If you wear contacts or glasses, you know the frustrations that come with them. Wouldn't it be nice to consider living in a world that's free from these annoyances? You may be a candidate for a procedure called LASIK, or Laser-Assisted-In-Situ Keratomileusis. LASIK is one of the most popular elective procedures in the world! At Metro Eye Care, we perform LASIK using the iFS Intralase Advanced Femtosecond Laser and the WaveLight Allegretto Wave Eye-Q laser. The Intralase and the Allegretto are the most advanced lasers available for performing LASIK.
What Is LASIK?
LASIK is a vision correction procedure. This eliminates the need for glasses or contacts. LASIK is an elective procedure with permanent results. Traditionally, LASIK required the use of blades to achieve results. However, at Metro Eye Care, we only perform LASIK using the iFS Intralase Advanced Femtosecond Laser. This means that LASIK with Metro Eye Care does not involve blades. Bladeless LASIK is more precise and results in less potential complications. When a patient has LASIK, the cornea is changed permanently. The femtosecond laser creates a small flap in the cornea. The flap acts like a trap door in the cornea. After the flap is created, your LASIK surgeon uses the excimer laser to reshape the cornea to correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
LASIK is a quick procedure performed at our state-of-the-art LASIK Center. The surgery takes about fifteen minutes and the results last a lifetime. Because your eyes are numb before the procedure, you feel no pain. Instead, you'll leave Metro Eye Care with clear vision!
Who Is A Good Candidate For LASIK?
Although LASIK is a popular procedure, it is still a surgery. This means that not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. The only way to know for sure if you're a candidate for LASIK is to come in for a LASIK consultation. A good candidate:
- Will be generally healthy.
- Won't have a history of eye diseases like glaucoma or macular degeneration.
- Has had a stable eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
- Should be at least 18 years or older.
- Has thick enough corneas to undergo the surgery.
Undergoing A Comprehensive Eye Exam Before LASIK
Before you have LASIK, it's required that you undergo a comprehensive eye exam. This eye exam allows us to check your eyes for any abnormalities, as well as measure how thick your corneas are. There are several things that we look for during a comprehensive eye exam. Corneal thickness is the most important. If your corneas are too thin, getting LASIK could cause severe risks. Corneas that are not thick enough cannot handle the reshaping process. This could result in permanent vision loss and other severe complications. A comprehensive eye exam is the only way your LASIK surgeon at Metro Eye Care can measure corneal thickness. The Allegretto laser will also create a topographical map of each eye.
This map removes the possibility of human error during your procedure. Each eye is unique like your fingerprints. Using wavefront technology allows your LASIK surgeon to precisely reshape your cornea. Your individual refractive errors become corrected effortlessly.
What To Expect During LASIK
After your comprehensive eye exam, you'll find out if you're a candidate for LASIK. Surgeries can be scary, and LASIK is no exception! 2 weeks before LASIK, you'll have to stop wearing contacts. Contacts can change the shape of your cornea before your procedure.
On the day of your procedure, you won't be able to wear any makeup. We recommend wearing comfortable clothes to make the experience as easy as possible. You will not be able to drive yourself home after LASIK, so make sure you have someone with you to drive you home. When you arrive, your eyes are numbed thanks to special eye drops. These make sure you can't feel anything during LASIK and wear off a few hours later. If you are feeling nervous, we will offer you Valium to calm you down and reduce your anxiety. Once your eyes are numb, we will take you to our patient suite. You will lay down and asked to stare at a bright red light. You will stare at this red light during the whole procedure. You can blink as needed. The lights in the patient suite may seem bright, but this is normal. Each eye takes less than a minute to create the flap and reshape the cornea. After that, it's over! Your vision might seem smoky or foggy, but it's temporary. Each patient is different, so your vision may take a few days to clear up. Take it easy the first 4 hours after LASIK. We recommend laying down in a dark room and keeping your eyes closed. You may be more sensitive to lights, so make sure to wear the special sunglasses that we provide. These will come in handy when you're outside! A few hours after LASIK, the numbing drops will start to wear off. Your eyes shouldn't hurt, but they may feel uncomfortable or scratchy. Take the eye drops that we prescribe you. These eye drops help keep your eyes from getting infected or inflamed. Artificial tears will also make a big difference since your eyes will feel dry. The dryness will go away, but the artificial tears will help keep your eyes lubricated.
Recovering From LASIK
Having LASIK is amazing, but there is still a recovery period after. The first day after LASIK, you may rely heavily on the eye drops and artificial tears. This will keep you comfortable and make you less likely to rub your eyes. The flaps created on your corneas are delicate. Rubbing your eyes while recovering can lead to complications. Besides dry eyes, you'll need to avoid makeup and getting water into your eyes for the first month. Makeup can carry bacteria and lead to infections. Keep your eyes closed in the shower as well, since water can also carry bacteria or contaminants. If these get in your eyes, you could cause permanent damage! You'll need to attend several follow up appointments at Metro Eye Care. These appointments ensure your eyes are healing properly and your vision has improved. The recovery process after LASIK takes about 3 months, though it does depend on the patient. Your follow up appointments are usually the day after the procedure, 1 week after LASIK, and 1 month after. The follow up appointments are then after 3 months, and 1 year. Ready to take the leap and get LASIK? Schedule your consultation with the experts at Metro Eye Care today!