LASIK FAQs



Basics

What is LASIK?
LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a type of refractive surgery proven to treat a wide range of prescriptions, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. It is known for being quick, relatively comfortable and safe. During LASIK, the surgeon uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, changing the way the eye focuses light on the retina for improved vision. The laser work is performed on a surface underneath a thin, protective corneal flap.
What if am I not a candidate?
To determine if LASIK is a good option for you, schedule a free consultation at three of our screening locations (Cotswold, Mooresville, Waverly). Common disqualifying factors include:
  • Your prescription is actively changing more than one diopter per year
  • You’re pregnant or a nursing mother with unstable refractions
  • You’re on certain medications; please disclose all during your consultation
  • You suffer from both presbyopia and moderate to severe hyperopia
  • You suffer from an uncontrolled or untreated eye disease
  • You’re unwilling to accept the possible risks and complications of LASIK surgery
  • You need guaranteed 20/20 vision and will accept nothing short of perfect results; no surgeon can guarantee 20/20 vision.
What are my options if I’m not a LASIK candidate?
Talk to your doctor about options that may be right for you. We offer other refractive surgeries including PRK, Visian ICL implants and Clear Lens Exchange/Refractive Lens Exchange.
How old do I need to be to have LASIK?
The typical age range is 21 to 45, but it can be performed at almost any age.
What is the difference between LASIK and PRK?
Like LASIK, PRK is a type of refractive surgery performed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Though not as popular, PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery. There are many differences, but the most notable is the first step in the procedure. PRK does, however, have some advantages over LASIK in the right patient. In PRK, the thin outer layer of the cornea is removed and discarded prior to reshaping the underlying corneal tissue with an excimer laser. The outer layer of the cornea repairs itself within a few days of the surgery. Ask your doctor which refractive surgery is the best option for you.
Is laser vision correction FDA-approved?
Yes. At Horizon Eye Care, we only use FDA-approved excimer lasers.
What about laser treatment of farsightedness?
Laser vision correction of farsightedness has been approved by the FDA since 1998. Treating farsightedness has become a routine procedure similar to treating nearsightedness.
  • Farsighted patients under 40: We can generally achieve excellent near and distant vision with LASIK.
  • Farsighted patients over 40: We are typically able to improve your sight with excellent distance vision and significantly improved reading vision, although you will still need reading glasses for some activities as you age. Ask us about monovision LASIK, a specialized technique to reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses. It works by correcting one eye for distance and the other eye for near or mid-range vision.
Why is farsightedness so confusing?
The term "farsighted" is confusing because its effect on vision depends on the age of the person and the level present. Presbyopia is the term for natural aging of the eye and makes reading glasses necessary after the age of forty. For this natural aging change, LASIK cannot eliminate the need for reading glasses unless we use the monovision technique. Ask your doctor if you’re a candidate.

Preparation

What if I’m nervous?
Our eyes and vision are very precious, so it’s perfectly natural to be nervous about having LASIK. To help alleviate your concerns, our staff will spend time with you answering any questions you may have and describing exactly what’s involved in the procedure. We will guide you through the process step-by-step to alleviate your fears and help you feel as comfortable as possible. We also may prescribe a mild sedative prior to the procedure. Talking with people who have had the procedure is a good way to understand what to expect. Many of our patients have volunteered to talk with anyone who’s considering LASIK to answer questions and share their laser correction experience. Let us know if you’d like us to put you in contact with one of our LASIK patients or if you would like to be a part of this group after your procedure.
Should I have both eyes done at the same time?
For the majority of our patients, we perform LASIK on both eyes on the same day. The results are so predictable and the procedure so safe that most people choose this approach to minimize any post-operative discomfort and time off from work.
Where do I go for my surgery?
While you can schedule a free consultation determining if you’re a candidate for LASIK at three of our locations (Cotswold, Mooresville, Waverly), your surgery will be performed at our Huntersville location. 15419 Hodges Circle Huntersville, NC 28078 704-892-1000
Will I be able to drive home or should I have someone plan to drive me to and from the surgery?
You will not be able to drive yourself home, so plan on having a friend or family member at least pick you up after your procedure to take you home.

Procedure

What type of laser will be used?

Topography-guided treatments (Contoura® Vision) allow your surgeon to treat measurable imperfections that are unique to your eyes. This one-of-a-kind, fingerprint-like measurement of a patient’s eyes is used by the WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser to give you your best possible, personalized visual outcome in an effort to remove the need for glasses and contacts. Today’s laser vision correction advances strive to improve vision quality while reducing or eliminating some of the possible effects associated with conventional laser vision correction.

What type of anesthesia will be used?
Numbing eye drops are more than adequate to keep you comfortable during LASIK. These drops will be placed prior to you entering the laser suite, and they’ll also be placed during the procedure to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
What if I move my eye during surgery?
Each step of LASIK has its own way of addressing this issue. During LASIK flap creation, a gentle suction device controls the position of your eye. During the second half of the procedure, the patient is expected to look at a green flashing light directly in front of them; should you move during this part of LASIK, the laser automatically pauses until you resume the correct position. The EX500 laser checks the eye’s position every several milliseconds during the treatment.
How long will the procedure last?
This outpatient procedure lasts approximately 15 minutes per eye.
Does it hurt?
Most people experience 6-12 hours of mild irritation after their LASIK similar to the feeling of dirty contact lenses. One dose of Tylenol is typically all most people need. Keeping your eyes closed and resting is one of the best ways to minimize discomfort on the day of the procedure.

Post - Surgery

What limitations are there post-surgery?
We recommend that patients go home immediately after surgery and take it easy for the rest of the day. Keep your eyes at rest: don’t read. You’ll be prescribed two eye drops which need to be administered four times daily. Do not drive until you are seeing well, which will usually be the following day. Do not rub your eyes. Avoid activities that put your eyes at risk, and wear sunglasses as a physical barrier frequently during the first week.
How will I feel after LASIK?
Of the many refractive laser procedures, LASIK has the shortest time to vision recovery and patients generally experience little to no postoperative pain. The protective corneal flap allows for overnight sealing of the corneal surface, which quickly alleviates post-operative scratchiness and irritation. Eye drops are often prescribed for the first week following surgery unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
How soon will I notice results?
Most patients can see clearly 24 hours after their LASIK procedure. Results of the surgery, however, will take several weeks to stabilize completely.
How long will the correction last?
Once the results stabilize, your correction is permanent. If you develop a need for glasses in the future, you can blame that on the normal aging processes that affect everyone.
How soon after can I drive?
Patients are typically able to drive the day following LASIK after their first-day postoperative exam.
When will I be able to go back to work?
Patients are typically able to return to work and resume normal activities within a few days of the surgery.
Can I have cataract surgery in the future if I have LASIK now?
Yes. LASIK will not impede you from getting cataract surgery in the future if you need it.
Will I be able to wear contact lenses after LASIK?
Most people do not need glasses or contact lenses to see distance clearly after laser vision correction. However, if a patient does need them to improve their vision after LASIK, they typically can wear contact lenses.

Risks

What are the risks?
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or questions post-surgery. You can reach us at 704-365-0555. It’s important to remember that even minor, everyday corrective eye treatments, such as wearing contact lenses, carry some risk. In recent studies and our experience, most patients achieve excellent results without significant complications. Serious complications appear to be rare. Trauma to the eye shortly after the procedure, while the eye is still healing, can cause complications and the need for surgery. Resist rubbing your eyes for one month post-LASIK. Take care to avoid being hit in the eye as the impact can move the flap.
Are results guaranteed?
Some patients do require a second treatment in order to get the vision they desire. If a second treatment is necessary, it is usually performed 6-12 months after the first procedure.
Can I get an infection?
Infections after LASIK have been reported but are rare. Occasionally, your surgeon may cancel your procedure if the flap created is not adequate. Your LASIK can be rescheduled several months later.
Will I see a halo?
Most patients experience halos around lights and some starbursts or glare at night for several weeks to months after their surgery. In general, these are noticeable but not debilitating, and they disappear within six months to a year.

Financing

What are the options for financing my procedure?
We have established a very competitive price and offer our patients the option of affordable monthly payments through a credit card company called Alphaeon. Alphaeon offers different financing options to make it easy for you to enjoy the benefits of Laser Vision Correction. Your monthly payment and interest rate will depend on the terms of the financing plan you choose. They also offer a plan that charges NO INTEREST for up to 12 months. You can call 1-855-497-8176 for more information or apply online at https://goalphaeon.com/.

LASIK FAQs

AESTHETIC
CENTER
LEARN MORE
CATARACT
CENTER
LEARN MORE
CLEAR LENS EXCHANGE | REFRACTIVE LENS EXCHANGE
CENTER
LEARN MORE
CORNEA
CENTER
LEARN MORE
DRY EYE
CENTER
LEARN MORE
EYE EXAM
CENTER
LEARN MORE
GLAUCOMA
CENTER
LEARN MORE
LASIK
CENTER
LEARN MORE
PEDIATRIC
CENTER
LEARN MORE
RETINA
CENTER
LEARN MORE