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Lasik F.A.Qs

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “LASIK” stand for?

LASIK is an abbreviation for “laser in-situ keratomileusis”; which translates to using a laser to reshape the cornea. The cornea is the clear window on the front of the eye and is a very powerful focusing element for the eye.

By changing the cornea’s curvature, the laser can – in an extremely precise and computer-controlled method – change the focusing power and improve vision without glasses or contact lenses.

What is nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism?

The eye is like a camera and has lenses (including the cornea) that focus incoming light rays on the visually sensitive retina, which lines the back of the eye. For many people, incoming light rays aren’t focused precisely on the retina; this is called a “refractive error”. The most common refractive error is nearsightedness (also called “myopia”); in this condition, vision is blurred at a distance, while up-close vision is usually good; nearsighted patients usually start wearing glasses or contact lenses at a young age. In farsightedness (also called “hyperopia”), patients frequently can have excellent distance vision but begin to develop reading difficulty at a younger than normal age; people with high degrees of farsightedness may have both blurry near and distance vision even at a young age. The causes of nearsightedness and farsightedness usually have to do with abnormalities in the length of the eye. In astigmatism, the cornea is not symmetric, meaning that one axis has a different curvature than the other axis; astigmatism commonly accompanies nearsightedness and farsightedness. Advanced LASIK lasers can usually accurately correct all of these refractive errors.

How does the LASIK procedure work?

Modern LASIK is completely bladeless and utilizes 2 lasers. The first laser creates an ultra-thin section on the front of the cornea (called the “flap”).

The second laser – which provides the actual reshaping and vision correction – is applied under the flap.

Both laser applications usually involve less than 30 seconds.

Will I feel discomfort?

Numbing drops — like those used in routine eye exams — provide excellent anesthesia during LASIK. The vast majority of patients experience no discomfort.

How long does the procedure take?

In most cases, both eyes can be treated in less than 20 minutes.

How soon do the eyes recover?

At the close of the procedure, you can expect your vision to be improved, although foggy. Usually, within 24-36 hours, patients note vision similar to when wearing their glasses or contacts.

What about patient safety?

Thorough and careful preoperative evaluation is one of the keys to LASIK success. At Quigley Eye Specialists, we realize that not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK; in some cases, other types of refractive surgery may be offered, and — uncommonly — we may advise that it is in the patient’s best interest not to have refractive surgery. In addition to performing a complete eye health evaluation and utilizing state-of-the-art diagnostic technology, your surgeon will be actively involved in your preoperative evaluation and recommendation process at Quigley Eye Specialists.

Who is a good candidate for LASIK?

The best candidates for LASIK are between the ages of 18 and 50 and have refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) that are in the low-to-moderate ranges. Patients also need to have good general health and no active eye diseases as well as having stable eyeglass/contact lens prescriptions. Specific candidacy determination, of course, will require thorough eye health evaluation with appropriate diagnostic testing and evaluation by your surgeon.

Who should not have LASIK?

People who might not be good candidates for LASIK include those who: are outside of the 18-50 age range, have changing prescriptions, have certain medical health issues, and have active eye diseases or disorders. Patients’ lifestyles, activities, or job needs may also be factors. At Quigley Eye Specialists, we recognize that not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK and that a thorough preoperative evaluation is the key to determining good candidacy. For some patients, we may recommend refractive procedures other than LASIK; for others, we may recommend no refractive surgery.

Has LASIK technology become more advanced over the years?

Yes.

Over nearly three decades, LASIK technology has advanced to enable the procedure to be completely bladeless (“all laser”) and superlative accuracy and predictability. At Quigley Eye Specialists, our LASIK lasers (Zeiss Visumax and Wavelight Allegretto) enable our LASIK patients to have extremely comfortable procedures with accurate vision results.

Are there other options than LASIK?

Yes. Dr. Robin, Dr. Wiggins, and Dr. Kai utilize other procedures to correct refractive errors and will make procedure recommendations based on their preoperative evaluation in discussion with the patients. Alternative procedures to LASIK include PRK, SMILE, and ICL.

Are patients satisfied with the results?

Yes.

Scores of published studies, including those sponsored by the FDA and Dept of Defense, have demonstrated extremely high patient satisfaction results following LASIK (even more than 95%). It is not uncommon with modern LASIK for patients to achieve vision as good as or even better than they had with their best pair of glasses or contact lenses. Most people know family members, friends and/or co-workers who have had excellent LASIK results. We frequently hear from people that having LASIK was “the best thing I ever did!”.

What is the next step?

If you are considering LASIK, the first step is a complete eye health evaluation. After the evaluation, the specialists at Quigley Eye will discuss your vision goals and develop a customized treatment plan designed specifically for you.

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