What’s It Really Like to Get LASIK?

lasik, Valley Eye Professionals Los Angeles, California

LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is the most commonly performed eye surgery in the United States. It treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, giving many patients an opportunity to ditch their glasses and contact lenses.

If you’re considering LASIK, the idea of having the procedure may stir up excitement. However, you also may feel nervous about what it’s really like to get LASIK. You may wonder whether you’ll be in pain and when you’ll see results. Our experts at Valley Eye Professionals would like to ease your concerns by letting you know what to expect before, during, and after LASIK surgery.

What is LASIK?

LASIK is an eye surgery that corrects vision by reshaping the inner cornea. Our optometrists, Dr. Barry Wagner and Dr. Narbae Avedian, are highly experienced at performing LASIK surgery. Following are their tips for preparation and recovery to help your experience go smoothly.

Prior to LASIK surgery

Scheduling an appointment with one of our professionals is the first step toward having your vision corrected so you can ditch those glasses and contacts for good. Your provider performs a comprehensive eye exam and LASIK consultation to ensure that you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery and answer any questions you may have.

During the exam, your provider evaluates the health of your eyes and determines your eyeglass prescription. If you’re a good candidate for LASIK and elect to undergo the surgery, your provider takes additional measurements of your eyes.

Take advantage of the consultation. We want you to feel comfortable asking questions so you understand the risks and benefits and know what to expect from LASIK surgery.

Preparing for surgery

Many patients choose to have LASIK performed on a Friday so they have a weekend for recovery following the procedure. Regardless of when you choose to have the procedure done, plan on having a few days of downtime. You also need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery and should plan on resting that day.

During the procedure

The doctor uses a gentle eyelid holder to keep you from blinking during the procedure, and you may receive a mild sedative so you feel relaxed.

LASIK causes some discomfort; however, the vast majority of our patients report that their experience was virtually pain-free. The doctor places numbing drops in your eyes. During the procedure, you may feel some pressure on the eye for less than a minute. The procedure takes about 10 minutes per eye.

After the surgery is complete, patients experience blurry vision and some eye irritation. Most patients compare this post-procedure vision to opening your eyes underwater or having foggy glasses. Don’t worry: It’s normal.

Before you leave, the doctor checks your eyes to ensure that you’re good to go. You receive instructions for proper aftercare following LASIK surgery, and your doctor may prescribe eye drops to prevent inflammation and infection.

After LASIK surgery

In the first few hours after the numbing drops wear off, you may feel a bit of discomfort. When you leave the office following the procedure, it’s wise to plan to head home and take a nap. The mild sedative offered prior to surgery can help you get to sleep afterward. When most patients wake up from their nap, they usually find that their vision is much improved and their eyes feel more comfortable.

Use preservative-free drops

It’s important to follow post-op instructions carefully. Preservative-free natural tears play a major role in keeping your eyes comfortable and healing following surgery. You can use the drops as frequently as needed to help with any discomfort.

Things to avoid

After LASIK surgery, it’s vital that you avoid rubbing your eyes for two weeks following LASIK surgery. It’s also important that you avoid hot tubs, pools, and outdoor bodies of water for a week; ask your doctor about when you can return to exercise and your everyday activities.

When you take a shower, close your eyes to prevent getting water in them, and allow your eyelids to air dry rather using a towel to dry them. You should also avoid using eye makeup for at least two days following the procedure.

You can expect your vision improve over the week days following surgery. Keep in mind that your vision may fluctuate at first, and it can take up to six months for your vision to stabilize.

LASIK is an often life-changing procedure for many patients. To learn more about the procedure and to schedule your initial consultation, call our convenient Los Angeles, California, office, or request an appointment online.

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