LASIK surgery is extremely popular, but with all of the info out there, getting a straight answer to your questions can be hard. Here at Family Eye Physicians, we are here to answer questions and make sure you have all of the information you need to make a solid decision.
What Is LASIK?
LASIK is a surgical procedure that corrects common refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The aim of LASIK surgery is to reshape the surface of the eye (the cornea) to allow light to focus better onto the retina.
During LASIK, your surgeon will create a thin, hinged flap on the surface of the eye. Next, they will use an excimer laser to gently and accurately reshape the eye. Once reshaped, the hinged flap is smoothed back over the cornea. Your eye will be reshaped to allow for the best possible visual outcomes.
Is It Safe?
LASIK is extremely safe. Because LASIK surgeons are selective and do not perform LASIK on patients who have a high risk of complication, complication rates are extremely low. People whose eyes are able to handle LASIK surgery rarely experience major side effects and complications. Those who are not candidates for LASIK surgery can receive other refractive procedures that are better suited for their eyes, and safer in the long run.
Does It Hurt?
No. Your eyes are numb during LASIK hanks to special numbing eye drops. You won’t feel pain! However, you may feel some slight discomfort during the procedure in the form of pressure on the eye. This only lasts a few seconds and should not be painful.
What Is the Recovery Like?
LASIK recovery is notoriously quick. Your cornea is self-healing and does not require stitches. You will be asked to refrain from certain activities such as sports and swimming. You will also need to use medicated eye drops daily as directed by your doctor for some time. Lubricating eye drops are also used to combat any post-LASIK dryness. You should see full LASIK results within a few days of the procedure.
What are the Complications?
LASIK complications are rare, but not non-existent. LASIK complications include infection, keratoconus, dry eye, irregular astigmatism and flap complications. These complications are typically avoided by following proper post-LASIK protocol and by going to a skilled and experienced LASIK surgeon.
Can I Get LASIK If I’m Pregnant or Nursing?
Not usually. Pregnancy and nursing both cause a lot of hormonal changes in the body. Those hormones can also affect your eyes. Many people experience a change in their vision while pregnant and nursing that goes back to normal when no longer pregnant or nursing. If you get LASIK while you are pregnant or nursing, your results may be skewed when your hormone levels go back to normal. It is best to wait until after you are pregnant or nursing to get LASIK.
When Can You Wear Makeup/Go Swimming/Play Sports After LASIK?
This all depends on when your doctor says it’s ok! Typically, you will need to wait one week until you can wear makeup after LASIK. This will help avoid infection. You should also replace all of your old eye makeup to keep bacteria from entering the eye. Contact sports and other strenuous activity can be resumed a few weeks after the surgery. You should not go swimming or get your eyes wet for at least a week after LASIK as well.
Interested in learning more about LASIK surgery? Family Eye Physicians is here for you. Contact us to schedule your LASIK consultation at our Chicago office today!