Category Archives: Vision Health

What Happens After the Lasik Procedure?

After you are fully prepared, the Lasik procedure takes less than fifteen minutes to complete for both eyes. This will seem a remarkably short time to have a permanent change to your vision, and in this regard Lasik seems almost too good to be true. In addition, most Lasik patients notice improved vision immediately or within a few hours after the Lasik procedure has been performed.

This does not mean that you should expect to walk out of the Lasik clinic with perfect vision and without any need to treat your eyes carefully for the next several days. It also means that some Lasik patients will need more time to see the total results for the Lasik procedure, sometimes as much as six months for their vision to stabilize permanently. Anticipate good vision, and take the time and care for the operation to produce its best result.

Usually the Lasik physician will give the post-procedure patient a protective shield for their eyes. This should be worn as long as the physician specifies, and usually only at night for one or two nights. He may also recommend sunglasses during the day if you experience sensitivity to light after the Lasik procedure is done. Discuss these options in detail at the Lasik center before the operation, so you know how to best take care of your eyes.

Many patients at the Lasik centers often get eye drops to keep their eyes moist for some time after the Lasik procedure is done. Again, this varies by patient and by physician, so ask about your particular situation, especially if you are prone to eye dryness on an occasional basis even before the Lasik procedure. Also, it might be helpful to keep any ceiling fans or other air circulation devices off in the household for the first few days.

Most clients can return to work and normal daily activities the day after the Lasik procedure is done, and do not require any extra assistance from other friends or family members. There is usually little to no post-operative discomfort after Lasik has been performed. It is recommended that patients go to sleep as quickly as possible after the Lasik surgery in order to minimize any post-operative discomfort. Upon waking, improved vision from the Lasik corrections should already start to be visible.

This improved vision may not be the final product of the Lasik procedure. The improvement to nearsightedness after Lasik is usually quick and dramatic, though there may be some problems in reading easily for the first few days after the Lasik operation. This is perfectly normal, and should clear up before the week is out.
Patients that use Lasik to improve their farsightedness usually find a dramatic improvement the day after the Lasik surgery. It might be that there is a temporary blurring of objects in the distance, but this will resolve itself. If this condition remains for more than a few days, the Lasik physician can recommend and prescribe temporary glasses until vision is stabilized.

These are all typical post-operative recommends for a Lasik patient, in order to feel comfortable with what to expect after the Lasik procedure. As with any medical treatment, get all of your questions answered by the staff of your Lasik center for your individual case.

Thoughts From an Experienced Lasik Patient

I have noticed that more people I work with are talking about, or undergoing, the Lasik vision correction procedure. I don’t know really know why Lasik has suddenly become more popular in my company, but I do know that there are a number of rumors about Lasik that I am not sure are true. Let me just talk about my long term experience with Lasik.

It has been more than eight years since I had the Lasik procedure, so I was one of the early and brave pioneers! Perhaps I wasn’t that brave when considering Lasik, for my vision in each eye was worse than -9. Even now, Lasik physicians consider that a very strong case and do caution prospective clients that the Lasik process will likely improve their vision, but may not eliminate the total need for glasses.

The Lasik operation itself had mild pressure and some unusual feelings, but no real discomfort or pain. This is still true in modern Lasik procedures, and hopefully they are even better at keeping the client comfortable. I do notice that now Lasik physicians also give a mild sedative mainly for psychological reasons, which I think I would have appreciated back then.

Two or three days after the Lasik operation I was astounded to find I had VERY clear vision in each eye, at least 20/20. Considering my previous prescription, you can imagine how fervently I thanked my Lasik physician. However, I did also have temporary symptoms of considerable dryness in each eye (which was helped by eye drops), and also halos around lights at night.

A few months after the Lasik procedure I noticed my vision changing a bit, though very slightly. The best way I can describe it is that the crisp edges no longer looked exceedingly crisp, but each object still seemed to be in focus. At my one year Lasik correction anniversary my physician said that one eye was still at 20/20, but the other had changed slightly to 20/40. However, I was still a great statistic for the Lasik correction procedure, and we were both still happy with the results.

In the years between the original Lasik procedure and now, my vision is still 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other. I do have a pair of glasses and one contact lens for that eye, but rarely bother with them unless I am doing something like watching a movie. My long track record after the Lasik procedure has given hope to a number of other people in my office. I do want to say though that I was over 35 when I had the operation, and my Lasik physician said that the stability of my eyes and my age were good indicators that the Lasik results would be long term.

I hope this encourages people with bad vision to talk to a local Lasik physician about scheduling a Lasik procedure. Find a physician that has a good track record, and one that you trust, and I hope that your long term Lasik results will be as good as mine!

Talking to Your Lasik Surgeon

For anyone considering a Lasik procedure to correct vision, it is crucial to find a physician that is reputable and caring. It is also very important that they are experienced and knowledgeable in the Lasik procedure, and that they have a track record of patients that are happy with the treatment they received and the results that they got.

This guide gives a number of basic questions that you should ask when deciding on which Lasik center and which doctor to select for your Lasik procedure. The comfort you have during the process, and even the results that you receive, may depend on getting good answers to these questions. It is important to realize that the answers to these questions will vary from physician to physician.

The first question to ask is “How many years have you been performing this type of Lasik surgery?” There are several variations of the Lasik procedure, and the doctor should have a track record of at least three years in doing Lasik procedures. This amount of time also allows the doctor to watch his patients and the long term success of their Lasik procedures.

Next, ask the physician for the number of Lasik procedures they have performed in the last two years. The physician should do the operation frequently enough that he is well versed in current procedures. Also, he should be successful enough that prospective Lasik patients feel comfortable in coming to the Lasik center. The physician should perform at least 500 Lasik surgeries in the last two years.

At this point, ask what percent of his clients that underwent Lasik surgery ended up with 20/40 vision or better. Notice that not all patients will achieve 20/20 vision, and that is acceptable. However, it is important that 90 percent of the patients get at least a 20/40 correction after the first Lasik procedure. Claims of much more than 90 percent might make him seem much better, but in this case ask for evidence that that number is true. There are some exceptional physicians out there, but also a few Lasik doctors that make unfounded claims. Asking the doctor what percentage of Lasik patients achieve 20/20 should run about 50 percent. Again, if the number is greatly higher, ask for evidence.

Finally, ask about post-Lasik complications. The percentage of patients that experience complications after 6 months is complete should be 3 percent or less. If the physician claims that complications are so rare that he doesn’t keep records, you should be very suspicious and ask for evidence, if any. No doctor is perfect. Similarly, when asked the percentage of patients that require an additional operation to achieve clear vision, the number should be less than 10 percent.

To wrap up the interview, ask the physician what types of Lasik procedures he recommends and practices, and under what circumstances he denied a Lasik procedure to a patient. Not all vision challenged people are good candidates for a Lasik operation, and the doctor should at least have a few examples of people he dissuaded from the operation.

Finally, ask about the cost of the operation and if financing plans are available through the Lasik center. A physician that is willing to sit down and discuss these questions is often a physician that will address any other medical issues that come up, and is a good prospect to perform your Lasik procedure.

Tales From the Lasik Waiting Room

As an experienced Lasik patient I thought I might give a glimpse into the worst part of the Lasik procedure… the waiting room. I have had a Lasik procedure twice, the second being a follow up since one of my eyes needed additional work after the healing procedure was complete. I was distinctly less nervous about the second procedure, and observed and talked to a number of the other Lasik clients that were waiting with me.

One was a young woman in her early twenties who talked incessantly trying to keep her mind off of any of the Lasik brochures and information on the table. She had been thoroughly oriented to both the Lasik operation and post-op procedures, but had brought along a few stuffed animals to keep her company during the operation. Most Lasik physicians recommend a minimum age of 18 due to sufficient maturity of the eye, but maybe waiting for some emotional maturity might be another factor. On the other hand, I wondered what I looked and sounded like waiting for my first Lasik operation.

Talking to a few of the other Lasik clients, I realized I was not the only one in for a second Lasik procedure. Two others were like me in that they did not get sufficient improvement in their vision to satisfy themselves or the Lasik surgeon. In all of our cases, our first Lasik procedure of several months earlier went well, and none of us were particularly nervous.

It did surprise me, considering that it was 6:30 AM, of the variety of clothing styles of the Lasik clients. Most of us, considering the hour and the rather frigid temperature of the Lasik operating room and the waiting room, were dressed in snug and warm sweat suits or other comfortable wear. One Lasik patient was dressed in formal business attire with full makeup.

This puzzled me for at least two reasons: any makeup, lotions, or other things that could get into the eye are forbidden for at least 24 hours before the surgery, and it is highly recommended to go home and sleep as quickly as possible after the Lasik procedure. The only thing I could figure out was that she wasn’t actually getting a Lasik procedure, but no one else is there at 6:30 AM. Her dominating and withering look made me decide that any pre-Lasik conversation with her was better left unsaid.

I was probably the fourth person escorted into a waiting room for a final discussion on Lasik post-op procedures, but I could not tell how long I had been waiting. I think they avoid clocks for a very good reason. The lady two seats down from me was calm enough about her Lasik procedure to go back to sleep while waiting, which seemed like an eminently sensible idea.

Each patient is offered a mild sedative before the Lasik procedure starts. It is mainly for psychological purposes, as my first Lasik experience was not painful at all. I did take it for my first experience, but my own Lasik history and the others I have heard in the waiting room make me think that I don’t need it. But I take it anyway, just in case.

I hope that this window into a Lasik waiting room helps give the attitude that for most people it is not a dreaded procedure, and for those of us that have had Lasik done, a rather uneventful one.