Thinking of getting LASIK surgery?
LASIK is a type of refractive procedure that corrects errors of refraction—nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. It helps you achieve clear vision without having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. And one of the most important steps before getting it done is undergoing LASIK screening.
The screening is a four- to five-hour series of tests to evaluate your overall eye health. It goes beyond just measuring your eye grade; it also checks other factors like your lifestyle, the thickness of your cornea (the clear, dome-shaped layer in your eye), the ability of your eyes to produce tears, and other eye conditions that may be affecting your vision. All these are done to see if you are qualified for LASIK, or if you are a better fit for other refractive procedures, such as PRK, TransPRK, Supracor or implantable contact lenses.
But before you book a LASIK screening, read up on some reminders:
1. See if you are at the right age and health condition. Some factors like age or health condition may affect the outcome of your procedure. Those who are below 18 years old are not recommended to get LASIK yet as their eyes are still adjusting and changing shape. Women who are pregnant or nursing are advised to wait until their hormone levels are back to normal so their eye grade is stable.
2. Stop wearing contact lenses prior to screening. Contact lenses can temporarily change the shape of your corneas. Switch to eyeglasses seven days before your screening if you are wearing soft contact lenses or one month if you have hard or rigid contact lenses. Your corneas will return to their natural shape, allowing your eye doctor to get accurate eye measurements.
3. Arrange for a ride. Dilating drops will be instilled in your eyes. It is normal to experience blurred vision for several hours, making it hard for you to drive. Getting a ride is a good idea so it is easy and safe for you to get home.
4. Bring your trusty pair of sunglasses. The dilating drops can cause you to be extra sensitive to light. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses.
5. Wear a comfortable outfit. The screening takes at least four hours with a lot of tests. That is why it is important to be in comfortable attire. Bring a cardigan or jacket in case it gets too cold in the clinic.
6. List down your questions. Normally, doctors will discuss the results of your screening and how the surgery will be done. However, it helps to jot down any questions and concerns so your doctor can address them all. This will allow you to carefully weigh the pros and cons and help you decide on your surgery.