Do you want to know if you are a LASIK Candidate? The only way to know if laser vision correction will work for you is to get a free pre-operative examination, but first complete the LASIK Candidate Quiz below.
Quick LASIK Candidate Quiz
1. Are you 18 or older?
2. Do you wear glasses or contacts?
3. Are you nearsighted, farsighted, and/or have astigmatism?
4. Has your prescription been stable for a year?
5. Are you in good health?
6. Are you currently not pregnant or nursing?
If you answered YES to all of these questions, there is a good chance that LASIK can work for you.
If you answered NO to any question, it does not eliminate laser vision correction as a possibility, but you will need to talk with your doctor about your options
What questions do you have before your pre-operative exam?
Spring has sprung, and with it comes the seasonal allergies that affect so many of us this time of year. LASIK patients will often ask us about their eye allergies, since we are constantly asking them not to rub their eyes after laser vision correction surgery. Surprisingly, eye allergies tend to be less of a problem in LASIK patients, for varying reasons.
First off, LASIK patients are on a topical corticosteroid for at least a week after their procedure. This steroid tends to alleviate all allergy symptoms in the early post-op period (also the most critical “no rubbing” period).
Secondly, LASIK patients have dry eyes for about 6 months after surgery, and so are using frequent artificial tears. We recommend that they use them every hour while awake for the first few weeks. An added benefit of using these is that they are also washing most allergens out at the same time, decreasing patient symptoms.
Most of these patients will still suffer the nasal congestion, etc and will usually be on one or more oral antihistamines. Even the “non-drowsy” versions of these can still worsen ocular dryness, so encourage these patients to stay well hydrated, and to use even more tears.
Lastly, the variety and effectiveness of topical anti-allergy drops have surged these last few years, in both prescription and OTC meds. These are perfectly fine for post-op LASIK patients, although we ask that they not start them until one week after their procedure.
-Dr. Mark Walker
“Can I have LASIK?” A large majority of people who wear glasses or contacts to correct their distance vision are a LASIK candidate, but sometimes patients will assume they are not a candidate for the procedure. Advances in both technology and techniques in recent years have allowed patients to have LASIK who may not have been candidates for the procedure in the past. These are some of the more common questions we get at Restore Vision Centers regarding LASIK candidacy:
Can I have LASIK…
If I have a REALLY high prescription? The amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism we are able to treat with LASIK are much higher than in the past. The FDA has greatly expanded the range of treatment, and we get great results even if a patient has a higher prescription.
If I have thin corneas? If a patient has thin corneas, but healthy, patients are often still a candidate for either IntraLase LASIK or a PRK procedure. The results are identical to patients with thicker corneas.
If I have an inflammatory disease, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis? Provided the condition is well-controlled on medication and is not currently in an active “flare-up”, many patients with an inflammatory disease are great LASIK candidates.
If I am pregnant? Pregnancy can temporarily change your glasses prescription, therefore patients may not have LASIK until six weeks after delivery, or six weeks after completion of breast-feeding (whichever is later).
If I am younger or older in age? Per the FDA, a patient must be at least 18 years old with a stable glasses prescription in order to have LASIK. There is no upper age limit, although patients in their late 60’s and older, we do look closely for cataracts as cataract surgery may be the preferred procedure.
-Dr. Mark Walker
This edition of LASIK Stories features Joanna, the receptionist/office manager for Vision Plus Optical Outlet. She recently had LASIK at Restore Vision Centers and was willing to share how laser vision correction impacted her life!
Occupation: Receptionist/Office Manager for Vision Plus Optical Outlet
Hobbies: Playing and teaching violin, reading, and enjoying the outdoors.
How long have you been thinking about LASIK? When a representative from Restore came to our office last year and presented what LASIK really is, my interest was piqued! It was in October 2012 that I decided I was going to do it.
Did anything hold you back at first? Just the thought of anything messing with my eyes…eek!
What made you decide to move forward, was there one moment? I talked to the optometrist I work with about pros and cons and he encouraged me to go for it.
What was your least favorite thing about glasses or contacts? I could never put contacts in my own eyes, and my glasses were constantly getting smudged!
What was the laser eye surgery experience like for you? When my husband and I heard about all the things which could go wrong he was a little concerned, but the knowledgeable staff put us both at ease. The surgery itself was not that bad! Dr. Walker was very good about talking me through everything and even said I could ask questions during the procedure.
How was your recovery? Everything has been excellent so far; the worst part was the irritation for a few hours after the surgery. But that went away pretty soon and it’s been great ever since!
What is your favorite thing about LASIK? No more glasses to constantly clean, and perfect vision all the time!
How has LASIK influenced your work or hobbies? I play violin in an orchestra, and it’s been nice to be able to see the music all the time.
Would you recommend it? Definitely.
What is your advice for someone considering laser vision correction? If you have the slightest interest in doing it, ask your eye doctor to see if you’re a good candidate! It’s definitely worth it!
How long has it been since you got LASIK? Two weeks.
Do you love your vision, how is it? Better than perfect: 20/15 at my one-week post-op!
Anything else you want to share? Dr. Walker and the staff at Restore are so helpful and very good at what they do!
When I discuss LASIK results and expectations with patients, the concept of presbyopia is critical. Presbyopia is the natural loss of one’s near vision that occurs after about 40 years of age (the so-called “aging” of the eye). It occurs because the lens inside the eye hardens and will no longer “flex” to focus up close.
Having LASIK will not alter the eye’s aging process: there is no cure or surgery for presbyopia, so unfortunately presbyopia will occur whether a patient has LASIK or not. After LASIK, younger patients can see both near and far, but will still lose their near vision after 40. Patients over about 45 will get great distance vision with LASIK, but will be in reading glasses for their near vision.
I am often asked by older patients, “I can see great up close right now without my glasses. Why will I need them after LASIK?” The reason they can see up close is because they are currently near-sighted; their eyes are set for near (i.e. reading). LASIK sets their eyes for distance, making a near correction necessary.
Some patients try a compromise known as Monovision, setting one eye for distance and one eye for near. This solution is not for everyone; many patients do not like that Monovision can create a decrease in depth perception. We often recommend that patients try Monovision with contact lenses first, to make sure that this adjustment is right for them.
-Dr. Mark Walker
Have you been thinking about getting LASIK? If you are considering LASIK you probably have done all the research and found the closest LASIK center. Don’t let the distance of LASIK centers narrow your search! LASIK doesn’t have to be just going into an office for a medical procedure, why not turn it into a vacation? LASIK in Seattle, yes please!
LASIK is an experience – so make it one! One of LASIK’s many benefits is the fast recovery time – you can have LASIK on a Thursday or Friday and be ready to site see the next day!
Seattle LASIK centers are very experienced and have performed thousands of LASIK procedures; Restore Vision Centers, for explain, has performed over 100,000 LASIK procedures. The best part of choosing Seattle for your LASIK destination, you can enjoy breakfast at Pike Place Market or check out your new vision on top of the Space Needle!
Worried about the distance for LASIK post-care? Many LASIK centers, like Restore Vision Centers, work with optometrists throughout the Pacific Northwest to offer local pre- and post-LASIK care.
LASIK is a life changing procedure so make it memorable – consider getting your LASIK in Seattle!
Never been to Seattle? LASIK sounds like a good excuse to check it out! After getting LASIK in Seattle, here are some places to SEE:
In a “perfect” eye, the cornea (the clear, round window at the front of the eye) would be perfectly round like a marble, with the same steepness in every direction. This almost never occurs in real life, as most people have a cornea that is steeper in one direction and flatter in another direction (like a football lying on its side). Having astigmatism blurs the visual image the same way near- or farsightedness does.
In the early days of LASIK, the laser could only correct small amounts of astigmatism, leaving many people unable to have the procedure. Newer technology, however, can correct even very large amounts of astigmatism with extreme accuracy. Many of our current patients that were told years ago they were not a candidate for the procedure, are now having LASIK with amazing results.
We encourage anyone deemed a “non-candidate” for LASIK in the past to recheck with us, as new technology can change everything.
-Dr. Mark Walker