Refractive surgeries like LASIK are a popular alternative for people who need their vision corrected but don’t want to wear glasses or contact lenses. CEENTA Ophthalmologist Scott L. Jaben, MD sat down to answer some questions about the procedure.
The FDA has technically approved the procedure for patients older than 18 years of age. However, the procedure can be performed on any age patient at the discretion of their physician. More importantly, the patient must demonstrate stable refractive error for at least 3 years, have appropriate expectations, and have a normal screening exam that evaluates such things as corneal thickness, corneal shape, and other ocular testing.
The primary goal for Laser Vision Correction is to be independent of glasses and contacts. However, this technology does not eliminate glasses for near vision.
While complications occur very rarely in less than 1% of the surgeries, patients may experience mild short term dryness, halos, light sensitivities, haziness and glare during recovery.
Most patients remain where they end up at about 6 months after surgery. About 2 percent will require an enhancement or a second procedure to fix an overcorrection or an under-correction. Of course, presbyopia, or the need for reading glasses, will start in one’s early or mid-40s, and the development of other eye diseases (for example, cataracts) could also cause a change in vision.
LASIK surgery takes less than 10 minutes per eye. Most visits to the surgery center on the day of surgery take approximately 2 hours. Vision recovery with LASIK is very quick, with approximately 90 percent of vision recovery in 24 hours. Most patients who have surgery on a Friday will be able to return to work on Monday and have minimal restrictions during the first week after surgery. Complete vision recovery may take a few weeks.
Currently there are several refractive surgery options available for people who are interested in becoming spectacle- and contact lens-independent. It is very important that patients have appropriate expectations for refractive surgery and choose the procedure that is most likely to deliver the full benefits.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. To make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Jaben or one of CEENTA’s other LASIK specialists, please call 704-295-3000.
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