescription will be needed for good, functional vision.
If you live in Columbus, central Ohio, West Virginia, or Kentucky, quality affordable laser eye surgery and advanced LASIK surgery is only a short drive away. Contact our office today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
What about Enhancements?
Enhancements involve lifting the corneal flap created during the LASIK procedure and applying additional laser pulses to “fine-tune” the results. This is usually performed in the first year after LASIK, but can be done up to several years later. Enhancements are not considered a complication of the LASIK procedure, but are normally expected as some people heal more or less than average, and the eye can change over time. In our experience, about 10 percent of patients will eventually need an enhancement procedure depending on their prescription prior to surgery. We offer our patients “Enhancement Assurance Plan” (EAP). This is purchased (currently, $100/eye) at the time of the initial procedure and covers you for life in case you need an enhancement. The EAP does not cover vision changes after cataract surgery, or other conditions not related to LASIK, and rarely, enhancement may not be offered if it is deemed unsafe.
I live in West Virginia. Can I still have LASIK at Bloomberg Eye Center?
We are happy to welcome all residents of West Virginia to our practice. Every week we see patients from Wheeling, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Charleston, and other areas for LASIK eye surgery. We have helped thousands of residents of West Virginia see their world as never before, and we would love to do the same for you. Special discounts are available at selected hotels in the area for our patients. Contact our laser eye surgery center today to learn more about our practice and to schedule your free consultation.
The LASIK procedure was simpler than I thought. Now I see 20/20. Bloomberg Eye Center made me feel at ease. I found out how fortunate we are to have Bloomberg Eye Center in our backyard.