Always wanted to find out more about LASIK but were too scared? LASIK is a simple and reliable procedure that benefits millions of people.
After all, who wouldn’t want to be free from the confines of glasses and contacts? It’s natural to be a little scared when it comes to surgery on your eyes, we get it! Keep reading to learn from our Q & A with some LASIK basics!
Q. What does LASIK stand for?
A. LASIK is an acronym for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis.
Q. When was LASIK first introduced?
A. LASIK became FDA approved in the 1990s. Since then, LASIK has become one of the world’s most popular elective procedures.
Q. Can anyone have LASIK surgery?
A. LASIK is a procedure that corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Millions of patients around the world have undergone the procedure since its introduction. But like any surgical procedure, LASIK is not always right for everyone.
There are strict criteria in place to ensure that patient safety stays at the forefront. LASIK candidates must:
- Be over the age of 18
- Have a stable prescription for at least a year
- Not be pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or lactating
- Be in good general health
Q. What does being pregnant or breastfeeding have to do with LASIK candidacy?
A. You may not realize it, but pregnancy can result in vision changes. You can thank fluctuating hormones for these changes, which are usually temporary.
One of the key factors of LASIK candidacy is having a stable prescription for at least a year. To be on the safe side, you shouldn’t undergo LASIK until you’ve finished breastfeeding. This gives your eyes enough time to adjust and go back to normal after pregnancy.
Q. Why can’t I get LASIK if I’m under 18?
A. Yes, teenagers can’t and shouldn’t get LASIK. In fact, most LASIK surgeons recommend waiting to get LASIK until your mid-twenties. Technically, if you are over the age of 18, you could get LASIK.
Why is there a rule on age?
Science tells us that it’s pretty common for a person’s prescription to fluctuate until about the age of 24. As a result, getting LASIK with fluctuating vision would make the procedure useless.
Q. What would happen if a 22-year-old’s prescription were to change after having LASIK?
A. LASIK surgery has advanced since its introduction, but there are still limitations. LASIK can only correct the refractive error present at the time of surgery.
If you need a touch up on your LASIK or aren’t satisfied with your results, you could have a secondary procedure. It’s uncommon, but a LASIK touch up may become necessary 5-10 years after the first procedure.
Q. Has anything changed about LASIK surgery since its introduction?
A. Advancements in technology have paved the way for many positive changes with LASIK. Perhaps most notable are the additions of custom LASIK and blade-free LASIK.
LASIK is now performed as a completely bladeless procedure. This leads to fewer risks and complications during recovery. It has also opened the door to even more patients approved as LASIK candidates.
Want to find out if you could qualify for LASIK candidacy? Schedule a LASIK consultation at Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons in Silver Spring, MD!