Are you considering going under the laser? Then it’s time to start a conversation with your ophthalmologist. You need to know the risks and benefits as well as whether or not you’re an eligible candidate before going in for LASIK eye surgery.
First, let’s cover a little bit about what LASIK eye surgery is and how it works. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is an eye surgery that corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatisms.
The LASIK performing ophthalmologist uses a laser to reshape your eye’s cornea to improve your vision. When successful, laser eye surgery eliminates the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Ready to schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist? Here are a few questions you need to ask your doctor:
1. Am I eligible for LASIK?
One of the most important things you’ll learn about the LASIK procedure is whether or not it’s a fit for you. Age, medical conditions, current life circumstances, and more could all determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK.
Your doctor will perform an examination to determine the health of your eyes. Since LASIK eye surgery does carry some risks, healthy eyes are essential to predicting how the procedure will go for you.
If you have cataracts or glaucoma, thin or damaged corneas, or other irregularities, you might not be eligible for laser eye surgery. If this is the case for you, don’t be too let down. You’d rather keep your eyes safe from further damage than have a doctor go ahead and perform the surgery regardless of the risks.
Other factors include:
- Rapidly changing vision prescription
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Other health issues or immune disorders
2. What will I gain from laser eye surgery?
Why do you want laser eye surgery? Are you an athlete tired of dealing with your contacts falling out mid-game? Maybe you’re just tired of the routine: reaching for your glasses every morning, cleaning them multiple times a day, or remembering to remove and clean your contacts at night.
What’s motivating you to correct your vision? Are you hoping LASIK will make your vision even better than your regular prescription does? These are all good questions to consider and chat with your doctor about.
It’s important to know why you want laser eye surgery because it’s a big investment. Many patients find the benefits are worth the cost. But don’t make the mistake of opting for a cheaper service just to save a little dough. Physicians that promise better prices than their competition probably aren’t using the latest technology. Is that work the risk? Probably not.
3. What are the risks?
Thoroughly consider any risks associated with LASIK. Talk to your doctor about it and do some of your own research. Many side effects are temporary and will disappear as your eyes heal, but you don’t want to be blindsided by something unexpected. You also need to know about pre- and post-surgery care to help minimize any uncomfortable effects from the surgery.
For example, dry eyes can be common while your eyes heal. However, if you experience chronic dry eye, this is something you need to address with your ophthalmologist before making any final decisions. Some who suffer from chronic dry eye find that laser eye surgeries can make it worse.
4. Are there alternatives?
You might find out LASIK isn’t the right eye surgery for you. This could depend on your goals, the state of your eyesight, or your budget. So it’s a good idea to research your options.
LASIK is a refractive surgery, and there are a few alternatives worth considering. Not only are there alternative surgeries, there might be some ways you can improve your vision without going under the laser.
Can you correct your vision with a specific diet? Unfortunately, that’s not possible. However, if you do have the LASIK procedure, a healthy diet can help protect your investment and long-term eye health. The point is to help slow the aging process of your eyes so the positive effects of laser eye surgery last longer.
Here are a few nutrients to add to your grocery list:
- Antioxidants (spinach, kale, apples, beets, and tea)
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (avocados, walnuts, and fish)
- Carotenoids (carrots, tomatoes, orange peppers, and egg yolks)
Now that you’re armed with information, it’s time to call up your ophthalmologist! Schedule a consultation, ask as many questions as you can, and take your time considering your decision.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.