Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK for short, is the medical procedure that changes the shape of the eye so that corrective lenses aren't needed as much, or at all. Many people ask me during the pre-screening for eye exams if they are good candidates for the operation. When I hear that, I encourage a patient to talk with our optometrists and find out if LASIK is right for them. There are a lot of factors to consider that need to be weighed and balanced before going forward with the LASIK surgery.
There are people and groups who don't need LASIK
If someone has a slight prescription, or is really young, LASIK really isn't recommended or needed in a lot of cases. Take a look at your lifestyle, age and dependence on contacts or glasses and deeply consider if it will improve your day-to-day life or if would be just "nice" to have. There are risks with undergoing LASIK and certain people might lose more than they gain.
Are there problems with the eye beyond "not seeing well?"
If you have Glaucoma, past eye traumas, eye conditions like dry eyes or a host of other problems or complications related to the eye, there are complications that could result in diminished vision or vision loss. Always go in for an eye exam and make sure that everything checks out. It is now a requirement that vision remains stable for an entire year before proceeding with LASIK.
Researching and finding the best surgeon
Is the doctor experienced with the best knowledge and latest FDA approved equipment? That is the question everyone should ask, however, many people only consider price when shopping around for LASIK, but that should only be one of the many considerations when selecting a doctor to preform the operation. Doing a little legwork and getting all the facts on LASIK centers in imperative before getting the procedure done. Your primary eye care doctor will also be able to make recommendations.
LASIK isn't just a one time surgery that makes the need for glasses or contacts disappear. There many steps along the road to the operation and many steps that follow. People who get the LASIK done might even need to go back for touch-ups a few years down the road.
Won't solve all problems
A lot of times, people will still have to wear reading glasses after a LASIK operation. People looking to be totally free of glasses or contacts need to be aware that there still might be need for corrective lenses following the operation for things like close-up vision.
If you want to know more information about LASIK, the FDA has a great website that covers all the bases about what to expect, what to do/not do and other bits of information that is useful for people considering the surgery.