More than 150 million Americans rely on glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision, but both of these prescriptive aids have their own challenges. Many people dislike their appearance while wearing glasses but cannot come to grips with contact lenses. Others become frustrated by the need to take their eyewear off and on throughout the day and find their hindered eyesight a setback when they swim or play contact sports.
Fortunately, LASIK eye surgery is an effective alternative to prescriptive eyewear. LASIK is the most popular choice for laser vision correction in the world, and hundreds of thousands of procedures are performed in America alone ever year.
LASIK works by reshaping the cornea, which improves the way that light enters the eye and focuses on the retina. The retina is the area at the back of the eye which triggers nerve impulses to our brain, creating the image that we see.
The vision problems that LASIK can correct are known as refractive errors, since they involve the way that light is refracted. These conditions are the most common reasons for patients to rely on prescription eyewear and include:
- Myopia: near-sightedness
- Hyperopia: far-sightedness
- Astigmatism: this is an irregular, football shaped cornea that causes the image we see to be distorted.
While there is no guarantee that you will be able to be completely-free from prescription eyewear following LASIK, most patients find that their reliance on glasses and contacts is dramatically reduced if not eliminated altogether.
If you suffer from a refractive vision problem, you may be a good candidate for LASIK. Before undergoing LASIK, you will need to attend a consultation appointment to assess your candidacy before you can be approved for the surgery.
Preparing for LASIK
Many people who are approved for LASIK are understandably nervous about the prospect of having laser surgery on their eyes. Rest assured, LASIK is considered to be extremely safe when performed by a fully trained and experienced professional.
Nevertheless, being prepared can be a hugely beneficial step in reducing any pre-surgery anxiety. Preparation also ensures that you can make a timely and straightforward recovery from the procedure.
Here are our top tips for preparing for LASIK laser eye surgery.
Schedule adequate time off work after LASIK eye surgery
Most patients can return to work within 24 hours of LASIK surgery, but others may need a few more days before they feel confident in going back. Discuss how much time you should schedule off with Dr. Goel during your consultation and stick to the doctor’s recommendations. Depending on your line of work, returning to work too soon could interfere with the healing process or put you at risk on the job.
Plan on someone driving you home from laser eye surgery
Patients will not be able to drive directly after their surgery and may also struggle with public transport. Patients should ask a friend or family member to pick them up after their appointment.
Support system after LASIK surgery
Some patients prefer to have someone come with them on the day of their LASIK surgery. Although not allowed in the operating room itself, family members and friends can stay up until the moment the patient goes in for their treatment. A good support system can also be a benefit around the house, ensuring patients are settled and comfortable with everything they need to heal.
Don’t drink alcohol during the healing process
Although alcohol might seem like a great way to relax, patients should avoid consuming anything alcoholic for at least 24 hours before their LASIK appointment and 48 hours after. We also recommend that you avoid using any products containing alcohol, such as hand sanitizers, perfume, hair spray, and so forth.
Avoid Makeup Before and After LASIK surgery
Cosmetics should also be avoided for at least 24 hours before the procedure, particularly that which is used on the eyes, such as mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow. Your face needs to be clean and completely bare on the day of surgery, and you shouldn’t wear eye make up for at least 24-48 hours after your LASIK surgery.
Choose an Experienced Ophthalmologist
During your LASIK consultation, Dr. Goel will answer any questions you have about preparing for LASIK surgery. Call our office today to learn more and schedule an appointment at 410-888-2020.