Preparation is a crucial part of any medical or optical procedure, and by following the instructions of your eye doctor in the weeks and days before your LASIK vision correction surgery, you can not only reduce your risk of complications but also make a positive contribution towards great results from your procedure.
Some of the key things that you will need to consider and plan for ahead of your LASIK appointment include the following:
Although LASIK is not a medical procedure, there are still some types of medication that can have an effect on your suitability for it, and that can increase the likelihood of complications occurring. For this reason, you will be asked what medications you take at your consultation, and if any might interfere with your LASIK, you will be advised to stop them before you undergo your procedure. You will be given specific instructions for how far ahead of your LASIK appointment you will need to stop taking them.
If you needed another reason to quit smoking, this is it. Smoking has shown to be one of the greatest inhibitors of the healing process – something which your eyes will need to do after your LASIK procedure. Patients who smoke are considerably more likely to experience complications and a prolonged healing process so stub out that cigarette at least six weeks before your LASIK appointment.
One of the main things that patients who are undergoing LASIK overlook is that they will not be able to drive themselves home after their procedure. This is because you will almost certainly experience some blurred vision, and other symptoms such as dizziness and inability to endure bright night may also be present. This can make it dangerous for you to drive yourself, so make sure you have someone who can take you home
If you currently wear contact lenses you will be told that you need to stop wearing these ahead of your LASIK surgery. If you have soft contact lenses then this is usually around 3 days before your appointment, whereas if you have hard lenses you will need to refrain from wearing them for 14 days ahead of LASIK. During this time, you will need to rely on glasses so make sure you have some that you can use.
Chances are that over the counter pain relief will be sufficient to quell any discomfort associated with your LASIK surgery. However, it is important to take this as directed and not wait until you are in significant pain as this can slow the healing process as well as putting you through unnecessary trauma.
Unfortunately, you aren’t going to walk out from your LASIK procedure and immediately be able to see clearly. It takes time for the eyes to recover, during which time you may find that your eyes are irritated, swollen and even weepy. Many patients complain that they feel like there is something in their eye. Symptoms usually disappear on their own within a week of your procedure, but this varies between patients.
Your vision may be compromised for a number of weeks after your LASIK surgery and you shouldn’t drive until you have the all-clear from both your eye doctor and your insurer. In fact, it can take up to six months to fully heal after LASIK so while you will probably be given the go-ahead to drive again within a week of your appointment, it is normal to experience fluctuations in visual clarity and vision quality for some time.
Your LASIK provider will give you specific instructions to follow which will help you obtain the best possible result from your vision correction surgery. For example, you will need to wear an eye shield for a number of days, particularly during sleep, so that you don’t accidentally hurt your eye while it is healing. You will also be given eye drops to take and will be advised not to wear contacts, even if your vision is still blurred. You will also need to avoid contact sports for some time It is important that you follow these instructions precisely and if you aren’t sure about something, speak to your LASIK provider.
If you have further questions about before and after care for LASIK vision correction surgery, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our knowledgeable team.