Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery is an important decision, and we want you to be fully informed and comfortable with the procedure.  Included is a list of common questions, but if we did not answer your question, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Is there an upper or lower age limit for refractive surgery?

The FDA requires patients to be at least 18 years old and to have a stable prescription.  There is no upper age limit, although in patients in their 60’s and older, we look closely for cataracts since cataract surgery may be a more immediate need.

Will my insurance cover my procedure?

Typically, insurances offer a discount and not coverage, but some insurance companies do offer laser vision benefits.  We will also be happy to check coverage for you.  Email us your insurance information or call 1-877-508-2020.

Does laser vision correction work for Astigmatism?

Yes, modern technology can correct astigmatism with extreme accuracy.  In the past, patients with large amounts of astigmatism were unable to have LASIK.  With the advancement of technology, patients are now able to have the procedure and achieve amazing results.

Can I have LASIK if I am pregnant or nursing?

No, because pregnancy can temporarily change your prescription.  Patients have to wait to have the procedure until 6 weeks after delivery, or 6 weeks after the completion of breast-feeding (whichever is later).

I am planning to have children someday. Do I need to wait to have refractive surgery?

No, you can have refractive surgery now even if you are planning on having children in the future.  Pregnancy can cause your vision to fluctuate but will stabilize postpartum.  If you are currently pregnant you will have to wait to have the procedure.

If I have problems touching my eyes or putting in contacts, will I be able to have eye surgery?

This is perfectly normal.  Many of our patients have problems putting in contacts or touching their eyes, but this is not an issue when having refractive surgery.

Why do I need to remove my contacts before my consult?

Contact lenses can “warp” the corneal surface, which can change the corneal curvature and lead to an incorrect measurement of your prescription.  In order to give you the most accurate treatment possible, you will have to stop wearing contact lenses prior to your exam and surgery. The time period depends on the type of lenses that you use and the length of time that you have used them.

Please remove your contact lenses prior to your initial consult as follows:

  • Soft or toric contact lenses should be removed at least one week prior to the consultation and at least two consecutive weeks prior to surgery.
  • Hard contacts (PMMA) or Gas permeable lenses should be removed at least a month prior to the consultation and surgery. Do not put your lenses back in any time prior to your surgery.

Will I need reading glasses?

The need for reading glasses is due to the natural aging of the eye, called presbyopia, which affects your near vision after the age of 40.  There is currently no treatment for presbyopia, so the loss of your near vision will occur whether a patient chooses to have LASIK or not.  After LASIK, younger patients can see both near and far, but will gradually lose their near vision in their 40′s.  Patients over 40, and patients currently in bifocals, will be corrected for distance, but will still need reading glasses for their near vision.

I am currently wearing monovision contact lenses. Can I have a monovision treatment with LASIK?

Monovision corrects one eye for distance vision and one eye for near vision.  This allows patients to be less dependent on reading glasses.  This treatment is not for everyone, but can work well for patients who successfully wear monovision contact lenses.

Can I have laser vision correction if I have diabetes?

Yes, patients with diabetes can have laser vision correction, provided their blood sugar is stable and do not have significant diabetic eye disease.

Is laser eye surgery safe?

While there are risks with any surgical procedure, recent advances in LASIK, including blade-less technology and wavefront-guided treatments, have made modern laser vision correction safer than ever.  Here at Restore Vision Centers, our surgeons combine the most advanced techniques with lasers having the most FDA-approvals, resulting in the safest procedures possible.  

What types of prescriptions can be corrected?

Laser vision correction can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.  Our VISX Star 4 laser offers the widest range of treatments available in the United States.

How long does the procedure take?

The entire procedure takes less than 15 minutes.  Laser treatment itself is only about 15 to 40 seconds, based on the degree of correction needed.

Does LASIK hurt?

The eyes are numbed with eye drops before the procedure, so patients typically feel a few seconds of “pressure” on the eye.  The laser treatment itself is painless.  The eyes can be scratchy and uncomfortable for 4-5 hours after the procedure; we recommend napping during this time.

What if I move my eye during the procedure?

All of our lasers at Restore Vision Centers are equipped with “eye-tracking” technology, so even if your eye moves during the laser treatment, the laser follows it.  Patients do NOT have to worry about eye movement.

How long will my results last?

One of the many advantages of modern LASIK technology is the long term vision stability.  While distance vision will generally remain stable after LASIK for “forever”, patients will still lose their near vision in their 40’s as part of the natural aging of the eyes.  Laser vision correction also does not prevent cataracts, nor does it make cataract surgery more difficult when the need arises.

Will I need to take any medication after surgery?

Medicated eye drops will be necessary for about one week after LASIK, or about six weeks after PRK.  Lubricating drops will also be used for a few weeks to six months after laser eye surgery.

Will I have dry eyes after laser eye surgery?

Your eyes will be drier for approximately six months following surgery.  Our blade-free IntraLase technology has reduced the degree of dryness by making thinner flaps, but patients can still expect to be using artificial tears for up to six months.

Have there been any long term studies about LASIK results and any possible complications?

LASIK has been performed for over twenty years and corneal flap formation for over thirty years.  There are no studies that have followed these procedures beyond this time frame.   However, numerous studies have shown refractive surgery to be the safest and most stable elective surgical procedure in medicine.

When will I be able to return to work?

Vision will fluctuate for several days after your procedure, but most patients are able to return to work in a day or two.

Are there any activity restrictions following surgery?

Laser vision correction has very little impact on your lifestyle. Activity restrictions are generally short-term. Immediately following laser eye surgery, there are a few things you should refrain from doing:

  • Do not rub your eyes
  • Wear sunglasses when in the sun
  • No eye makeup may be used for 2 weeks following the procedure
  • No swimming for one month, hot tub use is fine after 2 weeks

If you want to ask about a specific activity, please contact us.

What is an enhancement?

Our enhancement rate at Restore Vision Centers for an average prescription is about four percent, which is half of the national average.  In some patients following LASIK, their prescription will start to “drift-back”, this is called regression.  This generally happens in the first three to six months following surgery; especially when patients start with a large prescription.  These patients may have an enhancement or touch-up, after which the prescription should remain stable.

I am ready to get LASIK, what is the next step?

Schedule a free, no obligation consultation to find out if LASIK is right for you.  This is a fully dilated exam which will determine the overall health of your eyes and will answer all of your questions.  Before your consultation, please remember to stay out of your soft contacts for at least one-week (hard contacts for at least one month).

Do you have more questions?

Submit your question or call 1-877-508-2020

You might also be interested in:

Prices

Refractive Surgery Cost

Your price is based on the procedure that you choose.  Calculate your price now.

Refractive Surgery Guidebook

From consultation to recovery, our guidebook goes over everything that you need to know.

Contact Lenses

Are Contact Lenses Better?

Compare contact lens wear to laser vision correction.