- A patient’s prescription must be stable at the time of LASIK. Patients must be at least 18 years old to have laser vision correction, but some patients’ eyes are still changing at that age. A stable prescription is generally defined as a change of less than .5D in one year.
- The higher a patients’ prescription, the more likely a patient is to need an enhancement or “touch-up”. Most enhancements are done 3-6 months after the original procedure.
- While distance vision will generally remain stable after LASIK, patients will still lose their near vision in their 40’s as part of the natural “aging” of the eyes. LASIK does not prevent the eventual need for reading glasses.
- Patients will still develop cataracts as they age. LASIK does not prevent cataracts, nor does it make cataract surgery more difficult when the need arises.
One of the many advantages of modern LASIK technology is the long term vision stability. What is your question about the procedure?
Occupation: Service Manager for Monaco Enterprises
How long have you been thinking about LASIK? For some time but was afraid!
What held you back? $$$$ Cost
What was the LASIK experience like for you? The surgery was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I felt very well informed and the staff was wonderful.
How was your recovery? I really only had one night of discomfort. The recovery was very easy.
What is your favorite thing about having gotten LASIK? I love to swim and now I don’t have to choose between keeping my glasses on to see or take them off and not see anything.
How has LASIK influenced work or hobbies? I think now I’m a better shot!
Would you recommend it? In a moment!
What is your advice for someone considering laser vision correction? Just go for it! It will be the best decision you ever make!
How long has it been since you have gotten LASIK? 3 months
Do you love your vision, how is it? I absolutely love it!
Anything else you want to share? I just want you to know that I’m not saying these things because I won this surgery. If I knew now what surgery would be like and how it has changed my life, I would pay for it! I want you to know that I would be happy to talk with patients about my experience. Just give them my number. Seriously, I want to share my story with everyone!
Do you have a LASIK story you want to share?
Patients typically want to know at what point during their LASIK Recovery can they resume different activities. A LASIK flap does need time to heal in the immediate post-operative period, so patients will need to wait a bit before resuming various activities. After laser vision correction, patients can return to work the next day, but we usually recommend waiting a day or two before returning to work.
For swimming and diving, patients will need to wait a full month. Swimming with goggles is not acceptable, but wading is OK. After a month, any swimming, diving, or scuba diving is fine, at any depth.
High altitudes present no problems after LASIK. Patients may fly immediately. High altitude climbing used to present a problem with the old RK procedures, but causes no issues after LASIK.
Resuming contact sports (football, basketball, hockey, etc) often depends on the patient and the sport. I tell patients that if they will wear eye protection, usually sturdy goggles, they may play after a week or two. Patients have to use lots of common sense here, as they generally know how likely it is that they will get hit in the eye during their particular sport. I try to encourage IntraLase bladeless LASIK in these patients, as these flaps seal down much tighter than a flap made with a blade.
-Dr. Mark Walker
Do you have a question or concern about a particular activity or hobby, after your LASIK surgery? Please submit your question or concern and we will answer it as quickly as possible.
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!