Back in the day, if you needed glasses, you were stuck with thick lenses and a limited selection of frames. These days, eyeglasses are a fashion accessory and even some celebrities that don’t need glasses are wearing so-called “brainy specs.” However, many people want to be rid of their specs altogether, brainy or otherwise. Surgery offers a promising alternative; however, it is not a cure-all or a silver bullet. If you do opt for surgery, it’s best to know what to expect beforehand; making preparations can make your experience more pleasant and improve the outcomes for your operation.
What is Laser Eye Surgery?
There are several laser eye surgery types available. Options include LASIK, LASEK, PRK and others. What they all have in common is that they involve having a surgeon make a microscopic incision into your eye in order to correct your vision and remove the need for glasses or contact lenses.
While patients are generally able to discard their glasses after laser eye surgery; this is not always the case. Some patients require multiple surgeries to achieve satisfactory results. Others are able to downgrade their prescriptions after surgery, but still need some level of vision correction, either with glasses or contacts.
Know the Limitations and the Risks
Laser eye surgery isn’t for everyone. You are more likely to obtain satisfactory results if you are nearsighted or have astigmatism. If you have certain disorders, however, such as chronic dry eye, or diseases of the cornea, laser eye surgery is probably not for you.
Even if you are eligible for corrective eye surgery, there are limitations to the results that you can expect. If you are severely nearsighted, you may experience significantly improved vision as a result of laser eye surgery, but it’s unlikely that you will achieve 20/20 vision. In addition, laser surgery will not necessarily prevent you from needing reading glasses for age-related vision problems. When a surgeon or eye care facility promises that you will be able to “throw your glasses away” after corrective eye surgery, be aware of all possible outcomes.
It is important to keep in mind that laser eye surgery is surgery. As such, you will experience some down time. There are also precautions you should take to avoid undoing the effects of the surgery and to protect against inflicting damage on your eyes. Your surgeon is likely to give you a list of specific instructions, but there are several general guidelines to follow to make the days and weeks after surgery more comfortable.
Avoid showering or washing your hair immediately after surgery. You may resume your normal hygiene routine after a day, but be careful to avoid getting tap water, soap, shampoo or grooming products in your eyes for at least a week. You should also avoid chlorinated water from spas or swimming pools for at least two weeks after surgery.
Don’t engage in strenuous exercise for two days after surgery. Once you do become active again, wear sports goggles or other eye protection, especially for the first month after your surgery and try to avoid getting perspiration in your eyes.
Throw away your old makeup to avoid contamination after surgery. Avoid wearing eye makeup of any kind for at least a week. Wait at least ten days after laser eye surgery for that next hair colouring or perm appointment.
Faith Edwards had a husband with poor vision who, thanks to laser eye surgery, now sees perfectly. She now shares what she learned on the Internet, so others can prepare, too.
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