Lasik and other forms of laser eye surgery have become so common and effective that many health plans around the country may soon begin paying for them as acceptable forms of eye surgery. And if they don't, they should. The success rate with lasik eye surgery and laser eye surgery, in general, has made the procedure a household name, and made it also more affordable, so many more people can actually consider the procedure.
But no matter how many people have lasik eye surgery or laser eye surgery, you may still have your reservations. After all, they are slicing into your eyes, two of the most important organs you have, with a white-hot laser. So don't be afraid to ask any questions that you may have, and do as much research as necessary to make yourself comfortable with the procedure. Hopefully, we can get a jumpstart for you here with this article - and the answers to the 7 most commonly asked questions about laser eye surgery.
#1: What exactly is laser eye surgery? Lasik is one form of laser eye surgery, whose sole job is to make you not dependent on your glasses or contacts anymore. Lasik stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis.
#2: How does lasik work to correct vision? You sure you want to know the answer to this one? Kidding aside, laser eye surgery works because it actually changes the shape of your cornea, or the clear lens of your eye that allows light to enter your eye. Doctors use a microkeratome, a knife, to create a flap in your cornea. This is then folded back and a laser, called an excimer laser, is used to "shave" off the cornea until it's the proper shape. Of course, there are other types of laser eye surgery out there, some of which you may have already heard about, like intralase surgery.
#3: How do I know if lasik is right for me? There are a lot of considerations to make before you get the laser eye surgery. First, you have to ask yourself whether or not you can afford the procedure, or whether or not your work and health insurance will pick it up.
#4: Are there other medical conditions that could interfere with the surgery? Yes, you should be aware of any medications that you may be taking that can slow down your healing, such as steroids. You should make sure you don't suffer from a condition that could slow your healing, such as an autoimmune condition.
#5: Are all eyes able to be "shaved"? No, some eyes, especially those with other conditions, such as dry eye, thin corneas, or pupil disorders, do not make good candidates for laser eye surgery. If your prescription is still in flux - if you've changed prescriptions in the last year or two - you should probably hold off on the lasik eye surgery as well.
#6: Does laser eye surgery work 100 percent of the time? No, sometimes the results are not permanent. In that case, repeated procedures may be needed down the road. You could also suffer side effects such as dry eyes, contrast sensitivity, or even blindness.
#7: How do I find a doctor? Ask around your friends, family, colleagues, and other doctors. The best laser eye surgery doctors should be experienced, have the latest equipment, be able to explain everything about the procedure to your heart's content, and offer care down the road.