NEA Baptist Clinic

LASIK Frequently Asked Questions

What is LASIK?

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and is a an outpatient surgical procedure that uses a cool laser beam to gently reshape the surface of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye. The beam gently pulses to remove a microscopic amount of tissue, allowing images to be more sharply focused on the retina. LASIK causes little or no discomfort and improves vision. The goal of LASIK is to reduce dependence on glasses or contacts.


Is LASIK safe?

The FDA recognizes LASIK as proven, safe and effective. Laser vision correction uses a cool (non-thermal) beam of light that is computer controlled. The surgeon turns the laser on and is able to turn it off at any moment. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure; however, there are many safeguards in place for your protection. Although no one knows the exact number of complications, studies suggest that the incidence of minor difficulties such as dry eyes and nighttime glare is around 3% to 5%, while the risk of serious incidents such as lost vision is thought to be less than 1%.


What kind of results can I expect?

LASIK improves the uncorrected vision - one's vision without wearing corrective lenses - in most patients who have the procedure. Over 90% of patients with low to moderate myopia or nearsightedness will achieve 20/40 vision, which is considered the minimum allowed by most states and provinces to drive without having to wear contacts or glasses. Over half of all patients can expect to achieve 20/20 vision or better. However, there are no guarantees that you will have perfect vision, and patients with high myopia (more than -7D) and high hyperopia or farsightedness (more than +4D) should have a different set of expectations. People who are most satisfied with the results of laser correction possess realistic expectations of what their vision will be like after surgery.


How do I know if I am eligible for LASIK?

Your doctor can help you decide and you will need a thorough screening and exam to determine if you are a candidate, but below are some general guidelines:

-You must have healthy eyes — no glaucoma, infection, cataracts, severe dry eye, or any other condition that would affect postoperative healing

-You must be 18 years old to have LASIK.

-Your vision must be stable for at least a year before surgery. (If you required a change in your contact lens or glasses prescription in the past year this is not considered stable)

-If you're pregnant or nursing, your hormonal levels can affect the shape of your eye, you'll need to wait until hormones are back to normal levels.

-You cannot have a degenerative or autoimmune disease, since this would affect healing


Will the procedure hurt?

You won't feel pain during LASIK because your surgeon will place anesthetic drops in your eye first. Afterward, he or she may prescribe medication if necessary. Many LASIK patients report no more than mild discomfort in the days following the procedure.


What happens on the day of the procedure?

Anesthetic drops will be placed in your eye to numb it. In the laser room, you will be seated in a reclining chair, the doctor will position your head under the laser, and an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to gently hold them open during the treatment. You will be asked to focus on a blinking light while the laser removes the microscopic amounts of tissue from your cornea. The laser treats your eye for less than one minute, and your total time in the laser area will be about 20-30 minutes per eye. When the procedure is finished, some drops and protective plastic eye shields will be placed on your eye for protection and comfort.


How long will I be out of work after having LASIK?

Even though some patients can return to work the next day, it is best that you take time to relax so your cornea has time to heal. You must be very cautious not to rub your eyes. You will need to sleep in special shields that fit over your eyes for a least a week so you will not rub them during the night. You will also need to wear sunglasses while outside to reduce sun sensitivity.


Will I need to wear glasses or bifocals once my eyes have healed?

Most patients who have LASIK do not need to wear glasses for their daily activities. However, patients may need to wear reading glasses if they are over the age of 40. This is caused by the normal aging of the eye known as presbyopia. This condition occurs with or without LASIK. Those patients who currently have bifocals will still need reading glasses after the surgery unless they opt for a treatment plan called monovision, wherein one eye is corrected for distance and the other for near vision.


Can I drive immediately after having LASIK?

Patients may experience some discomfort and/or blurred vision for a few hours after surgery. And most patients receive a sedative prior to surgery. Therefore, you cannot drive home after undergoing the procedure, and you should plan not to drive for at least twenty-four hours.


How much does LASIK cost?

The prices charged for the LASIK procedure can vary tremendously, depending upon conditions specific to the patient and area. Feel free to call us at (870) 936-8133 for a quote.