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LASIK Recovery: What to Expect and When

The recovery period after LASIK vision correction surgery is short, but you still need to take some precautionary steps to ensure the best results. (more…)

Dry Eye After LASIK: How to Get Relief

Nearly 95% of patients experience dry eye following LASIK surgery. Here’s how to treat the symptoms and get relief. (more…)

Important Questions to Consider Before You Undergo LASIK

Considering LASIK, but don’t know whether it’s right for you? Ask yourself — and your eye doctor — these six questions. (more…)

Don’t Panic: Some Blurred Vision After LASIK Is Normal

Worried about what happens after LASIK vision correction surgery? Here’s what you need to know to take the uncertainty out of the recovery process.

As safe and effective as LASIK surgery has become, making a full recovery from any surgical procedure takes time. Many patients’ vision starts to return to normal within 48 hours, though others’ can take up to a week to seem right. While you may be alarmed by some of the symptoms you experience in the immediate aftermath of LASIK surgery, many of these side-effects are quite normal and eventually recede.

Your ophthalmologist will explain what to expect in the hours and days following your procedure, and you should always heed their advice regarding post-operative treatments and precautionary steps for accelerating the healing process.

LASIK’s Most Common After-Effects

In the two to three hours immediately after surgery, your vision will be blurry. Although your eyesight will greatly improve within 24 hours, you may still experience intermittent blurriness and fluctuations in your vision for some time as your eyes adjust to the reshaped cornea. Generally speaking, it will take between three and six months for your eyes to fully heal, and it’s not unusual to encounter minor lingering side-effects during this period.

Many patients notice halos around lights (particularly when driving at night), though these halos typically disappear within six months. Other after-effects from the surgery might include dark red spots in the whites of your eyes and/or dryness or scratchiness in your eyes. These conditions tend to dissipate within weeks.

Of course, the magnitude of your post-LASIK improvement will depend on your pre-op visual acuity. For example, people undergoing LASIK correction for farsightedness might initially see proximate items clearer than distant ones, but will find that their long-range vision sharpens in about a month.

Further, if you required a strong eyeglass prescription prior to the operation, your vision may take longer to completely correct. As your vision begins to improve, you might still want to wear glasses while driving at night to help you see greater distances.

What You Should Do After LASIK Surgery

After the procedure, your doctor will recommend a set of best recovery practices to which you should adhere in order to promote healing. The most common dos and don’ts for LASIK patients include:

  • Do wear eye guards at night for a week after the surgery so you don’t inadvertently rub the delicate eye area while you sleep.
  • Do use the eye drops your doctor prescribes to counteract dryness and prevent infection and inflammation.
  • Don’t go into areas where you may encounter a lot of dust or smoke, as these substances can irritate the eyes.
  • Don’t immerse your head in a swimming pool or hot tub since chlorinated water may inflame the eyes.
  • Don’t apply makeup or lotion to the eye area for at least a week, as you don’t want to put undue pressure on the eyes as they heal.

Finally — and arguably most importantly — be sure to schedule follow-up visits with your doctor at regular intervals to ensure your eyes are mending properly. If at any point during the recovery period you feel your eyesight hasn’t returned to normal, or if you experience unusual symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist immediately.

At ICON Eyecare, our staff has years of experience performing LASIK surgeries, and always makes a concerted effort to walk every patient through the details of the procedure itself and the recovery process. Book an appointment today to begin your journey to better vision.

Is LASIK a Permanent Vision Correction Solution?

LASIK helps millions of people enjoy life without the need for glasses or contact lenses. So if you opt for the procedure, how soon can you expect to see results — and for how long?

With more than 660,000 surgeries completed in 2018, LASIK is one of the most popular procedures undertaken in the United States. Thanks to LASIK — a procedure that involves a specialist shaping the cornea with precise laser technology — millions of Americans can go through their daily routine without having to deal with the hassle of glasses or contact lenses.

If you’re considering LASIK to improve your vision, you probably have a number of questions you’re thinking about as you weigh whether or not to go through with the procedure. For example, how soon will you be able to see results? And, once you do, how long will these results last?

Just as everyone’s vision needs are unique, so too will your recovery from LASIK vary from that of other patients. However, the general post-op experience can give you an idea of what that recovery time may look like, and whether or not your results will be completely permanent.

When You’ll See Full Results from LASIK Surgery

Recovery from LASIK goes through stages. Immediately after the procedure, your eyes will likely be cloudy, making it difficult to see. However, that cloudiness usually clears up within several hours. Over the following 24 to 48 hours, you’ll be checking in regularly with your doctor so that they can monitor your progress as your eyes heal and as you begin to see regularly again.

Your vision will begin to stabilize more completely over the next several months. However, this process can take three to six months to normalize as your eyes continue to acclimate. During that time, it’s not uncommon to experience glares, haloes, or difficulty seeing at night.

How Long LASIK Results Will Last

For most patients who opt for the procedure, LASIK provides permanent vision improvement. However, a minority of patients will see changes in their eyesight after LASIK that may require additional surgery.

Such developments may pop up several months after the procedure — or several decades. The exact circumstances behind these changes differ from patient to patient, but typical causes include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The onset of cataracts may also trigger changes in eyesight that affect the results of a LASIK procedure.  

Why You Might Need LASIK Enhancement

If your eyesight changes even after LASIK, you may need to go back in for something called LASIK enhancement. This may be required if changes both related and unrelated to the surgery alter the anatomy of the eye in such a way that specialists need to make adjustments. In addition to the causes outlined above, over- or under-healing of the eyes and general cornea health may call for additional attention.

While some of these changes are so slight that many patients choose not to undergo LASIK enhancement, others may experience marked-enough changes that a second go is necessary. In this instance, you’ll have to consult with your doctor to understand how your first LASIK procedure would affect a follow-up.

Speaking with a Specialist

If you’re looking into LASIK for the first time or you’re curious about whether or not you need LASIK enhancement, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation today. At ICON Eyecare, our team can help you understand your options, learn more about your particular needs, and work with you every step of the way as you consider permanent vision improvement.

What Success Rate Can You Expect with LASIK for Astigmatism?

 

Despite what you may have heard, the success rate of LASIK for patients with astigmatism is higher than you think.

Astigmatism, a common eye condition that occurs when the normally spherical cornea takes on a conical shape, can make it difficult for patients to focus on objects in their field of vision. Because this distortion causes incoming light to refract in more than one direction, it can cause your eyesight to become blurry and wavy.

While astigmatism can be either hereditary or develop as a result of aging, external pressure on the cornea, poor posture, or taxing the use of the eyes for work, it’s a reality for about one in three people. Glasses and contact lenses may help correct a single axis of the visual field for patients looking to fix their astigmatism, but procedures such as LASIK — depending on a number of factors that vary from one patient to the next — are typically the best way to find long-lasting relief.

How LASIK Can Help People with Astigmatism

If you’re looking for permanent vision correction because of astigmatism, LASIK can be a straightforward solution. The procedure involves a surgeon making an incision in the eye, allowing them to then use a state-of-the-art laser to reshape the cornea back into its optimal, spherical shape.

By reshaping the cornea like this, surgeons can fix the refractive issues that make it difficult for people with astigmatism to focus on objects in their field of vision. The procedure is a quick one, too, with patients usually back home the same day and enjoying the benefits of LASIK within one or two days.

LASIK Success Rates with Astigmatism

LASIK is one of the most common elective procedures performed in the United States, helping millions of people experience the benefits of surgical vision correction. Even patients suffering from pronounced astigmatism can correct their vision.

However, because of the complexity of astigmatism, it’s not uncommon for some patients to need more than one surgery in order to fix every aspect of their vision. People with the most severe types of this condition may have to come in for more than one round of LASIK to experience complete relief.

Speaking with a LASIK Expert

If you’ve been experiencing headaches, fatigue, eyestrain, and blurred vision from your astigmatism, it may be time to reach out to an eye care specialist. By receiving a comprehensive eye exam that measures the severity of your astigmatism and any extenuating circumstances, you and an expert can determine whether LASIK is right for you. For patients interested in LASIK, consider scheduling an appointment with ICON Eyecare to learn more. With our team of experienced staff, we can help you understand the benefits of LASIK and develop a plan to correct your astigmatism

Why LASIK is a Must for Athletes

Portrait of teenage soccer player

Wearing glasses during sports can be at best irritating and at worst, dangerous. Whether you’re a pro or amateur, you’ll find your game will benefit from LASIK.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a sport that doesn’t require optimal sight. And yet, many players who wear glasses or contacts don’t realize that there is an alternative to missed goals and squinting across the field.

For many of these athletes, LASIK or other vision correction procedures present a game-changing opportunity. Although athletes may need to refrain from contact sports for a limited period, that temporary inconvenience is more than outweighed by the positive results and enhanced performance.

How Glasses and Contacts Hold You Back during Sports

Glasses are rarely the safest option on the court or field. A misplaced elbow or sudden collision can easily snap the frame or break the lens, scratching your face or even damaging your eyes. Even with specially-designed sports glasses, sweat or condensation can become a safety issue, compromising your reaction time.

Contacts initially seem like the answer to issues with glasses. They can offer relative relief, but in practice, sweat and dirt can get trapped beneath the lens and irritate the eye. Contact wearers know that lenses can sometimes shift or blur, especially in windy or dry conditions. This might not matter as much in daily life, but on the field, it can mean a failed play or frustrated teammates. Swimmers, too, may be unable to wear contacts, as the lens will absorb any bacteria in the pool and possibly leading to infection.

LASIK Enhances Performance on the Field

With an increasing number of professional athletes choosing LASIK, you may be wondering if the surgery is right for you. If you’re younger than 18 – or in college with an unstable prescription – you may need to wait until your vision has stayed stable for roughly a year. Your eye doctor will be able to tell you whether you qualify.

Because athletes rely so heavily on sight, the LASIK difference is especially clear. Peripheral vision, formerly limited by glasses, will be suddenly sharper. Balls and pucks, teammates’ faces, the scoreboard, even blades of grass on the field — many patients report that they discover new details to their game. Of course, LASIK can only correct your vision to a certain extent, and can’t provide extra-powerful sight. But overall, the surgery can lead to better performance, with fewer missed plays and faster times, plus an overall more enjoyable sports experience.

For general sports enthusiasts, choosing LASIK is easy, as it has the potential to make athletic endeavors more convenient, fun, and rewarding. But for professional athletes who can’t afford even a few days or weeks off from training, there may be more planning and discussion involved in this decision.

Special Considerations for Athletes

LASIK is a simple procedure that involves a partial cut into the cornea, creating a ‘flap’ of tissue that requires some time to re-heal. Most people hardly notice their recovery time, as they are able to return to work the next day. And many non-contact athletes, like runners, may only need a couple of days before they are able to resume their activities.

However, some patients may have to wait up to several weeks to resume sports that require faster and more strenuous eye movement than typically used in daily life. And while every LASIK patient has to avoid submerging their head in water for two weeks, swimmers should be aware of this limitation on their training.

In addition, contact athletes may require a few weeks before play can resume. Protective eyewear is an option that in some cases allows the player to resume more quickly, but in general, athletes should work with their doctor to ensure adequate recovery time. And while exceedingly rare, in certain cases a strong blow or direct contact may dislodge the cornea. For peace of mind, some athletes may want to talk to their doctor about photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, a LASIK alternative which involves reshaping the cornea surface directly without creating a flap.

Make the Call

Recovery time is temporary, but the vision benefits offered by LASIK or PRK will stick with you as you play sports for years to come. If you’re ready to up your game, schedule a consultation with ICON Eyecare experts today.

Don’t Qualify for LASIK? Clear Lens Exchange Might Be the Key to Clear Vision.

Womans finger with contact lens

With the all-clear from your eye care specialist, Clear Lens Exchange can help you correct vision issues and enjoy an active lifestyle.

Although LASIK offers patients quick vision correction with minimal recovery time, it’s not right for everyone. According to eye care specialists, LASIK can be risky for those with certain conditions — especially patients with thin corneas.

Thankfully, Clear Lens Exchange (CLE) offers an effective alternative that can correct vision issues and help patients enjoy activities that may have been affected by poor eyesight. A procedure similar to cataract surgery and lens replacement, CLE involves the insertion of an intraocular lens inside the eye to correct issues ranging from astigmatism to near- or farsightedness.

If you’re interested in reducing or eliminating your need for glasses or contact lenses, this surgery may be the ideal option for you. Read further to learn more about CLE, and consider whether it’s time to talk to an eye care specialist about this procedure.

Who Should Consider CRE?

As an alternative to LASIK, PRK, and other vision correction procedures, CLE may be ideal for certain kinds of vision surgery candidates. Patients over the age of 40, for instance, are prospects for CLE if they’re hoping to eliminate the need for reading glasses as their eyesight worsens.

CLE is also recommended for patients without cataracts who want to correct other vision issues. Because the surgery replaces the eye’s natural lens with an artificial one, those who undergo CLE will no longer be at risk of developing cataracts as they age. Importantly, patients who are just beginning to experience early-onset cataracts can elect to have CLE if they want to prevent the condition from deteriorating as they age.

What You Can Expect from a CRE Procedure

CLE uses sophisticated laser technology to deliver the best results for each patient’s individual needs. After consultation, your eye care specialist can determine which intraocular lens will help you see better, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Because intraocular lenses sit inside your eye instead of on the surface like contact lenses, you won’t see or feels the new insert. Instead, you’ll be able to resume activities that have been become difficult because of vision issues, such as going outdoors or settling in with a good book, all without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses.

When You’ll See Results

After undergoing CLE, patients can expect a relatively brief recovery time. Many can return to work within three days of the procedure, depending on your line of work. Over the next few weeks, you will begin to notice a gradual improvement in your vision. Finally, within four to six weeks, patients can expect to see the optimal and long-term results of CLE.

If you’re curious about CLE and whether it might be the right solution for your vision issues, schedule a free consultation today. At ICON Eyecare, our specialists have the expertise you need to resolve deteriorating eyesights and resume a happy, active lifestyle.

Will LASIK Affect My Travel Plans?

Traveler with suitcase in airport concept.Young girl walking with carrying luggage and passenger for tour travel booking ticket flight at international vacation time in holiday rest and relaxation.

In most cases, it’s safe to travel after LASIK surgery. However, make sure to keep in mind recovery time and environmental conditions in the location you’ll be visiting.

There are numerous benefits to LASIK surgery: it’s relatively inexpensive, highly effective, and performed in the comfort of your doctor’s office. To top it all off, the recovery time is extremely fast. Many people even return to work the very next day.

But, does LASIK’s short recovery time mean that you can travel immediately after the surgery? Well, it depends. It’s best to ask your doctor for his or her recommendations based on your specific set of circumstances, but these post-LASIK travel guidelines are a good rule of thumb:

Getting Home After Laser Eye Surgery

Since the operation occurs in the doctor’s office, you’ll need to get back home soon after surgery. It is not a good idea to drive yourself home after the procedure. LASIK doesn’t involve the anesthesia typically used during hospital-based surgeries, but LASIK patients often receive some sedation or an anti-anxiety drug like Valium to help them remain calm and comfortable during the procedure.

The effects of these medications usually don’t fully wear off until 24 hours after the surgery is over, so it’s best for someone else to drive the patient home. If the patient has to come in for a post-operative check-up the day after the surgery, they should be okay to drive by then.

Work Travel after LASIK

Traveling for work isn’t always a strict “no” after LASIK, but its safety depends heavily on the type of travel. As a general rule, if traveling is your job — say you’re a long-haul trucker or a pilot — it’s a good idea to take some extra time after the procedure to recover. Although the LASIK procedure is minimally invasive, it requires your surgeon to make an incision in the cornea.

That incision is very small, but it still requires time, a safe environment, and plenty of moisture to heal. Unfortunately, driving a truck or piloting an airplane requires you to keep your eyes open for many hours at a time, which can make them dry and impede the healing process. In those cases, it might be better to take a few days off, but that’s something that you and your eye doctor can decide together.

Vacations during LASIK Recovery

Patients commonly schedule the LASIK procedure during a holiday break, so they may have travel plans shortly after. Usually, air travel is fine after LASIK, but some caution is warranted. It’s still not a good idea to keep your eyes open for long stretches of time, so opt for a nap over an in-flight movie or a book. Because airplane cabin air is substantially drier than normal air, there’s a greater than usual risk of developing dry eyes. That means that it’s also important to make liberal use of the artificial tears prescribed by your doctor while you’re up in the air.

Once you get to your vacation destination, it’s smart to avoid swimming pools, hot tubs and jacuzzis because the incision in your eye is still healing and prone to infection. It’s also a good idea to avoid contact sports during that time since your eye will be a little more delicate than usual.

The good news is that once your eyes are completely healed, travel will be far more convenient than it was prior to your LASIK operation. LASIK is a great option for jet setters — everyone knows that traveling with glasses and contact lenses is a huge hassle. If you’re interested in a life of clear vision, contact ICON Eyecare to set up an initial consultation today.

What’s the Right Age to Have LASIK?

Glasses in woman hands on sunset background

Many people have experienced the life-changing power of LASIK eye surgery, but it can be difficult to determine the right age to make this important decision.

Since the 1970s, LASIK surgery has transformed the lives of millions of people. Because it can correct for deficits in both near and far vision, LASIK has made clear vision a reality for people who believed they’d never be free from contact lenses or glasses. Additionally, the procedure itself is safe, increasingly cost-effective, and doesn’t even require the patient to set foot in a hospital.

However, many people still find themselves hesitant to take the plunge and talk to their doctor about getting LASIK surgery, often because they’re not sure it’s the right time to do so. If you’re having trouble deciding the age at which you should get LASIK, read on:

How Young is Too Young for LASIK?

One of the major LASIK criteria that potential patients must meet is prescription stability – usually for a year or two – which increases the chances that the patient will experience a successful outcome. If the shape of the eye changes soon after the surgery, it could render the operation ineffective and may even send the patient back to the operating table.

Generally, younger people experience more prescription change because their eyes are still growing. Some prescriptions stabilize around the end of puberty, but people can experience vision change through their mid-20s.

LASIK is approved for ages 18 and above, so people with stable vision could have the procedure before they go off to college. For others, prescription stability may take longer. A trained eye specialist will be able to tell you if you qualify.

How Old is Too Old for LASIK?

Since LASIK only changes the shape of the front of the eye, there are some vision problems that it can’t correct. If you are older – 55 or above – you may be at higher risk for complicating conditions.

One of these is diabetic retinopathy, which occurs in people with diabetes when the eye starts to form new blood vessels that break and bleed, obscuring the person’s vision. LASIK won’t be able to help with this problem.

Similarly, cataracts — which are the thickening and yellowing of the lens — tend to occur in older people and can’t be fixed with LASIK. If the lens is so yellow that light can’t get through, the patient is still going to have vision problems after LASIK.

However, even when a patient’s vision problems can be addressed by LASIK, an operation still may not make sense. Just as very young people heal quickly, older people tend not to, so the risks associated with the prolonged healing process would have to be weighed against the value of the procedure. Vision generally becomes more nearsighted with age, so older people who get LASIK may still have to wear reading glasses. Still, it’s not unheard for people in their 70s to undergo LASIK and achieve excellent results.

If you’re between your mid-20s and mid-60s and don’t have significant eye problems, you’re likely a strong candidate for LASIK. Even if you aren’t, you may still be able to safely and successfully undergo the procedure. Contact ICON Eyecare today for a consultation – our eye professionals can help determine whether LASIK is right for you.

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