THE MOST COMMON LASIK EYE SURGERY QUESTIONS
Welcome to our LASIK FAQ’s page! Here, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about LASIK and provided answers to help you understand the procedure better. Whether you’re considering LASIK for yourself or just curious about the process, we hope you find this page informative and helpful.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M SUITABLE FOR LASIK?
LASIK eye surgery is an outpatient procedure that uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea to correct your vision. This allows the correction of Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism. This also reduces or removes a person’s dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses.
If you’re considering LASIK to correct your vision problems, it’s essential to undergo a pre-LASIK screening. This comprehensive eye exam will assess the health of your eyes and determine if you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure.
At Lasik Surgery Clinic Angeles, we offer FREE LASIK screening, so don’t delay – schedule your screening today and take the first step toward clear, crisp vision!
A GOOD CANDIDATE SHOULD:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
Your eyes are still developing before this age, and it’s essential to wait until they have stabilized before undergoing LASIK.
- Your eyes should not have any severe eye conditions.
Serious eye conditions such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, or glaucoma can affect your vision and need to be treated before considering LASIK.
- Your vision should have been stable for at least one year.
Your eyeglasses prescription should be stable and has not significantly increased during that time. This is important because LASIK permanently changes the shape of your cornea, so your vision needs to be stable before the procedure.
- Your refractive error should fall within a suitable range.
Refractive error is a measure of how well your eye can focus light, This range will be determined during your pre-LASIK screening and will depend on various factors such as the thickness of your cornea and the size of your pupils.
- You must NOT be pregnant or breastfeeding.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy and lactation can affect the shape of your cornea and your vision, so it’s essential to wait until after these stages before undergoing LASIK.
WHAT DOES THE EYE ASSESMENT OR PRE-LASIK SCREENING INCLUDE?
The pre-LASIK assessment includes the following tests:
- Vision check
- Spectacle power check
- Cornea thickness measurement
- Cornea surface mapping (topography)
- Eye ball pressure measurement
- Pupil size measurement
- Pupils are dilated with eye drops
- A LASIK education video is screened for you
You will undergo a full eye assessment to determine your suitability for the lasik procedure. They will conduct several tests and check for abnormalities. After this, you will watch a video which tells you more about lasik. And you can share with our counsellors (optometrist and nurses) your concerns or ask further questions.
**Please be advised to stop wearing your contact lens 5 days to 1 week for soft contact lenses and 2 weeks or more for hard contact lenses prior to the Lasik Screening to ensure accuracy of all eye exams.
WHY DO I NEED TO LAY-OFF MY CONTACT LENSES BEFORE THE PRE-EVALUATION AND LASIK SURGERY?
Contact lenses change the shape of your cornea. Wearing contact lenses can cause temporary changes to the shape of your cornea, which can affect the accuracy of your eye readings during the pre-evaluation and LASIK surgery.
That is why it is required to remove your contact lenses to allow the cornea to return back to it’s original shape so that accurate eye readings can be taken.
WHAT EYE PROBLEMS LASIK SURGERY CANNOT TREAT?
One condition that cannot be treated by LASIK is cataract. Cataract is caused by the clouding of the lens of the eye. A cataract extraction with intraocular lens implantation is required. And Keratoconus, a very uncommon eye disease due to an irregularly thinned cornea, is another problem which prevents LASIK correction.
WHAT FACTORS DETERMINE THE RANGE AND ACCURACY OF TREATMENT POSSIBLE?
There are 3 main factors which affect how much and how accurate the treatment is.
- Thickness of the patient’s cornea. The thicker the cornea is, the greater the amount of correction that can be achieved.
- The size of the patient’s pupil in the dark. Larger pupils require deeper and wider treatments.
- Finally, the higher the power, the less accurate the correction. This is because more correction requires a larger amount of tissue to be ablated and a longer time of treatment.
IS LASIK PAINFUL?
No, it is not. LASIK is performed under topical eye drop anesthesia. No injections or general anesthesia are needed. Most patients describe the sensation during LASIK as a slight pressure.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I BLINK DURING LASIK SURGERY?
Blinking is actually stopped by the placement of an instrument called a lid speculum, which gently holds back your upper and lower eyelids and is put into place after you receive anesthetic drops.
IS LASIK SAFE? WHAT HAPPENS IF MY EYE MOVES?
LASIK is safe. The chances of complications arising are very remote, especially in an experienced surgeon’s hands.
Eye movement can be controlled with special techniques, however the best method to control movement is for the patient to practice fixing his gaze. Small movements of the eye will be compensated for by the Laser’s eye tracker. All modern lasers have very fast eye trackers.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A LASIK PROCEDURE?
LASIK basically involves 2 major processes:
Creation of the LASIK “flap” using a microkeratome (a device with a very fast oscillating blade) & Removal of eye tissue from the surface of the cornea bed with an Excimer laser to correct a patient’s refractive error.
- Creation of the LASIK “flap” using a microkeratome:
During this procedure, the LASIK surgeon creates a thin flap in the cornea, which is the clear outer layer of the eye. The microkeratome is a device that uses a very fast oscillating blade to create this flap. The flap is then lifted and folded back, exposing the underlying corneal tissue.
- Removal of eye tissue from the surface of the cornea bed with an Excimer laser to correct the refractive error
After the flap is created, the surgeon uses an Excimer laser to remove a precise amount of corneal tissue from the exposed area. The laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to remove tiny amounts of tissue without damaging the surrounding area. The amount of tissue removed is determined by the patient’s specific refractive error, as measured during the pre-LASIK evaluation.
HOW LONG IS THE LASIK PROCEDURE?
The actual lasik surgery takes about 5 – 10 minutes on each eye to complete. The whole process may take 1 to 2 hours including registration, preparation, debriefing, post-op consultation.
ARE THERE ANY PRECAUTIONS I NEED TO NOTE PRIOR TO LASIK SURGERY?
Should you sustain any injury to the eye prior to surgery, inform your doctor before the surgery is performed. Any infection whether to the eye or the body as a whole should also be communicated to your doctor prior to the surgery.
WHEN WILL MY VISION BE CLEAR AFTER LASIK?
For many people who undergo LASIK surgery, clear vision without the need for eyeglasses can be achieved as early as the day after the procedure. LASIK is designed to improve the vision quickly, with minimal downtime. However, it’s important to note that recovery time can vary from person to person.
While some patients may be able to see clearly almost immediately after surgery, others may experience a longer period of visual recovery.
In general, most patients experience significant improvement in their vision within the first week after surgery. During this time, you may notice that your vision is a bit blurry or hazy, but this is normal and typically resolves within a few days.
Your eye doctor will likely schedule a follow-up appointment within the first few days after your surgery to monitor your progress and ensure that your eyes are healing properly.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE CORNEA TO HEAL?
The cornea flap takes 1 month to heal completely.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO AFTER THE LASIK SURGERY?
You are required to wear a protective eye shield for 7 to 10 days.
You might subconciously rub your eyes when asleep so we advise you to also wear your eye shield for the first 3 nights. Additionally you will also need to take note of these things:
- No swimming for a month.
- No make–up for a week.
- Patient is advised not to touch the eye for the first few days after the surgery
- Do not rub the eye for at least one month.
Vigorous rubbing the eye can lead to shifting and wrinkling of the flap. Wrinkling causes severe distortion of vision.
CAN I STILL WEAR CONTACT LENSES AFTER THE SURGERY?
Yes! This question is asked by those that have high myopia but do not have adequate cornea thickness for full correction and are considering partial correction. For example, 1000 diopters but only has enough cornea tissue to correct up to 800 diopters. Or if the patient wishes to wear them for cosmetic purposes (colored contact lenses), they can be worn one month after surgery.
The most common side effects of lasik are dry eyes, glare and haloes. Immediately after LASIK, the patient will experience discomfort for 2 to 3 hours. Patients will experience tearing and may also experience a ‘sandy’ feeling in the eye. For majority of cases, if the eye is kept gently closed after surgery, discomfort will diminish rapidly. If the patient takes a 2 to 3 hour nap, the discomfort will disappear almost completely. The patient will usually feel very comfortable six to eight hours after surgery and by then vision should have improved significantly.
Dry eyes are treatable by eye lubricant to ease the discomfort.
Glare usually disappears after one to three months. If it does not disappear after 6 months, it will most probably be permanent. In many cases night glare continues to improve even after 6 months.
CAN I UNDERGO LASIK EYE SURGERY WHEN I’M PREGNANT?
It is not recommended to undergo surgery during pregnancy.
Hormonal changes affects the hydration of your cornea, and the reading will not be accurate.
However it will not harm the fetus.
HOW SOON CAN I DO LASIK AFTER PREGNANCY?
3 months after pregnancy if not breast feeding. If breastfeeding, you can undergo Lasik 3 months after you stop breastfeeding.
IS LASIK COVERED BY HMO INSURANCE?
Because LASIK is considered by most HMO providers to be an elective surgery, they most likely will not cover the procedure. You may however review your employer’s HMO insurance policy to see if LASIK or a LASIK discount may be covered.
Your personal HMO provider will be able to advise you on whether Lasik surgery can be covered by your medical personal insurance.
IS LASIK SURGERY COVERED BY PHILHEALTH?
The PhilHealth coverage for LASIK surgery is limited to patients with cataracts and other eye-related diseases. If you are eligible for PhilHealth coverage, the amount covered will depend on your specific case and the hospital where you are receiving treatment.
Please check with your healthcare provider or insurance company to see if you are eligible for coverage.