Answers to 11 Frequently Asked Questions on LASIK
The staff at Laser Eye Center in Los Angeles have compiled the most-asked LASIK question they field from patients into this handy guide to introduce the procedure to readers.
How common is LASIK surgery?
LASIK was first approved for use by the FDA in 1998 and has become exponentially popular over the years. Since its inception, LASIK has improved the vision of millions of patients worldwide.
Does LASIK carry any risks?
Just like any other surgical procedure, there are risks involved with LASIK. They are very rare (the overall complication rate is between 0.2 and 2 percent, according to the AAO), but it’s important to understand all of the possible complications. The associated risks of LASIK include the following outcomes:
- Halos or starbursts around lights
- Double vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Dry eye symptoms
- Sensitivity to light
- Overtreatment or undertreatment (requiring additional treatment to achieve the desired results)
Will I be able to achieve independence from glasses/contact lenses?
It is very likely that you will achieve partial or complete independence from glasses and/or contact lenses after LASIK surgery. However, if you are young, it is also likely that you will later develop presbyopia (age-related visual deterioration) in your 40s and 50s and will need to return to wearing glasses for reading.
If you are over the age of 40, plan to have LASIK and want to correct presbyopia, please consult with the team at Laser Eye Center about a solution for your needs.
Am I a good candidate for LASIK?
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery. LASIK candidacy is determined after meeting with our team to examine your eyes, review your medical history and talk about your vision needs and goals.
You may be a suitable candidate for LASIK if you are over the age of 18 and struggle with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. You should have a stable prescription for at least a year, and not be (or plan to become) pregnant or nursing at the time of surgery. If you have a pre-existing eye disease that affects your vision (e.g., glaucoma, cataracts, corneal disease), or if you have thin corneas, you may not be a good candidate for LASIK. Please speak with our team about appropriate vision correction alternatives.
What is custom LASIK?
Custom LASIK involves taking precise measurements of your eye’s unique imperfections, and then tailoring laser treatment to your needs. Custom LASIK involves the use of wavefront technology to record this information and guide the laser that reshapes the cornea. The procedure also uses advanced tracking technology to ensure optimal precision during treatment.
Is LASIK surgery painful?
LASIK surgery is not painful. We use anesthetizing eye drops to prevent you from feeling any pain. We can also prescribe medication to relieve any post-operative discomfort (but you probably won’t need it).
How soon after LASIK can I return to work?
Many of our patients are able to return to work within 24 to 48 hours following LASIK surgery.
Are there any side effects from LASIK?
A small minority of LASIK patients may experience nighttime side effects from LASIK such as halos, starbursts, glare around lights and blurry vision. In many of these cases, the side effects disappear as the eye heals. In rare cases, our team recommends additional touch-up or enhancement treatment.
Will my insurance cover LASIK?
Though all insurance plans offer different types of coverage, many insurers do not cover LASIK surgery. That is because LASIK is considered an elective procedure.
However, don’t let that prevent you from receiving this life-changing treatment.
Do you offer LASIK financing?
Yes. Laser Eye Center offers a variety of 24- and 36-month, interest-free financing plans. We also offer extended payment plans. Our office manager will discuss the available financing options with you at the time of your initial LASIK consultation.
What is PRK?
PRK is an alternative to LASIK for patients whose corneas are too thin to sustain LASIK surgery. During PRK, the surface of the cornea is removed prior to laser correction. The cells grow back over time. Recovery can take longer with PRK, but the risk of flap-related complications is eliminated.
Have More Questions about LASIK?
If your LASIK question wasn’t answered on this page, or you would like to schedule a personal consultation with our team, please call (800) 805-2737 or email us today.