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Things To Do Before And After LASIK Surgery

Many people rely on eyeglasses or contact lenses for vision correction. Now, there is a way to be free from having to wear corrective lenses. Modern lasik surgery can correct vision immediately. Before going through LASIK vision correction, one should have a thorough evaluation. It is also essential to know the basics of laser surgery, what do before and after the procedure.

Author: Kathryn Dawson
Date: May 31, 2011 - 10:18:07 PM

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Millions of people have opted to have lasik surgery to get rid of eyeglasses and contact lenses. Modern methods have allowed the best possible results and almost negligible risks. But in order to fully benefit from the procedure, here are some guidelines on what to do before and after laser surgery.

Before having eye surgery, one must complete all tests and eye examinations. The eye doctor should be informed of all previous eye diseases because this will help assess the viability of laser surgery. Any medications being taken currently as well as allergies to food and drugs should be made known to the doctor. Inform the doctor of any known medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and vascular diseases. Before the scheduled operation, the surgeon will do a thorough eye examination and subject a patient to medical tests to ensure that all preexisting problems are properly addressed. The routine tests include corneal thickness measurement, refraction, corneal mapping, and pupil dilation. Before the scheduled procedure, all questions and concerns of the patient should have been answered by the eye surgeon.

Patients who wear contact lenses should not wear them for around three weeks before the surgery. This is because the outcome of LASIK depends on accurate measurement of the curvature and shape of the cornea. By not wearing contact lenses, the cornea can return to its natural shape and this will ensure that accurate measurements are obtained. Days before surgery, one should refrain from using makeup and creams that may cause debris to get into the eyes.

On the day of surgery, eat a light meal before proceeding to the eye clinic. Put off wearing eye makeup or any bulky hair accessory or cap that may get in the way of head positioning under the laser.

LASIK surgery does not require any needles and is done under local anesthesia. The doctor will instill anesthetic eye drops to make the patient comfortable throughout the procedure. The surgery itself takes only about 10 minutes to complete.

During LASIK surgery, a thin flap is gently made in the cornea or the front portion of the eye. This layer is then peeled back and the underlying tissue is reshaped using an excimer laser. The cornea is reshaped depending on the previous measurements so that it can properly focus light into the eye and onto the retina. Within a few minutes, the cornea flap is put back in place and the surgery is completed.

A majority of patients enjoy improved vision almost immediately after surgery or within a few days later. Some may experience hazy vision on the first day but this should improve shortly. This is the reason why it is recommended to have someone drive the patient home after surgery. The healing process usually occurs very rapidly and complications, if any, are mild. Most patients can resume short distance driving two to three days after LASIK. Use sunglasses for daytime driving to protect the eyes from the glare of the sun. Night driving should be deferred for several days especially for those who experience night vision problems.

The doctor will prescribe eye drops to keep the eye moist and to prevent any infection from occurring. Do not use eye makeup for at least three days following LASIK to prevent infection and possible eye damage. Also, steer clear of soaps and creams during this time. Avoid touching, rubbing, or poking the eyes. Sometimes eye protectors are recommended especially while sleeping. Allow adequate time for proper healing of the eye to occur.

Common activities such as reading and watching TV are allowed a day after surgery while outdoor activities require eye shields. Exercise, jogging, and general sports activities can be resumed one week after surgery. Usually, a return visit to the doctor for evaluation is done after 24 to 48 hours. The succeeding visits are typically scheduled every week for one month to six months after lasik surgery.

With all the advances in eye surgery, more complex eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy can now have better treatment outcomes. Other methods such as glaucoma treatment are now being done with lasers, which in the past were only done with conventional surgical methods.

Kathryn Dawson writes articles about how professional eye surgeons perform eye lasik surgery. Eye hospitals and their teams can provide glaucoma treatment, for example, as well as treatment for eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy or blepharospasm.

View all articles by Kathryn Dawson

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