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FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT iLASIK SURGERY AND LASIK

ABOUT

i

LASIK

SURGERY

ABOUT

LASIK

A. iLASIK SURGERY OVERVIEW

About LASIK | What is this LASIK Procedure

1. WHAT IS THE iLASIK PROCEDURE?

It is an all-laser vision correction procedure that uses proprietary technology to measure the unique characteristics of your eye and provide a completely customized correction for exceptional visual clarity.

LASIK with iLASIK technologies have been used in over 15 million procedures worldwide.

About LASIK | How this LASIK Surgery Works

2. HOW DOES THE iLASIK PROCEDURE WORK?

There are three steps to the iLASIK procedure:

Step 1: Creating Your Eye Map

A detailed 3-D map of the unique visual imperfections of your eye is created using wavefront eye-mapping technology that is 25x more precise than the measurements used to write a standard prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Step 2: Preparing Your Eye

An ultra-fast laser creates a thin flap to prepare your cornea for your personalized wavefront vision correction.

Step 3: Delivering Your Personalized Treatment

In this final step, an ultra-precise laser gently reshapes your cornea to the desired curvature, based on the digital information from your personalized eye map measurements.

About LASIK | Is this LASIK Procedure Right For Me

3. HOW DO I KNOW IF THE iLASIK PROCEDURE IS  RIGHT FOR ME?

The iLASIK procedure may help people do the things they love to do without the hassle of contacts or glasses.

It is FDA approved to correct mild to severe nearsightedness, farsightedness, and all types of astigmatism. If you meet the following conditions, it's likely you are an excellent candidate for the iLASIK procedure:

  • Be at least 21 years of age and have refractive error.
  • Have healthy eyes that are free from eye disease or corneal abnormality (e.g., scar, infection, etc.).
  • Have documented evidence that your refraction did not change by more than 0.50 to 1 diopters during the year before your  pre-operative examination.
  • Be informed of LASIK risks and benefits as compared to other available treatments for your refractive error.
  • Be able to lie flat without difficulty.
  • Be able to tolerate local or topical anesthesia.
  • Be willing to sign an informed consent form as provided by your eye care professional.
  • Be able to keep your eye accurately on the fixation light for the entire laser surgical procedure.

 

A certified LASIK doctor can tell you with greater certainty whether the iLASIK procedure is right for you.

About LASIK | Is this LASIK Procedure Safe

4. IS THE iLASIK PROCEDURE SAFE?

iLASIK technologies have been used in more than 15 million vision correction procedures worldwide. In fact, NASA astronauts and US aviators are able to have laser vision correction surgery today because of studies validating the safety and effectiveness of the technologies.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of this procedure. Side effects include but may not limited to.

  • Eye dryness
  • Reduction of vision or the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery
  • Visual disturbances such as halos, glare, starbursts, ghost images and other visual symptoms

 

Complications from the iLASIK procedure usually can be successfully managed medically or with follow-up care. The frequency and severity of complications vary, depending on how much nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism you have prior to the procedure and other factors.

About LASIK | How Much does this LASIK Procedure Cost

5. HOW MUCH DOES THE iLASIK PROCEDURE COST?

By choosing the iLASIK procedure, you are making a solid investment that pays dividends in glasses-free vision for years to come and offers significant long-term savings compared to contact lens wear.

The iLASIK procedure fee can range from $4,200-$5,000($2,100-$2,500 per eye). This calculation excludes the annual routine eye exam.

Most certified iLASIK® technology doctors offer attractive financing options to make the iLASIK procedure easy on your pocketbook/wallet, and there are financing options available outside the doctor's practice as well.

You also might be eligible to pay a portion of the cost or the entire procedure fee using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or vision insurance.

There are many iLASIK® technology centers throughout the United States, and chances are there may be a number of doctors near you. Use our Doctor Locator to find iLASIK® technology doctors in your area, request a consultation, and choose a doctor who is right for you.

B. iLASIK SURGERY DETAILS

About LASIK | What Part of the Eye is Treated

1. WHAT PART OF THE EYE IS THE TREATMENT PERFORMED ON?

The iLASIK procedure is performed on the cornea — the clear front surface of the eye located in front of the pupil and the colored iris.

The cornea provides about 65 to 75 percent of the focusing power of the eye. The rest is provided by the eye's lens, which is located behind the pupil.

The cornea is clear because it is a highly organized network of collagen (a connective tissue protein) and it contains no blood vessels.

The central region of the cornea — the portion affected by the iLASIK procedure — is typically 500 to 600 microns (about a half of a millimeter) thick.

Wavefront technology is an advanced, digital optical imaging technique used to detect, analyze and correct near sightednes, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. It also corrects complex optical imperfections called higher order aberrations that cannot be corrected with regular eyeglass lenses. 

Eyeglass lenses correct only simple refractive errors — nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. But most people also have higher-order aberrations (HOAs) that affect the quality of their vision.

By correcting HOAs as well as common refractive errors with wavefront technology, LASIK using iLASIK® technologies often produces noticeably sharper vision than that possible with eyeglasses and contact lenses.1

About LASIK | WaveFront-guided LASIK technology

3. WHAT IS WAVEFRONT-GUIDED LASIK?

Wavefront-guided LASIK creates a personalized 3-D map of the patient's visual pathway (from the front of the cornea to the back of the retina). These measurements are obtained with an instrument called a wavefront aberrometer during your iLASIK® technology pre-op exam and consultation.

Wavefront-guided LASIK measures and treats lower-order aberrations (LOA) such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as well as higher-order aberrations (HOAs), with the goal of providing better vision than that possible with eyeglasses, contact lenses or conventional LASIK.

Wavefront-guided LASIK produces a higher level of personalization compared with wavefront-optimized LASIK (see the next question below), which is based only on the eye's refractive error and corneal curvature.

About LASIK | Wavefront-optimized LASIK technology

4. WHAT IS WAVEFRONT-OPTIMIZED LASIK?

Wavefront-optimized LASIK produces computerized laser treatment plans based on typical lower-order aberrations associated with specific refractive errors. In particular, wavefront-optimized LASIK attempts to minimize the effect of spherical aberration.

The goal of wavefront-optimized LASIK is to provide better visual outcomes than conventional LASIK — primarily by reducing the amount of spherical aberration caused by the laser reshaping process during LASIK.

About LASIK | LASIK Technology Platform for this LASIK procedure

5. WHAT IS THE WAVESCAN WAVEFRONT® SYSTEM?

The WaveScan WaveFront® System, a key part of the iLASIK® technology platform, detects and measures visual imperfections in the eye 25 times more precisely than standard methods used for eyeglass prescriptions. It uses wavefront measurements to create a 3-D map of your eye that tells the laser how to create the optimal corneal shape for your personal best vision.

About LASIK | What Type of Laser is Used in this LASIK Procedure

6. WHAT TYPE OF LASER IS USED FOR iLASIK SURGERY?

The iLASIK procedure uses two sophisticated state-of-the-art medical lasers: an ultra-fast laser (femtosecond laser) that creates a thin flap to prepare the cornea for treatment, and an ultra-precise laser (excimer laser) that gently reshapes the cornea based on the digital information from a 100% personalized eye map.

About LASIK | What is an Excimer Laser

7. WHAT IS AN EXCIMER LASER?

An excimer laser is an ultra-precise medical laser that creates a highly focused beam of cool ultraviolet (UV) light to gently reshape the cornea. The excimer laser reshaping process is called photoablation and it takes about 30 to 90 seconds.

About LASIK | LASIK Femtosecond Laser

8. WHAT IS A FEMTOSECOND LASER?

A femtosecond laser is an ultra-fast medical laser that creates the thin flap to prepare the cornea for treatment. The femtosecond laser creates a pattern of pulses of laser energy at a specific depth within the cornea. At this point, corneal tissue is separated by a process called photodisruption. The creation of the iLASIK system flap with a femtosecond laser takes less than 20 seconds.

About LASIK | Correcting Nearsightedness or Myopia

9. HOW MUCH NEARSIGHTEDNESS CAN THE iLASIK PROCEDURE CORRECT?

The iLASIK® wavefront-guided laser is FDA-approved for the correction of up to -11.00 diopters (D) of nearsightedness (myopia) with astigmatism(up to -3.00D) and without astigmatism. The actual amount of myopia that can be corrected depends on factors including the thickness and shape of your corneas and how much astigmatism you have. Your eye doctor will discuss these factors with you at your pre-operative exam and consultation.

About LASIK | Correct Farsightedness or Hyperopia

10. HOW MUCH FARSIGHTEDNESS CAN THE iLASIK PROCEDURE CORRECT?

The iLASIK procedure is FDA-approved for the correction of up to +3.00 diopters (D) of farsightedness (hyperopia) with up to +2.00D of astigmatism. But factors such as the shape of your cornea and how much astigmatism you have may influence the amount of hyperopia that can be corrected in your eyes. Your eye doctor can advise you of your specific needs at your iLASIK® technology pre-operative exam and consultation.

About LASIK | Correcting Astigmatism

11. HOW MUCH ASTIGMATISM CAN THE iLASIK PROCEDURE CORRECT?

  • For nearsightedness, the iLASIK procedure can correct up to -3.00 diopters of astigmatism
  • For farsightedness, the iLASIK procedure can correct up to +2.00 diopters of astigmatism
  • For mixed astigmatism, 1.00 to 5.00 diopters
About LASIK | Age for this LASIK Procedure

12. HOW OLD MUST A PERSON BE TO HAVE A LASIK PROCEDURE WITH THE iLASIK TECHNOLOGIES?

You must be at least 21 years of age.

Bring records of your previous eye exams with you to your iLASIK  procedure consultation. Your surgeon will want to see that your eyeglass prescription has not changed more than 0.50 to 1 diopter (D) over the previous 12 months before you have the iLASIK procedure, regardless of your age.

About LASIK | Disqualifying Conditions

13. WHAT CONDITIONS MIGHT DISQUALIFY ME FROM HAVING THE iLASIK PROCEDURE?

Most people with healthy eyes and mild to moderate refractive errors are excellent candidates for the iLASIK procedure. You may not qualify for the iLASIK procedure for a few reasons including – but not limited to:

  • Autoimmune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis; lupus; multiple sclerosis)
  • Diabetes
  • If you are taking Accutane® (a prescription medication for acne)
  • If you are taking Cordarone® (a prescription medication for irregular heartbeat)
  • A history of Herpes simplex or Herpes zoster eye infections
  • Signs of keratoconus or abnormal corneal topography
  • Significant dry eye that is unresponsive to treatment
  • Severe allergies
  • If you are pregnant or nursing
  • If you have thin corneas

 

Your eye doctor will discuss these and other possible contraindications at your pre-operative exam and consultation.

About LASIK | LASIK and Pregnancy

14. Can I have LASIK if I am pregnant?

You should not have the iLASIK procedure if you are pregnant or nursing because these conditions may cause temporary and unpredictable changes in your cornea.

About LASIK | LASIK and Dry Eyes

15. Can I have the iLASIK procedure if I have dry eyes?

Dry eyes can affect the accuracy of pre-operative measurements that are crucial to achieving good vision after the iLASIK procedure. Also, dry eyes can affect how well and how quickly your eyes heal.

For these reasons, if you have dry eyes you need to have the condition successfully treated before proceeding with the iLASIK procedure.

About LASIK | LASIK and Thin Corneas

16. I have thin corneas. Can I still have the iLASIK procedure?

It depends on how thin your corneas are, how much refractive error you have, and other factors.

iLASIK procedure like all types of LASIK surgery, corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. In this process, a very small amount of tissue is removed from the central cornea.

During your iLASIK® technology pre-operative exam and consultation, your eye doctor will take detailed measurements of the thickness and shape of your cornea and calculate how much laser treatment is required to fully and safely correct your vision.

If your corneas are too thin, you still might be a candidate for other types of vision correction surgery.

About LASIK | Glasses After LASIK

17. Will I still need glasses after the iLASIK procedure?

Most people are glasses-free after the iLASIK procedure. Still, some people who have minor refractive errors remaining after find that wearing eyeglasses part-time for tasks such as driving at night provides added clarity and comfort.

For glasses needed for near vision, please see the question about reading glasses.

About LASIK | Reading Glasses and LASIK

18. Will the iLASIK procedure eliminate my need for reading glasses?

No, the iLASIK procedure may not eliminate the need for reading glasses even if you have never worn them before. LASIK surgery will not prevent the normal aging change in the lens of the eye that causes blurry reading vision sometime after age 40 (presbyopia).

When most people start experiencing presbyopia, they simply purchase reading glasses and use them when needed to see small print. But there are options available if you have presbyopia and want to reduce or eliminate your need for reading glasses after the iLASIK procedure.

Ask your eye doctor about options for reducing your need for reading glasses during your iLASIK® technology pre-operative exam and consultation.

About LASIK | LASIK Complications

19. What are the complications associated with iLASIK surgery?

Complications from the iLASIK procedure usually can be successfully managed medically or with follow-up care. The expected frequency and severity of complications vary, depending on how much nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism you have prior to the procedure and other factors.1

About LASIK | Is LASIK Safe and Effective

20. Is the iLASIK procedure safe or effective?

LASIK has been proven safe and effective.1 The iLASIK procedure has the added advantages of being a blade-free, "100 percent laser" procedure that includes the latest wavefront-guided technology to help you achieve your personal best vision. However, there are risks and complications. For more information, please refer to the patient information brochure at http://www.backinfocus.com/lasik-for-astigmatism-information.

About LASIK | Post LASIK Recovery

21. What happens if I don't see well after the iLASIK procedure?

If patients are dissatisfied with their vision after the procedure, follow-up care may improve visual acuity and patient satisfaction. 

C. BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

About LASIK | Contact Lens and LASIK

1. WHEN DO I HAVE TO STOP WEARING CONTACT LENSES PRIOR TO THE iLASIK PROCEDURE?

If you wear contact lenses, it is very important to stop wearing them 2–4 weeks before examination and treatment for the doctor to obtain an accurate eye measurement. Failure to do this might produce suboptimal surgical results.

Your eye doctor or iLASIK® technology surgeon will give you specific advice about when to stop wearing your contact lenses at your iLASIK® technology pre-operative eye exam and consultation.

About LASIK | Medications and LASIK

2. DO I HAVE TO DISCONTINUE ANY MEDICATIONS I TAKE PRIOR TO THE iLASIK PROCEDURE?

Bring a list of all medications you take (including supplements and other non-prescription, "over-the-counter" products) to your iLASIK®  technology pre-op exam and discuss all allergies. Your eye doctor will advise you if you should discontinue any of these products prior to the iLASIK procedure.

About LASIK | LASIK Pre-Op Exam

3. WHAT TAKES PLACE DURING MY PROCEDURE PRE-OP EXAM?

During your iLASIK®  procedure pre-operative ("pre-op") exam, your doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to evaluate whether you are a good candidate for the iLASIK procedure.

An important component of this exam is a thorough review of your medical history. Bring a list of all medications (including supplements and over-the-counter products) to your exam so your eye doctor can advise you whether any of these products could pose a problem.

Additional testing called a wavefront eye map is performed during an iLASIK pre-op exam. This is a sophisticated evaluation of the optics of your eye that determines the type and amount of lower-and-higher-order aberrations (HOAs) present. HOAs are subtle, irregular optical imperfections that can affect the quality of your vision and cannot be corrected with eyeglasses but can be minimized with the iLASIK procedure to give you sharper vision.

Also, care will be taken to determine the exact amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism you have and to make sure your eyeglass prescription has not changed significantly within previous year.

Your cornea (the clear front surface of your eye) will be thoroughly examined to ensure it is healthy, has a normal shape and is thick enough for the iLASIK procedure.

Additional testing will be done to make sure you have a healthy tear layer on the surface of your eyes and that there are no signs of a dry eye condition that could affect your visual outcome and the healing of your eyes after the procedure.

The comprehensive eye exam includes dilation of your pupil to thoroughly evaluate the health of your eyes.

About LASIK | LASIK Procedure Questions

4. What is the most important question I should ask during my PROCEDURE pre-op exam?

Perhaps the most important discussion to have with your eye doctor or LASIK surgeon during your pre-op exam and consultation concerns your expectations for your vision after the iLASIK procedure.

A recent review of LASIK satisfaction worldwide found more than 95 percent of LASIK patients are satisfied with the results of their procedure. But it's important to have realistic expectations.

For example, iLASIK may not eliminate the need for reading glasses even if you have never worn them before. LASIK cannot stop your eyes from aging or eliminate your need for reading glasses if you are already are over age 40 and are experiencing the normal age-related loss of near vision called presbyopia. Also, it's possible you might experience problems such as dry eyes or glare after any type of corneal refractive surgery, including the iLASIK procedure.

About LASIK | Driving after LASIK pre op

5. Can I drive myself home after my pre-op exam?

Your pupils will be dilated during your pre-operative exam. As a result, your vision will be blurry and you will be sensitive to light. It is important you bring a pair of sunglasses to this exam. You may also want to bring someone along to drive you home. Discuss this with your doctor.

D. DAY OF PROCEDURE

About LASIK | Medication on day of LASIK

1. DO  HAVE TO DISCONTINUE TAKIN ANY MEDICATIONS ON SURGERY DAY?

Bring a list of your medications with you to your pre-op exam, and your eye doctor can advise you about this at that time. If you have any concerns about this between your pre-op exam and the day of your procedure, call your iLASIK®  technology surgeon for advice.

About LASIK | Does LASIK Hurt

2. DOES THE iLASIK PROCEDURE HURT?

Numbing eye drops will be applied to your eyes to keep them comfortable throughout the iLASIK procedure.

You will feel some pressure on your eye when the flap is created to prepare your cornea for treatment and the sensation usually lasts less than a minute.

When you return home, you may experience moderate pain and discomfort that could last up to 3 days. Your surgeon will advise you which medications to use if you are uncomfortable.

If you experience significant discomfort after your iLASIK procedure, call your surgeon for further instructions.

About LASIK | Nerves on LASIK day

3. WILL I BE GIVEN SOMETHING TO CALM MY NERVES ON SURGERY DAY?

Please discuss this with your surgeon during the pre-op visit. If you feel nervous when you arrive for your iLASIK procedure, your surgeon may provide some medication to help you relax.

About LASIK | Wakefulness and LASIK

4. Am I awake during the iLASIK procedure?

Yes, you will be awake during the iLASIK procedure.

About LASIK | Blinking and LASIK

5. What happens if I blink or move during the iLASIK procedure?

Your eyelids will be gently held open with a small device (lid holder) during the procedure, and eye drops used during the procedure will reduce any urge you might have to blink.

You will be lying on a comfortable chair during the brief iLASIK procedure, and your head will rest on a contoured cushion. Your surgeon will be close by and may gently hold your head to help you stay perfectly steady when the laser is active, which lasts less than a minute.

The iLASIK procedure also includes an automated "eye tracker" feature that monitors the position of your eye and compensates for any small involuntary eye movements during the laser treatment delivering the treatment right where it is intended.

About LASIK | How Long Is LASIK Surgery

6. How long does the iLASIK procedure take?

The entire iLASIK procedure (both eyes) usually takes about 20 minutes.

About LASIK | Driving on day of LASIK

7. Can I drive home after the iLASIK procedure?

You must have someone drive you home after your iLASIK procedure because your vision will be blurry. Also, if you were given a mild sedative to help you relax, it's likely you will be a little drowsy.

You may resume driving only after receiving permission from your doctor.

About LASIK | TV After LASIK

8. Can I read and watch TV when I get home from my iLASIK procedure?

The best thing to do when you return home from your iLASIK procedure is to take a nap or simply relax and let your eyes rest a while. Be sure to use eye drops as recommended by your doctor to keep your eyes moist, healthy and comfortable.

Be sure to check with your surgeon and follow your surgeon's directions.

E. AFTER THE PROCEDURE

About LASIK | Will Eyes Hurt After Surgery

1. WILL MY EYES HURT AFTER THE iLASIK PROCEDURE?

It's normal for you to feel some moderate pain and discomfort for up to 3 days after your iLASIK procedure. In particular, some people report their eyes feel like an eyelash or something is "in" the eye.

As the cornea heals, you may experience some blurriness, tears may form and you will be sensitive to bright lights.

If you experience significant discomfort after your iLASIK procedure — particularly if it worsens over time — call your eye doctor for further instructions.

About LASIK | Precautions After Surgery

2. Are there special precautions I need to take the first few days after the iLASIK procedure?

Do not rub or bump your eyes. Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun's UV rays, reduce glare, and protect your eyes from trauma or drying out. Protective shields will be placed over your eyes to help you avoid rubbing, touching or bumping your eyes in the hours following your procedure.

Ask your LASIK surgeon about precautions.

About LASIK | Eye Shield After Surgery

3. How long do I have to wear an eye shield during sleep after the iLASIK procedure?

You will be given clear plastic shields to tape to your brow and cheek to protect your eyes during sleep after the iLASIK procedure. You can see through these shields and they have ventilation holes, so they are not hot or uncomfortable.

Your doctor will advise you how long you should wear the shields before you leave the laser center on the day of your procedure and/or during your follow-up visits.

About LASIK | Vision After LASIK

4. When will my vision stabilize after the iLASIK procedure?

Some blurriness and fluctuation of vision is common during recovery. This should continue to diminish with time. It's not unusual for vision to take 2 months or longer to continue to improve and become more stable after the iLASIK procedure.

About LASIK | LASIK Recovery Time

5. How long does it take for my eyes to fully recover from the iLASIK procedure?

It's common for full healing to take three months or longer.

Ask your LASIK surgeon about recovery time.

About LASIK | LASIK Recovery and Driving

6. How soon can I drive after the iLASIK procedure?

Generally, your first follow-up visit will be approximately 24 hours after your iLASIK procedure. Even if your vision seems clear, have someone drive you to this visit.

Your eye doctor or LASIK surgeon will examine your eyes and make sure they are healing properly. Your surgeon will let you know when it is safe for you to drive at your first follow up visit.

About LASIK | Makeup Use After Surgery

7. When can I resume wearing makeup after the iLASIK procedure?

Ask your LASIK surgeon about use of makeup.

About LASIK | Swimming Post LASIK

8. How soon can I swim after iLASIK surgery?

Ask your LASIK surgeon when it is safe for you to resume swimming.

About LASIK | Exercise After LASIK

9. How soon can I exercise after the iLASIK procedure?

Ask your LASIK surgeon when it is safe for you to exercise.

About LASIK | Eye Exams Post LASIK

10. Do I still need routine eye exams after iLASIK surgery?

Absolutely. Routine comprehensive eye exams are still needed after your iLASIK procedure to safeguard the health of your eyes.

REFERENCE

1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). What are the risks and how can I find the right doctor for me? FDA website.
http://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/surgeryandlifesupport/lasik/ucm061354.htm. Last updated June 9, 2014. Accessed August 6, 2015.

About LASIK | LASIK Surgery Reviews

1. HOW RELIABLE ARE LASIK SURGERY REVIEWS?

When considering LASIK or other elective surgery, it's wise to learn as much as you can about the procedure and surgeons in your area.

The Internet is a great place to begin your research and locate LASIK doctors near you.

But when choosing a LASIK surgeon, online reviews should be only one factor among many that you consider.

Online reviews are available for virtually any product or service, and the variation in reviews is as varied as the personalities and experiences of the people who write them. Many LASIK surgery reviews posted online often don't provide an accurate representation of the overall satisfaction most patients have with their LASIK doctors.

When choosing a LASIK surgeon, there is no substitute for a face-to-face consultation and dialog. Many LASIK doctors offer free, no-obligation consultations so you can get to know them and decide if LASIK is right for you. Others offer free information meetings for groups of potential LASIK candidates.

Recommendations from friends you trust also can be very helpful.

About LASIK | LASIK Complications Fix

2. FIXING LASIK COMPLICATIONS: HOW TO BEGIN

Occasionally, complications occur even when your procedure is performed by a highly skilled and experienced LASIK surgeon using the latest technology.

Thankfully, most LASIK complications can be successfully managed by your LASIK surgeon or eye doctor. The first step if you are unsatisfied with your LASIK outcome or are experiencing bothersome symptoms is to return to your LASIK surgeon for a thorough evaluation and consultation. If your surgeon cannot resolve your problems to your satisfaction, seek a second opinion from another eye doctor who has experience managing LASIK complications.

Keep in mind that complications from LASIK usually can be successfully managed medically or with follow-up care. The expected frequency and severity of complications vary, depending on how much nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism you have prior to the procedure and other factors.

About LASIK | LASIK and Astigmatism

3. CAN LASIK CORRECT ASTIGMATISM?

Astigmatism, like nearsightedness and farsightedness, is a common vision problem (called a refractive error) that usually can be fully corrected with LASIK surgery.

Astigmatism causes the rays of light entering through different parts of the eye to focus unequally so that they do not ever form a single spot. Some rays may focus on the retina, but other rays focus in front of or behind the retina. Things look blurry because images are not ever focused clearly on the retina.

Lasers approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for LASIK performed in the United States can correct astigmatism.

The maximum amount of astigmatism LASIK can correct depends on many factors, including the type and magnitude of your astigmatism and the health and thickness of your cornea.

If some astigmatism remains after a LASIK procedure, it often can be fully corrected with a follow-up care. Your eye doctor can provide more details about this at your LASIK consultation.

Your LASIK surgeon will discuss astigmatism and how it may affect your LASIK surgery during your LASIK consultation.

About LASIK | Blurry Vision After Surgery

4. BLURRY VISION DURING RECOVERY FROM LASIK

Blurry vision is common immediately after LASIK and should be expected during the early stages of your LASIK recovery.

You will have a number of follow-up visits after your LASIK surgery. Your eye doctor will examine your eyes and monitor your vision at these visits. Some blurriness and fluctuation of vision is not unusual as your eyes recover after LASIK and it may take up to a few months for this to resolve completely.

If you feel your vision is too blurry for safe driving or other activities during your LASIK recovery, ask your eye doctor if a temporary pair of prescription eyeglasses is a good idea.

Ask your LASIK surgeon about his or her experience dealing with issues related to blurriness.

During the early stages of your LASIK recovery, it's important to avoid swimming and other water-related activities that could increase the risk of contaminated water getting in your eyes and causing an infection.

Different LASIK surgeons may have different recommendations about when you can resume swimming and other water activities during your LASIK recovery.

Ask your LASIK surgeon when it is safe for you to resume swimming and other activities during your post-op exams.

About LASIK | LASIK Recovery Tips

6. LASIK Recovery Tips: How To Help Your Eyes Heal After LASIK

The most important thing you can do to facilitate the LASIK recovery is to closely follow the post-op instructions given to you by your LASIK surgeon. Use all medications as directed for the time specified, even if you have no vision problems or discomfort symptoms.

Your eyes may feel dry after LASIK. Your surgeon may recommend sterile, non-preserved artificial tears very frequently in the early stages of your LASIK recovery to keep your eyes moist and comfortable and help the healing process.

Avoid rubbing your eyes or exposing your eyes to dust, wind and cigarette smoke. Wear comfortable wrap-style sunglasses outdoors to shield your eyes from dust, wind and UV rays. Also, wear protective safety glasses or sports goggles when performing any activities that could increase your risk of eye injuries.

Finally, if you have any unusual eye or vision symptoms during your LASIK recovery, call your eye doctor immediately for advice.

About LASIK | LASIK Risks and Benefits

7. LASIK RISKS AND BENEFITS: MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION

The benefits of LASIK surgery are clear, functional vision that may eliminate or reduce dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses.

But like any medical or surgical procedure, LASIK has associated risks and potential complications. Here are some LASIK complications cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration1, which oversees the safety of LASIK in the United States:

  • Some patients experience reduced visual acuity. Some LASIK patients lose the ability to see some of the small letters near the bottom of an eye chart after LASIK surgery, even with the help of glasses or contact lenses.
  • Some patients develop debilitating visual symptoms. Some LASIK patients experience glare, halos, and/or ghost images that can seriously affect vision.
  • Some patients do not see as well in situations of low contrast, such as at night or in fog, after LASIK, compared with their vision with glasses or contact lenses before LASIK.
  • Some people are under-treated or over-treated. Most LASIK patients can see 20/20 without glasses or contacts after surgery, but some may require an additional care due to an under-correction or over-correction of their vision.
  • Some people develop severe dry eye syndrome. Some LASIK patients are unable to produce enough tears to keep their eyes moist and comfortable after surgery. Dry eyes are uncomfortable, can cause redness, and can cause intermittent blurry vision and other symptoms. These symptoms can be permanent, even with frequent use of artificial tears and other dry eye treatments.
  • For some farsighted patients, results may diminish with age.The level of improved vision after LASIK surgery may decrease with age.
  • Long-term data are not available. The safety and effectiveness of LASIK surgery over the long-term is not known.

 

Before deciding whether to have vision correction surgery, you should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of LASIK to decide if the procedure is right for you. Your LASIK surgeon can give you more specific information about your particular risks during your LASIK consultation.

REFERENCE

1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). What are the risks and how can I find the right doctor for me? FDA website.
http://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/surgeryandlifesupport/lasik/ucm061354.htm. Last updated June 9, 2014. Accessed August 6, 2015.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Indication: 

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a laser surgery procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea to reduce or eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness, or mixed visual irregularities due to an abnormal curve in the cornea (astigmatism). Only an eye care professional trained in laser vision correction can determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. The iFS® laser is a surgical laser that can be used to create flaps for use in LASIK surgery.

Contraindications: 

You should not have LASIK if you have collagen vascular (such as rheumatoid arthritis), autoimmune, or an immunodeficiency disease because they affect the body's ability to heal. You should not have this procedure if you are pregnant or nursing, show signs of corneal thinning, or take medications with eye-related side effects, such as Isotretinoin (Accutane®) for acne treatment or Amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone®) for normalizing heart rhythm.

Warnings: 

LASIK is not recommended if you have diabetes, a history of herpes simplex or herpes zoster keratitis, significant dry eye, or severe allergies.

Precautions: 

Your doctor will examine your eyes to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. Talk to your doctor about any eye-related conditions, injuries, or surgeries you have had, as well as any changes to your vision in the past year. These may result in poor vision after LASIK. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking. After surgery, you may find it more difficult to see in conditions such as dim light, rain, snow, fog, or glare from bright lights at night. LASIK is for patients 21 years of age and over.

Side effects: 

Possible side effects include dryness, which may be severe; loss of vision or the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery; and visual disturbances such as halos (hazy rings around lights), glare, starbursts, double images, and other visual irregularities that may be debilitating. Possible complications resulting from LASIK flap creation include swelling, inflammation or pain in your eye, infection, or flap-related complications. Mild to severe light sensitivity occurred in 1% of patients between 2 and 6 weeks after surgery. Some patients (0.03%) noticed a temporary spoke-like band of light in their peripheral vision.

Please consult with your eye care professional and carefully review the Patient Information Booklet regarding the potential risks and benefits of this procedure. Results may vary for each individual patient.

The iLASIK® platform utilizes the STAR S4 IR® Excimer Laser System, WaveScan WaveFront® System, as well as the iFS® Advanced Femtosecond Laser during the LASIK procedure.

Caution: 

U.S. Federal Law restricts these devices to use by practitioners who have been trained in their calibration and operation, and who have experience in the surgical treatment and management of refractive errors.

For U.S. Consumers Only

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