You’ve decided you’re ready to get LASIK eye surgery and finally be free from your glasses or contacts . This can be a really exciting time, as you think about how getting LASIK surgery can improve your vision and eliminate some of the hassles from your daily life. In order to be sure you have the best experience possible when you get your LASIK procedure, there are two checklists with which you might want to become familiar. Here we’ve laid out for you the things you’ll want to arrange and/or keep in mind, both before and during LASIK.
- Schedule your eye exam and LASIK consultation.
Even if you’ve had an eye exam fairly recently and remember an eye doctor telling you that you’re a good candidate for LASIK, it’s important to have one now. Eyesight and the condition of your eyes can change, and you need to be sure you get cleared as a good LASIK candidate prior to scheduling the procedure. If you have nearsightnedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, and your vision has been stable for a few years, you’ll likely pass the test and be approved for laser eye surgery. But just in case there are any abnormalities, or recent changes, make sure to go in for a LASIK consultation before scheduling the surgery.
- Choose your surgeon.
The next step is to decide on who your LASIK surgeon will be. When making this decision, keep in mind the doctor's credentials, years of experience, number of procedures performed – and also their temperament. You should trust, and like, this person before committing to the surgery.
- Set your date.
The recovery for LASIK is usually very quick , but it’s still a good idea to schedule your procedure when you can take a few days off. Setting the date for a Thursday or Friday so you can get your laser eye surgery done at the tail end of the week leaves you a couple days to recover over the weekend.
- Take time off work and set up childcare.
Remember to request any days off of work, and set up childcare if need be. Most LASIK patients can resume mostly normal activity levels within a few days to a week after having the procedure, but the more you can rest your eyes (and body), the better – and faster – you’ll recuperate.
- Figure out your financing.
Between eye exams and scheduling your surgery date, it’s easy to push the financial end of things to the back burner. But you should know how you’re planning to pay for the surgery, and any sort of payment plan you intend to set up. All of this should be agreed upon with your eye doctor’s office, in writing, before you show up the day of the surgery.
- Consider what you’ll need afterward.
After a LASIK procedure is over, your surgeon will direct you to pick up some prescription eye drops and some over the counter drops to help you combat the initial dryness you might experience. Have your insurance and prescription drug cards with you, and schedule to have someone else drive you to and from your procedure. Even if your eyes feel okay after LASIK.
- Set your expectations and feel confident.
If you still have any unanswered questions about LASIK, now is the time to get answers. By the time it’s the day of your procedure, you should feel confident and know what to expect.
- Follow pre-surgery protocol.
Finally, it’s imperative you follow any pre-surgery protocol that your eye doctor gives you. You can even take this a step further – for example, if you know you get jittery or anxious about medical procedures, you might choose to skip the coffee in the morning so the caffeine doesn’t make your nerves worse. Or if your doctor asks you to arrive ten minutes early, make it 15. That way, you won’t be rushed and you can feel settled and calm by the time you get called back.
- Smile – your LASIK laser eye surgery is over!
- Have someone else drive you home and/or pick up the RX your doctor prescribes.
Even if your vision feels good and you feel like a million bucks shortly after surgery, resist the temptation to jump right back into your normal life right away. In particular, be sure to avoid operating heavy machinery, driving, heavy reading and anything that could cause contaminants to get in your eyes.
- Remember many effects are just temporary.
If you experience dry eyes or sensitivity after the surgery, keep in mind it won’t last long. Keep doing as your eye doctor told you (using drops, resting your eyes, wearing sunglasses and/or goggles when you’re exposed to outside air or water). The healing process can vary for each person, but it shouldn’t take very long to heal completely.
- Keep your doctor’s information on hand.
Make sure to keep any instructions from your doctor with you, along with any phone numbers provided to you for follow-up. If you have any questions or concerns, you’ll want the eye doctor’s office number handy.
- Attend follow-up visits.
Be sure to attend all follow up visits to ensure the healing process has begun. Ask your doctor any questions like when you can expect to turn to normal activities.
The LASIK journey is an exciting and rewarding one, and the more prepared you are, the better it will go. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like any information about our exams.