Jeepers creepers! My life certainly changed when I got LASIK, or Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, in 2013. Prior to my laser eye surgery, I suffered from terrible nearsightedness (of -7.1 diopters), which meant my severe myopia caused my cornea and lens to refract incoming light to the front of my retina so that close objects appeared clearly, but distant objects were extremely blurry. An active runner, swimmer, and yogi, I was tired of constantly pushing my glasses up my nose and even more sick of wearing contact lenses. I was thrilled by the surgery, an outpatient procedure, which literally reshaped the surface of my corneas with lasers in under 10-minutes, and made life possible for me without glasses or contact lenses.
But before you join the over 16-million individuals around the globe who have undergone LASIK, here’s what you should know before going under the laser…
1. Prior to LASIK
LASIK is performed by a board-certified ophthalmologist, not your normal eye doctor (or optometrist). Typically your optometrist will make a referral if they think you would be a good candidate for LASIK. For instance, if you have cataracts, glaucoma, rheumatoid arthritis, are pregnant or nursing you are not a good LASIK candidate.
Before your procedure, you’ll have a consultation with the LASIK clinic where your surgery will take place. If you wear contact lenses, you’ll be asked to stop wearing them up to 2 weeks before your LASIK procedure. This is because wearing contacts can affect the shape of your eyes, and the surgeon will want your cornea to return to normal shape so precise measurements taken for the laser are absolutely correct.