How soon can I fly afterwards?
You can fly immediately after LASIK. As long as you fly back the next day for your follow up appointment. Many of our patients ask me this question and we are not sure where the misconception originates from but flying is perfectly ok even within hours after the procedure. That said, keep in mind that airplanes are dry environments and you may need to lubricate your eyes in-flight even a few months after LASIK.
Will I need reading glasses sooner?
LASIK does not affect the rate at which your eye muscles get weaker. If you are currently near-sighted, you could potentially take your glasses off to read after age 40. By fixing your nearsightedness, you lose that advantage. This is why you should explore the monovision option.
Can I get evaluated if I dont want to stay out of contact lenses?
Yes you can. There is a slight chance this may affect your candidacy and if it does, you can always remove your lenses then. So it is ok to get evaluated with your lenses in as long as you dont mind coming back for a final prescription measurement once you have decided to proceed ahead.
What if I choose monovision and I end up not liking it?
There is a 10-15% chance you may not like monovision. This can be easily corrected by an enhancement procedure to correct the nearsightedness that was left behind. This is usually free of charge.
Will I be able to tolerate one eye for distance and one for close up?
85-90% of patients do adapt to monovision after an adaptation period of 3 weeks. Those who do not adapt may experience headaches, dizziness, difficulty driving at night, loss of depth perception.
Is LASEK safer than LASIK?
When LASIK was performed with a blade, wed say that LASEK is safer. With the advent of blade-free LASIK, I feel that both procedures have the same safety profile. I typically recommend LASIK if somebody is a good candidate for it.
Is it ok if I get pregnant soon after LASIK?
Yes, we tell patients that they can have LASIK today and get pregnant a few days later without any problem. We just want to make sure you are not pregnant when you are having LASIK. You may experience visual changes during pregnancy (whether you had LASIK or not). This is typically due to fluid shifts in your body. The vision usually goes back to baseline after delivery or breastfeeding
Can I go blind?
This is probably the most common question we get from people considering LASIK. I tell everybody that anything could happen including having a heart attack and dying! We know this sounds drastic but in reality, death and blindness are probably as likely as being hit by a truck crossing the street. We would not refrain from considering the procedure because am concerned about blindness. LASIK is not without risks but we take risks on a daily basis. Consider contact lenses.They also have a significant risk of infection, damage to the eye, etc. Yet, many of us will take the risk of contact lenses for the convenience they provide. In general, LASIK is a very safe FDA-approved procedure for a good candidate. It is not for everybody. The key is to ensure that you are a good candidate.
When is monovision not a good idea?
Monovision is not a good idea if you tried it in the past with contact lenses and did not like it. It is also not a good idea if the primary purpose of LASIK is to play sports that require very good depth perception such as golf and tennis.
What if am older than 40 and don’t want to lose my close up vision?
This is where monovision comes into play. Monovision refers to calibrating your vision with the laser or contact lenses so your dominant eye sees well at distance without glasses while your non-dominant eye sees close-up. This will allow you to delay the need for reading glasses. Monovision is for when you are \u201con the go\u201d. Even with monovision you will need glasses to read small print at some point. You may even need glasses for night driving. Most people find this still by far less inconvenient than searching for glasses every time you need to look at your watch or smartphone. Remember, it is by far less inconvenient to go back for a touch up (if you don’t like monovision) than be stuck with magnifiers for all near tasks for the rest of your life.
How long does it take to perform the procedure?
LASIK takes about 12 minutes to perform in both eyes. Usually, your stay at the laser center that day will be about 2-3 hours. It is better to inquire with your doctor as this can vary from place to place.
What is the best age to have LASIK at?
In general, LASIK is not FDA-approved for anybody younger than 18 years old. In exceptional circumstances, i have performed LASIK on teenagers. These are situations where there was a large prescription difference between the 2 eyes and the person could not tolerate a contact lens. There is no upper age limit for LASIK. I have performed LASIK on people in their eighties and they were delighted! As long as the eye is healthy without other conditions (such as cataracts, glaucoma), LASIK is a possibility.
What if I don’t choose monovision?
As you get older, you will be more and more dependent on near vision glasses. This involves all tasks 20 inches and closer such as a computer, cell phone, dashboard, etc.
Will I need reading glasses sooner if I have LASIK?
LASIK does not affect the rate at which your eye muscles get weaker. If you are currently near-sighted, you could potentially take your glasses off to read after age 40. By fixing your nearsightedness, you lose that advantage. This is why you should explore the monovision option.
My father/mother does not wear reading glasses so I may not have to. Is this true?
It is possible for some people to avoid reading glasses because they are nearsighted in one or both eyes. As we get older it is practically impossible to see distance and close up without glasses in both eyes unless we are nearsighted in one eye (monovision).
Will I get dry eyes after LASIK?
There are many modalities to treat and relieve dry eyes these days, yet it can be quite annoying. It is therefore important to know whether you are predisposed to have dry eyes after LASIK. The factors that increase the risk of dry eyes after LASIK are: Dry eyes before LASIK: this mainly applies to those who have dry eyes even without contact lenses. It is quite common to have dry eyes with contact lenses and in fact, many contact lens wearers have LASIK because their eyes become dry when wearing lenses. You are not necessarily at risk for dry eyes after LASIK if: You have been \u201ctold\u201d that you have dry eyes but you have no symptoms. It is a good idea to mention this to your LASIK surgeon but significant dry eyes are usually symptomatic. You have \u201cGPC\u201d (contact lens allergy/\u201cbumps\u201d under your lids). This does not affect your LASIK result and will not increase your chance of dry eyes after LASIK.
I am a professional boxer, can I have LASIK?
Any person who has chances of being hit, punched, or poked in the eye should consider PRK/LASEK rather than LASIK. Although the LASIK flap heals very well within a week of the surgery, severe trauma may move the flap. We recommend wearing protective goggles when engaged in sports/situations where you could be hit in the eye. This is good protection anyway, even if you did not have LASIK. With PRK/LASEK, there is no corneal flap and the eye goes back to the exact same shape as before the procedure.
What if I have LASIK and my prescription was not stable?
As long as your eye has been determined healthy, this will not result in damage to your eye. The only risk you incur is a higher chance of a laser touch-up (repeat surgery). In general, the risk of a touch-up is 3%. Having LASIK despite an unstable prescription will just increase that percentage.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for LASIK?
We determine if somebody is a good candidate for LASIK by the things we don’t want to get after LVC: Dry eyes: I usually ask my patients if they have dry eyes without contact lenses. This is usually an indicator of an underlying dryness. At your consultation, a dry eye test and discussion about your symptoms is usually conducted to assess your specific risk for this. Glare/halos around lights at night: These are concentric rings or starburst effects that you may see around lights at night. There are 3 risk factors for these: large pupils, high prescription, high astigmatism. That said, custom LASIK or iLASIK technology has significantly reduced the risk of halos even in the patients who have risk factors. When you go for your consultation, an infrared test is done in the dark to measure your pupil size so your risk can be assessed. Keratoconus: this is a condition where the cornea of the eye becomes \u201ccone shaped\u201d. This can happen in people who have a family history of keratoconus, have too thin of a cornea or have a corneal shape that makes your doctor suspicious of keratoconus. This is why your corneal thickness as well as corneal shape (topography) are measured at your evaluation. Your should also ask your family if anybody has keratoconus. An indication is usually a young member of the family who underwent a corneal transplant.
What will happen to my near vision if I am 40 years or older or what will happen when I reach 40?
Sometimes between ages 40 and 45, the eye muscles start to weaken and do not allow us to read close up anymore. This is called presbyopia and will sooner or later affect everybody. This process is not affected by LASIK. That said, if you are near-sighted and get that corrected by LASIK, you may lose the ability to see close-up that near-sightedness afforded you after 40. This is why we advocate monovision after age 40, it allows retaining a little nearsightedness to help with some close up tasks.
What is Refractive Lens Exchange or Clear Lens Extraction?
Some patients have a prescription not correctable by LASIK. They may benefit from extracting the lens of the eye and replacing it with a lens implant. This is the exact same procedure as cataract surgery but without waiting for the cataract to happen. It is usually quite beneficial especially in farsighted patients after age 40 as it allows having vision at distance as well as near with very little dependency on glasses.
How soon after pregnancy or breastfeeding can I have LASIK?
We don’t exactly know and it probably varies between people but a conservative approach is to wait 3 months after you deliver or after you stop breastfeeding.
Am I too young or too old for LASIK?
In general, LASIK is not FDA-approved for anybody younger than 18 years old. In exceptional circumstances, we have performed LASIK on teenagers. These are situations where there was a large prescription difference between the 2 eyes and the person could not tolerate a contact lens. There is no upper age limit for LASIK. We have performed LASIK on people in their eighties and they were delighted! As long as the eye is healthy without other conditions (such as cataracts, glaucoma), LASIK is a possibility.
I have been told my eyes have been \u201cdamaged\u201d by contact lenses and/or that I have \u201cvessels\u201d on my Cornea.?
There are very few instances where contact lenses damage the eye to the point where you cannot have LASIK. Blood vessels in the cornea are not a problem. They usually get better after LASIK as the daily trauma of the contact lens is removed.
What is the percentage of people that experience complications from LASIK?
The visual outcomes and rate of complications vary from center to center. At the very minimum, you should ask whether the center you are being evaluated at tracking their own results every year. This is preferable to relying on general numbers. Tracking outcomes and complication rates allow surgeons to continuously improve and fine-tune their results.
What is an Implantable Contact Lens?
Some patients are not candidates for laser vision correction. They may be candidates for an implantable lens. This is an artificial lens inserted inside the eye and stays there permanently. It takes about 15 minutes to do. The results are as good as LASIK. One advantage is that the lens is removable. Ask your doctor for more details about it.
I intend on getting pregnant soon, can I have LASIK?
Yes, I tell my patients that they can have LASIK today and get pregnant a few days later without any problem. We just want to make sure you are not pregnant when you are having LASIK. You may experience visual changes during pregnancy (whether you had LASIK or not). This is typically due to fluid shifts in your body. The vision usually goes back to baseline after delivery or breastfeeding.
Are there other conditions that can make me a non-candidate for LASIK?
Yes, there are certain situations that are considered absolute contraindications for lasik: Pregnancy: We prefer to wait till 3 months after delivery to perform LVC Breastfeeding: We prefer to wait till 3 months after breastfeeding to perform LVC Autoimmune Disorders: e.G., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis History of herpes infection in the eye It will jeopardize your career: Some jobs prohibit certain refractive procedures. Be sure to check with your employer/professional society/military service before undergoing any procedure. Less than 18 years old Your prescription is too high (other options exist such as the implantable contact lens) You take retinoic acid (retin a). This may increase your chance of dry eyes. You may be asked to stop it for 6 months before the procedure. There are relative contraindications for lasik where the procedure has to be approached cautiously. Your doctor can assess your personal risk. Your prescription is not stable. This has to be determined with your surgeon. If you have old prescriptions, bring them to your appointment. In general, the vision stabilizes as we get older. You feel dryness in your eyes (just being told your eyes are dry is not a good indicator) You have other eye diseases or conditions
I have dry eyes with my contact lenses, will I have dry eyes after LASIK?
Many people have LASIK because they have dry eyes with their contact lenses. I usually ask my patients if they have dry eyes without contact lenses. This is more of an indicator of an underlying dryness. In any case, your consultation should include a dry eye test and discussion with your surgeon if you are concerned about it. Dryness is one of the \u201cnuisance\u201d complications that can happen after LVC. It does not significantly affect the vision in general but can be annoying.
I get infections with my contact lenses, is that ok?
If you are prone to infections with contact lenses, you should seriously consider eyeglasses or LASIK surgery. I have not seen many severe infections after LASIK (although they can happen on rare occasions) but have seen many bad infections from contact lenses. Every few years a contact lens infection epidemic breaks out and many people get severe infections sometimes necessitating corneal transplants. No such epidemics have been reported with LVC. There is no correlation between having an infection with a contact lens and having one with LVC.
Can I tell If I am a good candidate without taking my contact lenses out?
Yes, you can. As said above, there is a slight chance this may affect your candidacy and if it does, you can always remove your lenses then. So it is ok to get evaluated with your lenses in as long as you don’t mind coming back for a final prescription measurement once you have decided to proceed ahead.
What medications will I need after the procedure?
We usually give eye drops for 4 days after LASIK. LASEK/PRK requires a longer regimen for about a month or so. I also recommend taking Vitamin C with LASEK/PRK as it minimizes the risk of scarring.
Will I still need glasses after LASIK?
This may come as a surprise but we stress to all my patients that LASIK is a procedure to reduce dependency on glasses. This is in fact language mandated by the FDA. That said, the vast majority (more than 90%) of patients do not need distance glasses afterward. What about the other 10%? They also have a drastic improvement in their vision without glasses but may still need a thin pair of glasses for a few activities such as driving at night. The vast majority of patients are happy going from 100% dependency to 5-10% dependency if needed. Above age 40, you will need glasses for near tasks (closer than 20 inches). It is difficult to predict when that will happen. Ask your doctor about the different options available to delay or avoid reading glasses. This includes monovision. Please refer to the monovision questions for more details.
How do I choose my surgeon?
There are some recognized credentials that will help you assess the level of expertise of your surgeon such as board certification, whether they are corneal specialists or not, whether they have done a specific fellowship training in laser vision correction, whether a LASIK is a significant part of their practice or not. Above all, you need to assess whether you are in the hands of somebody who has good judgment. This is why it is important to meet with your surgeon ahead of your procedure. When all goes well, who performs the procedure is not as important. You are preparing for the unexpected. You need to be in good hands if you happen to experience any problem during or after LASIK.
Is it ok if I wore my lenses for a few hours?
In all likelihood this is ok especially for soft lenses. I usually tell my patients that this is acceptable as long as they were not cheating for longer than that.
Do I have also have to remove my lenses before the surgery too?
If you want to follow the FDA-recommendations, the answer is yes. The best way to go about it if you really do not want to stay out of lenses is to go for an evaluation, set a date for your surgery and then stay out of your lenses (once) for the required period. You then just go back for a quick check 2 days before your procedure.
Can I wear my contact lenses before my surgery?
Contact lenses may change the shape of your cornea and make your doctor recommend PRK/LASEK rather than LASIK. In some cases, they may recommend no surgery at all based on shape appearance. Your contact lenses may affect your prescription by pressing on your eye. This is usually minimal, especially with soft lenses. Assuming this is the case, the worst thing that can happen is a slight increase in your chance of a touch-up. There is no evidence that something bad will happen. We usually recommend for my patients to stay out of their soft lenses for 2 weeks because it is an FDA recommendation. I recommend at least 4-6 weeks if you wear RGP/hard lenses because they tend to have a more long-lasting effect on the shape of the eye.
Is it possible not to notice any improvement or to go back to where my vision is today?
It is extremely unusual to experience either of these 2 events. Although some people may need more laser treatment, usually they would have noticed a significant improvement.
Where is the LASIK procedure performed?
Some surgeons have their own laser suite while others will use another facility. It is an outpatient procedure. You go home afterward and are usually told to keep your eyes shut for about 4 hours that day.
What is the worst thing that can happen?
This is probably the most common question we get from people considering LASIK. We tell everybody that anything could happen including having a heart attack and dying! This sounds drastic but in reality, death and blindness are probably as likely as being hit by a truck crossing the street. I would not refrain from considering LASIK because of concern about blindness. This is not to say that the procedure is not without risks but we take risks on a daily basis. Consider contact lenses. They also have a significant risk of infection, damage to the eye, etc. Yet, many of us will take the risk of contact lenses for their convenience. In general, LASIK is a very safe FDA-approved procedure for the good candidate. It is not for everybody. Be sure to be evaluated thoroughly and meet with your surgeon ahead of time so you ensure that you are a good candidate.
Is it ok to be on birth control pills?
Yes, it is ok. This will have no impact on your testing or visual results.
Why do some people need to repeat laser treatment?
Everybody heals differently. Even the 2 eyes of the same individual will heal differently. This is one of the main reasons on why the outcome is not as close to 20/20 as we want it too in about 3% of cases. There are also other variables at play that are difficult to control. That said, repeat laser treatments are very successful (and easy to do), i rarely have to do more than one repeat treatment on a patient.
How many procedures should my surgeon have done?
Although having done a few hundred procedures is a good basis, we would not consider the number of procedures performed as the most important element in my decision. There are 2 to 3 other questions that we feel are more relevant: How many procedures does the person perform currently on a monthly basis? Research has shown that higher-volume surgeons tend to have lesser complications. Does your surgeon have specific fellowship training in LASIK? Even if somebody has performed thousands of LASIK cases, they may not have seen a complication that happens 1:5000 times. Fellowship training prepares somebody for all unexpected situations and is a reasonable gauge on the level of preparedness. How does your surgeon track their own outcomes? Do they have electronic records allowing them an automated record review? How often do they do it? Ask to see the results. Remember, it does not matter as much who is flying the plane when the skies are blue. You want to be in the hands of a pilot who has flown in all sorts of weather and who is going to land that plane on the Hudson should birds hit the engine!
Will you patch my eyes afterward?
You will only need a clear shield that you can see through in the first 24 hours. I prefer that you wear the same shield at night for about a week or so. LASEK patients will have a contact lens in their eye for about a week. This lens has no power, it is just a bandage to reduce discomfort.
Can I blink during the procedure?
There is no problem gently blinking during LASIK. We do place a small device to keep the lids apart do you cannot close your eye even if you blink. It is better though not to squeeze your eyes as this tends to make it more difficult for the procedure to go as fast as you want it.
What is the difference between traditional (or conventional) vs. custom treatment?
Traditional treatment involves taking your eyeglasses prescription and plugging it into the laser. If 5 people have a -3.00 prescription, the same information will be fed to the laser not taking into account other visual aberrations in their eye. Custom treatment (such as iLASIK/Wavefront or Zyoptix) draws its data from an aberrometer measurement. This information is very different from one person to another even if they have the same prescription. It is, therefore \u201ccustomized. Many studies have shown that custom treatments will lead to a better chance of 20/20 vision and less negative symptoms at night such as halos around light. Our own results are consistent with these findings.
What is the difference between LASIK with the blade and blade-free LASIK?
There isn’t much of a difference. The ultimate result is the same. In my hands, LASEK allows a more comfortable and faster healing postoperative period. Many studies have shown that all 3 procedures are essentially the same and fall under the category of \u201csurface ablation\u201d.
Should I do both eyes together or one at a time?
Most people elect to do both eyes on the same day. It is theoretically safer to do them one week apart but the risk of the procedure with the current technology is so low that most people prefer a simultaneous treatment.
I was told I need an anti-scarring medication called Mitomycin during LASEK/PRK, is it safe to use?
We have been using mitomycin in many of my LASEK patients for the last 12 years without a single problem. There have been no reports in the medical literature about any side effect when used during laser vision correction. Years back, some glaucoma specialists used mitomycin as an eye drop which led to serious problems on the white part of the eye (sclera). Laser eye surgeons do not use it on that part of the eye and only apply it for about 30 seconds during the surgery. Used in this manner, there have been no issues at all.
Is it painful?
Laser vision correction is mostly pain-free but this does not mean you will not feel anything. The most common sensations are pressure around the eye and a cold sensation when fluid is used to clean the eye. During LASIK, your vision will go away for about 30 seconds or so. I usually ask patients ahead of time whether they would like to be told about what is going on. Many prefer not to know anything! After LASIK, you may feel some stinging and foreign body sensation for a few hours. It is very comfortable the next morning. For LASEK (and PRK – epi-LASIK), you may experience some discomfort for a few days after the procedure. About 2 out of 10 patients will experience frank pain. This is why we give all LASEK patients oral pain killers to keep them comfortable in the first few days.
Can you correct Astigmatism?
Yes, all lasers today are able to correct astigmatism. When the lasers were first approved in the 1990’s, astigmatism could not be corrected. This has changed few years later and now most people with astigmatism can have their eyes corrected. If the astigmatism is too high or asymmetric, you may not be a good candidate. This is typically checked at the time of your preoperative evaluation.
Which is safer, LASIK or LASEK (PRK- EpiLASIK)?
When LASIK was performed with a blade, we used to say that LASEK is safer. With the advent of blade-free lasik, we feel that both procedures have the same safety profile. We typically recommend LASIK if somebody is a good candidate for it.
How long does the procedure take?
LASIK takes me about 12 minutes to perform in both eyes. Usually, your stay at the laser center that day will be about 2-3 hours. It is better to inquire with your doctor as this can vary from place to place.
What if I don’t look at the light during the procedure?
Relax! We have great technology today that allows the lasers to track your eye even if you move it around. The laser will automatically shut off if you look too much away and restart when you look at the center again.
What is the percentage of LASIK vs LASEK procedures performed?
This can vary by surgeon. I do about 75% LASIK and 25% LASEK (same as PRK or epi-LASIK). Most LASEK patients are those who were not LASIK candidates. For patients who do not qualify for either, I either recommend no treatment or another modality such as an implantable contact lens or clear lens extraction
Which is the best laser in the market?
We get asked this question quite often. As you may imagine, each laser company wants to claim to have the best product and each doctor feels that they made the best choice when they purchased a very expensive piece of equipment. In reality, the FDA has approved all lasers in the US after a very stringent process. None of them is \u201cbad\u201d. All lasers will do a very good and equal job on 95% of patients. For the remaining 5%, some lasers may be slightly better than others. On occasion, we may take one of my patients to another facility if we feel that their laser is more appropriate for them. This is not very common though. With the above information in mind, we do personally have a preference for lasers that will minimize human errors when it comes to the input of prescription information. This was the main reason that drove our decision about our current laser platform.
What is the difference between LASIK and LASEK (or PRK - EpiLASIK)?
There is no difference in the ultimate outcome. LASIK is the procedure that will recover the fastest. Most people are able to drive in themselves the next morning
I read on the internet that the LASIK flap never heals, is that true?
It is true that your surgeon is able to free up your LASIK flap even years after the procedure. That said, the flap does not move that easily. It requires significant trauma to your eye for the flap to move. We have seen 2 such cases in the last 14 years. The flap can then be put back in position.
When can I shower after LASIK?
You can shower the next day. Just avoid rubbing your eyes.
When can I go skiing after LASIK?
As long as you don’t rub your eyes, you can go skiing as soon as a week after LASIK. The reason we say a week is because you may fall and hit your eye. More healing is needed than for just plain exercise.
How soon can I watch TV or work on a computer?
It is ok to watch TV or work at a computer as soon as you wake up from the 4 hours nap after LASIK. The key really is to avoid mechanical friction to your eyelids that could displace the flap in the first few days after the procedure.
My vision is fluctuating, especially when I read.?
This is usually an indication of dryness. If your vision improves after you place an artificial teardrop, it confirms the suspicion of dryness
If I need to, can I still wear contact lenses after LVC?
Yes, there is no reason not to be able to. Ask your doctor on when is a good time to do this. I am often asked this question by people who wear cosmetic colored lenses.
When can I fly after LASIK?
You can fly immediately after LASIK. As long as you fly back the next day for your follow up appointment. Many of my patients ask me this question and I am not sure where the misconception originates from but flying is perfectly ok even within hours after the procedure. That said, keep in mind that airplanes are dry environments and you may need to lubricate your eyes in-flight even a few months after LASIK.
When can I exercise after LASIK?
We tell patients that any activity after LASIK has to take into consideration mechanical friction. You really want to avoid moving the flap before it heals really well (2-3 days). You also want to avoid dislodging the contact lens placed in your eye after PRK/LASEK. So, it is ok to exercise 2-3 days later as long as you are self-aware and do not rub your eyes by mistake.
I was told I have \u201cdebris under my flap\u201d, should I be concerned?
On occasion, some secretions from the eyelids will work themselves under the LASIK flap. These are harmless and do not affect the vision or cause problems.
My eyes feel dry after LVC, what can I do?
This is not unexpected in the first few weeks (even months sometimes) after LASIK. Think of your eye as a fish. It likes water! The more lubricated, the better. There are many over the counter artificial tears products you can use. Some are viscous in a gel form that you can use at night. The best way to know which is most appropriate for you is to try. It is difficult to know if one product will help you more than another. If eye drops are not sufficient, your doctor can place a microscopic insert in the tear drainage canal to help keep your own tears on the surface of your eye for longer. This is a very simple procedure done in the office.
When can I put make-up on?
Many are anxious to put make up on as their eyes are not hiding behind glasses anymore. There is no hard and fast rule. You can imagine that nobody has done a study on this but 3 days are more than enough.
When can I go diving after LASIK?
You can go diving as soon as 2 weeks after surgery. There are no issues with diving or going to high altitude after LASIK.
How soon can I smoke or drink alcohol?
It is ok to smoke or drink alcohol as soon as you wake up from the 4 hours nap after lasik.
I was told I have \u201ccells under my flap\u201d, should I be concerned?
It is not uncommon to have some cells infiltrate themselves under the lasik flap especially after a repeat laser procedure. In the majority of cases, we just observe them and they go away on their own. About a couple of times a year, we do lift somebodys LASIK flap to clean under. This is not a significant complication if managed appropriately.
I am noticing some rings around light when I drive at night, is this normal?
Most patients will notice this in the first few weeks after the procedure. If you have been told before the laser procedure that you are more at risk for it than others, this may last longer. There are some things that can be done to help in the meantime. This includes some eyedrops to use in the evening. Inquire with your doctor as every situation is different.
What are warning signs that something is not right?
An easy acronym to remember about warning signs after any eye surgery is RSVP: R- Redness S- Sensitivity to light V- Vision reduction P- Pain If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your surgeon. Keep in mind that all these symptoms are normal and to be expected in the first few days after LASEK (and PRK – epilasik).
I had LASIK today, my eyes are stinging and burning, is this normal?
Yes, it is very normal to have such a sensation on the first day. Typically the eyes are quite comfortable the next morning.
It has been 1 week after LASEK and my vision is still a bit blurry?
It is not unexpected for some people to heal slower than expected. This is not a cause of concern. It will ultimately get there. That said, it is better to ask your surgeon so they can assess your individual situation.
My eye drops sting when I instill them, is this ok?
Yes, this is normal. You may even notice a metallic taste in your mouth as the excess drops drain through the nose to the throat.
Can I remove the contact lens that was placed during LASEK?
Unless instructed by your surgeon, it is better to leave it in place even if it feels uncomfortable. The contact lens is usually kept for about a week. On occasion, we instruct patients to take it off themselves if we decide to keep it for longer than 1 week.
How fast is the recovery from LASIK vs LASEK (or PRK-EpiLASIK)?
My patients usually drive themselves in the next morning after LASIK. This is not the case after LASEK. It may take few days for them to be able to drive again. Similarly working at a computer may be a bit blurry for few days after LASEK. We tell LASEK patients to make arrangements as if they are not going to be able to work for 1 week, if they elect to do one eye at a time, they may be able to go back to work as early as the next morning.
PRK & Lasik Alternatives
What is better, PRK or LASIK?
One is not better than the other and the results are similar. In certain situations one may be a better option for you given your specific situation/characteristics.
Which is cheaper, PRK or LASIK?
There is no difference in cost for PRK or LASIK.
Why do PRK instead of LASIK?
If you have a thin cornea, atypical corneal shape, a very high prescription or you perform high risk activities (like contact sports) where you may get hit in the eye.
Can you go blind from PRK?
No you cannot go blind from PRK (or LASIK).
How much is PRK per eye?
Around $2600 per eye.
Can PRK be done twice?
Yes, it can be done twice if needed.
Which lasts longer, PRK or LASIK?
They both last the same amount of time.
How many years does PRK last?
Hopefully PRK will last you forever, some patients will need a touch up in the future but most patients will not.
Can PRK make your vision worse?
In general, no it cannot. All procedures carry some risk but it would be exceedingly rare to make your vision worse and this is typically when someone undergoes surgery who is not a good candidate.
Is PRK better for dry eyes?
No. This is an old dogma but new studies show no difference in the frequency of dry eye between LASIK and PRK.
How long will my eyes be blurry after PRK?
Everyone recovers differently, we tell patients to prepare for a week which is the most common but it could be shorter or longer than that.
How long after PRK can I rub my eyes?
Its recommended to wait at least one week before rubbing your eyes after PRK surgery.
How long does dry eye last after PRK?
It depends on the patient, but typically a few weeks and some patients don’t experience dryness at all. Artificial tears usually help with dryness
How bad is PRK recovery?
Recovery varies from patient to patient. Some patients experience mild discomfort for a few days to a week.
What can you not do after PRK surgery?
No swimming for two weeks after PRK. We recommend sunglasses outside. Otherwise, no other restrictions.
What is the fastest way to recover from PRK?
Recovery is unpredictable but your eyes heal very quickly. A thousand milligrams of Vitamin C per day can help the healing process.
What is the difference between LASIK and PRK?
With LASIK, there is flap created then the cornea is reshaped with the laser. With PRK there is no flap creation. The laser reshapes the cornea on the surface.
Which is safer, LASIK or PRK?
We do not feel one procedure is safer vs. the other. There are risks and benefits to both. We will recommend which procedure we feel is safest for you based on your specific situation.
Is PRK eye surgery painful?
Most patients dont experience any pain during the PRK procedure but do feel some irritation for a few days after surgery.