LASIK FAQs - Raleigh, NC - Isaac Porter, MD - A State of Sight #89

If you're tired of glasses, LASIK can be a great solution. Many people wonder if laser eye surgery is painful. Learn the answer to this question and more by watching this episode of A State of Sight with Isaac Porter, MD.

Also covered in this video: information about recovery after LASIK, how long the effects are expected to last, and what happens if the eye moves during surgery.

Welcome to A State of Sight, I’m Isaac Porter. This is your update in ophthalmology and eye care. In this episode I would like to cover several frequently asked questions about LASIK.
LASIK is a great procedure for the people who qualify and many people wonder how long LASIK will last. The short answer is that we expect LASIK to last your lifetime once it’s stable about six months to a year after the procedure.
Once younger patients get to their 40’s, just like everyone else, they will start having to use reading glasses to see up close. This is presbyopia and it happens to everyone. However, distance vision should still stay stable as long as the eye stays healthy. Later in life people can get cataracts and the health of the eye could change but these are not necessarily related to LASIK.
Others often ask if the procedure is painful or if there is pain afterwards. During the procedure we use numbing drops to keep the eye comfortable. Patients should not feel anything sharp or painful. They may feel some pressure and touch during the procedure around their eyes and eyelids.
Afterwards during recovery, the eyes usually feel scratchy, like something in the eye. Generally this resolves over the first day or two. During this time the vision can be a bit foggy or cloudy during the first day. Usually when patients wake the next morning, they are seeing much better.
Other people wonder what would happen if their eye moves during surgery. Fortunately, the laser has an eye tracker. Before every pulse of the laser, which happens many times per second, this tracker is checking to see if the eye is aligned exactly in the perfect position. Additionally, there is a target light for patients to look at, to help keep the eye lined up even better.
If the eye moves and is not in the right position before the laser fires, the eye tracker will stop the laser. This is a safety feature built in to the laser to ensure the treatment will be placed exactly where we want. Once the eye is aligned again the treatment can restart.
Many people wonder about the recovery after LASIK. Usually, patients use drops for about a month afterwards, more at first. First they will have an antibiotic and a steroid drop. Usually we only use the antibiotic drop for about a week. The steroid gets brought down over the first month.
I’m sure there are plenty of other questions so we may have another episode about this in the future. If you have any questions about LASIK please post, we will be happy to answer them. We hope to see you again soon on A State of Sight.