Common Questions About LASIK
Does LASIK hurt?
Numbing eye drops are placed into your eyes before the procedure to block the feeling of pain. Of course, every person has their own unique threshold for discomfort, but most patients do not report that the process is painful. You will feel a sensation of pressure on the eye during the first step of the process. Medicated eye drops or over-the-counter pain medications may help soothe any discomfort you experience as your eyes heal.
How long does LASIK take?
The full LASIK procedure takes 20-30 minutes for both eyes, from the time you enter the LASIK suite until you go into the recovery area. However, the laser treatment where we reshape your cornea typically takes less than 5 minutes per eye! Some patients can even see more clearly immediately after the procedure.
Do I need someone to drive me home after LASIK?
Yes. Please have a friend or family member drive you home from your LASIK appointment. Even if you are already starting to see more clearly immediately after your procedure, there are several reasons why you need someone to drive you home:
- Your eyes may be sensitive, blurry or watery
- If you took a mild sedative, you may still be a bit drowsy
- Your eyes need time to rest and begin to heal after the procedure
What are the risks of LASIK?
Although LASIK has a less than 1% serious complication rate among experienced LASIK doctors, it is still a surgical procedure and therefore carries some element of risk. All risks will be reviewed with you at your LASIK Consultation with our experienced technicians and doctors, prior to your procedure. Complications of LASIK can include:
- Starbursts, glare or haloes in low light environments
- Dry eyes
- Overcorrection or undercorrection
- Corneal flap complications
- Blurred vision
The U.S. military, NASA astronauts and Top Gun pilots have been approved for laser eye surgery because it is safe and effective. At Schein Ernst Mishra Eye, we have also performed many LASIK surgeries on airplane pilots, navy seals, police officers, first responders and other military professionals.
How long will I need to be off work?
You may only need 1 or 2 days off work for LASIK in Harrisburg, depending on your working environment: one day for the procedure and one day to rest afterward and be seen for your follow up appointment. People are usually amazed to learn how quick LASIK recovery is. In fact, the healing process begins immediately after surgery. Most patients can return to normal, non-strenuous activities the very next day, although there may be some vision fluctuations as your eyes continue to heal and your vision stabilizes. It is important to keep your follow-up visits so your doctor can monitor your progress. You should discuss your specific work requirements and restrictions with your Refractive Coordinator at your LASIK Consultation before scheduling your surgery.
Will I ever need glasses after LASIK?
Most patients achieve 20/20 vision after LASIK at Schein Ernst Mishra Eye and vision stabilizes after the initial 2-3 months of healing. However, not everyone heals the same and about 5% of patients will lose some of the effect of their correction, needing an enhancement or touch-up in the first year after LASIK. Like other parts of the body, eyes can change over a longer period and rarely <1% of patients return years after their procedure needing a touch-up (enhancement). Other effects of time and aging can cause changes in the lens inside the eye, leading to presbyopia (loss of near focus) and cataracts later in life. If you experience these changes in eye lens, you may need glasses for reading and even later, distance glasses to compensate for changes due to cataracts. Ultimately, cataracts can be surgically corrected to restore distance and even reading vision.
What are the requirements for LASIK?
There are several conditions that must be met to be considered for LASIK:
- 18 years or older
- Stable vision prescription for at least one year
- Free of eye disease or other interfering vision conditions
- Proper corneal thickness and shape
- Good overall health
- Realistic expectations
- Full understanding of the potential risks
The only way to know if you meet these requirements is by having a comprehensive LASIK Consultation with us. It’s free and will let you know for sure if this is a safe option for vision correction for you.
Will the cost of LASIK go down?
It is not likely that the cost of LASIK will go down in the future. In fact, as technology changes the costs may actually rise over time. While the price of LASIK is a definite concern for many people, you don’t want to shop for the lowest price if it means sacrificing quality. When you are researching LASIK centers, be sure to weigh the cost against:
- The surgeon’s training, experience and results
- Access to your surgeon for ongoing follow-up care
- The type of technology being used
- Whether or not the low advertised price will apply to your vision prescription
- Additional hidden fees that will apply
- Inclusion or exclusion of enhancement surgeries and follow-up care
You only have one set of eyes, so make sure you put your vision care into a doctor and center you trust – a center like Schein Ernst Mishra Eye.
Can I have LASIK on both eyes at the same time?
Yes. This is called a bilateral LASIK procedure. This is most commonly how the surgery is performed.
When can I wear makeup after LASIK?
In order to avoid any complications in the healing process, patients should wait 1 week before wearing eye makeup or makeup that sits on or around the eyes. We also recommend that patients purchase new eye makeup to avoid infection.
If you have more questions about LASIK, contact us to schedule a free LASIK Consultation.
Am I too old for LASIK?
Typically, we recommend LASIK for ages 21 and older, but it will not necessarily correct presbyopia (the need for reading glasses). Monovision is an option for presbyopia. As eyes age, the risk of cataracts is increased. This may lead you down a different treatment path, such as laser cataract surgery. The best way to find out which procedure could enhance your eyesight is to schedule an exam with us.
What restrictions will I have after LASIK?
It is important to avoid rubbing your eyes while your corneal flap heals to avoid infection or other complications. We also recommend that you avoid certain activities or environments for at least one week:
- Swimming, hot tubs, rivers/streams or other activities that may subject you to high counts of bacteria
- Dusty/dirty environments or activities such as gardening
- Strenuous exercise
- Wearing makeup