Getting Qualified by an Optometrist for LASIK
If you are looking to get qualified or are interested in a LASIK procedure, chances are, you are looking to get the most out of your eyesight as possible – and understandably so! Our vision plays a huge role in analyzing and deciphering the world around us. A successful LASIK, or commonly referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, will help you get the desired vision you deserve!
How long is a LASIK procedure?
A successful LASIK procedure will help correct most common vision problems, along with being a great alternative to glasses or contact lenses. In fact, most LASIK procedures last less than 30 minutes; the average length of a LASIK procedure is 8 minutes per eye. As hinted in the name, LASIK utilizes laser technology to precisely change the shape (and thus, reshape) of the patientâ€™s cornea to provide the necessary refractions needed to correct blurred or unfocuses images. LASIK is an outpatient procedure that requires no needles or stitches; only numbing drops are used during the procedure. This also means that the patient is completely awake during the entire process. This helps limit the discomfort along with decreasing the chances of infections or surgical mishaps.
Although LASIK procedure outcomes are almost always favorable, there are a few qualifications that patients should be aware of before attempting to get qualified by an optometrist for the vision-correcting procedure. Just like with other medical-related procedures, you must be healthy enough to commit to the procedure! Any conditions that affect your current eyesight or may cause complications during the healing process should be noted as soon as possible. In most instances, it is better to wait until the condition is resolved before moving forward with LASIK. Your cornea must also have sufficient thickness to produce favorable results. If your cornea is too thin or has an irregular surface, LASIK could compromise and impair your vision. In addition, your pupils must not be overly large. Having overly large pupils could cause side effects after the procedure is completed. Since the cornea is going to be reshaped during the procedure, the pupil size must correlate with the reshaped cornea as well.
Why get LASIK?
Although there is no age limit as to when a patient gets laser eye surgery, it is important to note that vision loss is absolutely normal. For older patients, reading glasses or contacts may be a more evasive vision-correction option. LASIK patients must also be over the age of 18 – no exceptions. If you are tackling certain conditions such as pregnancy and breastfeeding or on certain medications or steroids, your vision may not be stable enough for the LASIK procedure. As a patient, you want to have to the most favorable results, at the most favorable price. Ensure that your vision is stable and healthy before jumping into a LASIK procedure.
One of the biggest fears heading into a LASIK procedure is permanent vision damage. However, it is important to understand that it is absolutely normal for patients to experience minor symptoms following the procedure. Minor symptoms include drying of the eyes, lessened night vision, and seeing subtle halos during the day. The retina and pupils are extremely delicate and sensitive – it can take up to 6 months for these side effects to disappear. In fact, most patients do not usually reach peak clarity for up to 6 months AFTER the procedure! Many patients even notice improved vision immediately after the surgery! All of the minor temporary visual disturbances are just that, temporary. As with all medical procedures, doing your research is half the battle. By educating and informing yourself on both the procedure and the professionals involved, you ALWAYS reduce the risk of any LASIK complications when you choose a reputable, experienced, eye surgeon.
Facts about LASIK
Although a successful LASIK procedure will produce favorable vision enhancements, not every patient will receive the most optimal results. There will always be a chance of significant under-correction, over-correction, or even regression when dealing with the retina and pupils. Some patients also use contact lenses and eyeglasses for additional aid, despite a successful procedure. Your eyes must also adapt and heal in a proper manner for optimal results. This is why aftercare is so important. In most cases of under-correction or regression can be successfully treated with additional laser work if you are not completely satisfied with the results.
At the end of the day, it is important for the individual patient to weigh the risks and benefits that come with eye surgery before committing to LASIK. Although laser eye surgery and LASIK has successfully helped treat millions of patients throughout the years, there are certain qualifications that patients should be aware of before being qualified by an optometrist. If you are strongly considering LASIK in the foreseeable future, consult with your local optometrist to discuss your possible outcomes and possibilities. Your vision is absolutely crucial – treat it like so!