The Quintessential Guide to Getting LASIK

Have you thought about getting LASIK but always changed your mind in the past? It’s a big commitment but when it comes to investing in yourself, it’s worth it!

Wouldn’t it be easier to commit to a permanent procedure like LASIK if you knew exactly how to prepare, every step of the way? Check out our quintessential guide to getting LASIK for everything you need to know before, during, and after having the procedure!

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Before LASIK
Drink more water

This is something that many people don’t think about, but when you do, it definitely makes sense. Before having LASIK, you should try to increase your water intake.

No, you’re not a camel or anything, but being sufficiently hydrated before any surgical procedure is always a good idea. But the real reason is that one of the most common side effects patients suffer from after LASIK is dry eyes.

This usually occurs because, during LASIK, the cornea is permanently reshaped. To achieve this, reshaping the cornea involves severing some nerves in the cornea that are in charge of communicating tear production.

If you’re drinking more water in the weeks before LASIK, you’ll be more hydrated. Then, after you have LASIK, your eyes will be less dry as well. It’s a win-win for your eyes and your body!

Get used to wearing your glasses again for a few weeks

You’ll have to stop wearing your contact lenses for a few weeks before you have LASIK. You may not realize it, but when you wear contacts, it actually temporarily changes the shape of your cornea.

You can imagine, then, that your cornea needs to be its normal shape before you undergo a procedure that permanently reshapes it. How long you’ll need to stop wearing contacts depends on the kind of contacts you wear, but your eye doctor will tell you after you schedule your procedure.

Pick out a comfortable outfit for the day of your procedure

When you get LASIK, did you know that you’re awake the whole time? You are never put to sleep or put under!

For this reason, you should pick out a comfortable outfit at least a few days in advance before you have LASIK. Getting LASIK is not painful, but you will probably be pretty tired after it’s all over.

Yes, you want to be comfortable during the procedure, but you also want something that you’re okay taking a nap in after. It’s pretty unlikely you’ll want to change into your pajamas once you get home.

You may want to wear something like leggings, a soft t-shirt, and a hoodie so you’re warm but can remove a layer if necessary. This isn’t the time to wear jeans or your cutest outfit.

During LASIK

If there’s one thing you should do when you’re getting LASIK, it’s to relax. The procedure is very short and usually takes about 30 minutes at most per eye to perform.

The best part is that it’s not painful! That seems incredibly unlikely since it’s a procedure that involves your eyes, but you won’t feel any pain.

How? Before LASIK even starts, you’ll receive numbing eye drops from your surgeon.

After you blink a few times, the drops will cover the surface of your eye and kick in. If you are really nervous, your surgeon may give you a sedative to calm you down.

Remember to breathe and that in the grand scheme of things, getting LASIK is something that you’ll barely remember. What you will remember, though, is that you have permanently clear vision.

That is what makes it all worth it, after all! You never have to wear glasses or contacts again, and can see the world as it was always meant to be seen.

Listen to your surgeon

There’s not a whole lot that you have to do while your surgeon performs the LASIK procedure. But make sure you listen to everything they say.

There’s not a whole lot that you have to do while your surgeon performs the LASIK procedure. But make sure you listen to everything they say.

During some parts of the procedure, they may ask you to look at a red dot and focus on it for a few seconds. Do your best to follow these directions.

If you do feel any discomfort, make sure to let them know. At most, you may feel a few seconds of slight pressure but it goes away quickly and isn’t painful.

Your vision might not be clear right away and that’s okay

You made it! After the procedure is complete, you’ll have to stay until your surgeon feels it’s safe for you to go home. This could be an hour or two.

They may ask you if your vision is clear and if you can see. It’s totally normal if your vision isn’t clear right away. It can take a few days after you get LASIK before your vision clears up and you can see crystal clear.

Your eyes may be more sensitive to light than normal

Although LASIK is a fast procedure, it’s still a surgical procedure that you need to recover from. It’s normal if your eyes feel more sensitive, especially to light.

Air may sting, and it may feel better to lay with your eyes closed while a friend or family member drives you home. Don’t try to overdo it on the day of your procedure.

The best thing that you can do for your eyes once you get home is sleep. By this time, the numbing eye drops might start to wear off, so if you’re feeling discomfort and even some pain, that’s to be expected as well.

You can take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen to help with any pain. If you are going to sleep, make sure you keep the eye shields given to you on your eyes.

The eye shields aren’t pretty but they’ll protect your eyes if you accidentally touch or bump them while you’re resting. The flap created during LASIK is very fragile so it’s important to keep your eyes protected at all costs.

Recover smart

Although the recovery process after LASIK is short, it’s still important to follow all instructions from your surgeon. In the days after LASIK, avoid getting any soap or water in your eyes, bending at the waist, or looking at screens.

For the first month, avoid contact sports, swimming, hot tubs, and wearing eye makeup. Most patients go back to work the next day, but if you spend a lot of time in front of computers, you may want to reconsider and take an extra day off.

The best thing you can do is take it easy. Your eyes need time to heal and get used to their new normal, after all!

Attend all follow-up appointments with your eye doctor

One of the most important parts of your recovery after LASIK is to make sure you attend all follow-up appointments with your eye doctor. Your first one is usually in the first 24-48 hours after your procedure to ensure there are no complications and that your eyes are healing.

It’s crucial to catch any problems or complications early on when they are easier to diagnose and treat. After your first follow-up appointment, you’ll have appointments over the next six months to a year, usually every month or every other month.

If you cannot commit to these appointments, getting a procedure like LASIK may not be right for you.

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Ready to find out if you could be a good candidate for this life-changing procedure? Schedule a LASIK consultation at Sugiki Portis Yim Eye Center in Honolulu, HI!

Now that you know what to expect, why let your fears stand in your way of clear vision for the rest of your life?

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