Have you ever wondered which is best for you: LASIK vs. contacts? LASIK surgery, because of its relative recency and ability to deliver drastic results, can make some potential candidates nervous, many of whom opt to wear contacts for the long run to avoid the risks of surgery. However recent studies have shed some new light on the situation, and shown us that when weighing the risks and rewards in the case of LASIK vs. contacts, the safer choice might surprise you.
The risks of LASIK eye surgery
Is LASIK better than contacts? It’s a question that we often field from candidates for vision correction, and the answer is ‘yes, and no’. But to put it simply, LASIK is a corrective procedure with lasting effects while contact lenses are more akin to a Band-Aid than a permanent solution.
LASIK surgery of course comes with inherent risk, although that risk is minor. Immediately following the procedure you will experience expected loss of vision, dry eyes, and light sensitivity. The time following the surgery can be uncomfortable, and the eye is especially susceptible to postoperative infection, however, the amount of people experiencing serious complications has plummeted in recent years.
LASIK successfully corrects most patients’ vision to 20/20, with over half of those patients boasting better than 20/20 vision. Most of the reticence towards laser eye surgery comes from the very natural fear of a laser touching one’s eye, but the procedure has such a high success rate and has only gotten safer over time.
One of the reasons for the high perceived risk of LASIK eye surgery is that the complications are immediate and acute. As with any surgery recovery, there is a short period of discomfort and healing before a patient can take their new eyes for a spin. Potential complications from wearing contact lenses, in contrast, are gradual and slow to develop.
The most common complications from contact wear are corneal damage and infections. Contact wearers often develop infections such as keratitis and conjunctivitis, and problems like dry eyes and lens related discomfort are ubiquitous.
Oregon Health and Science University recently reviewed the topic of LASIK vs. contacts but within the scope of bottom-line loss of vision (which is what everyone fears of after all) and found that there is no real difference in the numbers between those who had LASIK surgery and those that wore contact lenses over an extended period (i.e., as a permanent solution).
While the risks of both wearing contacts and getting LASIK are incredibly low,long-term satisfaction with patients who underwent LASIK is significantly higher than those who chose to keep wearing contacts. As always, it is best to have your questions answered by a professional, read up onwhat to ask in a LASIK consultation and begin your journey to clearer vision by booking a consultation with Eye Center of Texas today.
Is laser eye surgery cheaper than contacts?
LASIK surgery can be expensive, but so can a lifetime of wearing contact lenses. While LASIK surgery is not covered by health insurance –– it is still considered an elective cosmetic procedure –– contact wearers, if following doctor’s orders, have to shell out an awful lot of cash for multiple consultations and lens changes. While LASIK requires a significant one-time investment, it can quickly become the more cost-effective option when the alternative is paying for lenses, solutions, and doctor visits in perpetuity.
Although many of the risks associated with wearing contacts are incurred by normal wear, they are exacerbated by non-recommended practices such as sleeping with them in, not changing them enough, and not correctly utilizing contact solution. But normal wear is a standard that has proven difficult to achieve; theCDC estimates that 99% of contact wearers report at least one habit that puts them at risk for serious eye infection. So, in the end, LASIK might be a more cost-effective solution to invest in than contacts.
You do not qualify for LASIK if you are under 18 years old.
You could not qualify for LASIK if you have extenuating health complications, including diabetes or auto-immune disorders.
You could not have enough corneal thickness; if your corneas are under .5mm thick you would not qualify for the surgery.
If you are pregnant or nursing you will have to wait to qualify due to certain prescription’s effect on hormones.
Beyond these factors, only a specialized LASIK surgeon can consult you on your eye health and make recommendations that get you on the path to clear vision. Wondering if you’re aLASIK candidate? Schedule a consultation with one of the LASIK surgeons at Eye Center of Texas to find out if the procedure is right for you.
Interested in LASIK? Seek Expert Council from the Surgeons at Eye Center of Texas
If you are looking for answers in the great debate of LASIK vs. contacts, look to the experts and let Eye Center of Texas weigh in. Our surgeons have successfully performed over 75,000 successful LASIK procedures, meaning that if you are a LASIK candidate, you will be in great hands. At Eye Center of Texas, we not only operate on the cutting edge of technique and technology but provide personalized care with thorough consultations.
The experts at Eye Center of Texas are here to share what you can expect before and after LASIK eye surgery. In LASIK, your ophthalmologist will create a corneal flap using a minimally invasive laser treatment to correct any vision problems you may be having. Though the LASIK eye surgery success rate is 96% and is effective in more than a majority of patients, it is still a good idea to educate yourself on the surgery’s procedures so that you can be as well informed as possible.
The LASIK before and after results can be life-changing for individuals who need glasses, contact lenses, or other correctional devices to see clearly.
Before LASIK eye surgery
The evaluation exam
Before a doctor can recommend LASIK eye surgery as an option for your vision problems, you will need to undergo a thorough evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK.
If you wear contact lenses, your doctor will recommend that you stop wearing them for a few days prior to your baseline evaluation and wear your glasses instead. Why? As a part of the exam, a digital 3D map of your eye will be made to design a custom treatment for each of your eyes. Contact lenses can change the shape of your cornea, which can lead to inaccurate measurements and a poor surgical plan. These measurements help the surgeon decide how much corneal tissue needs to be removed in order to fix your vision problems, so remember to take them out if you wear contact lenses!
Before the surgery begins, you will be given numbing eye drops to prevent any pain and will be offered anti-anxiety sedatives to reduce any pre-surgery jitters and nervousness (if you so desire). This is to ensure that you will not feel any discomfort during the procedure. Once the surgeon is ready to begin, you will be seated comfortably underneath the laser’s microscope and a device called a speculum will be gently placed on your eyelids to prevent unnecessary blinking. Don’t worry, this device is situated comfortably and will feel painless. The LASIK procedure should last for about 30 minutes or less.
When the surgery is complete, you will be put in an examination room where you will relax for about 10-20 minutes. During the procedure, you will be given a mild sedative and your vision will be blurry following the procedure, so it is incredibly important that you find someone to drive you home after your LASIK eye surgery.
Please note that Eye Center of Texas cannot release you to a taxi driver, Uber, or Lyft driver. We want to ensure that our patients get home safely, so find someone trustworthy to take you home.
Rest is key for the first few hours after your LASIK surgery. At a minimum, you should get 2-4 hours of rest once you return home from the facility. Don’t schedule any parties or social gatherings for that night –– get as much rest as you can! While you’re resting, wear an eye mask over your eyes to block out dust and debris and to avoid rubbing them –– rubbing your eyes can reopen the corneal flap as it heals. It is also beneficial to take a few days off of work so that you can focus on resting and letting your eyes heal completely before returning to normal activity.
How long does LASIK flap take to heal? Your corneal flap begins healing immediately after the procedure. It will be mostly healed 24 hours after your procedure. You may not notice improvements in your vision until a week after the surgery. In the meantime, here are some ways to ensure a safe and healthy recovery post-LASIK:
Do not do any vigorous exercises or activities
Do not shower, swim, or get water near your eyes for the first 24 hours post-op
Do not wear contact lenses while your vision is blurry (you shouldn’t need them anymore, anyway!)
Do not wear makeup, perfumes, or apply any creams to your face
We recommend waiting at least two weeks before resuming any of these activities to ensure the best results.
Here are some common LASIK eye surgery side effects:
Dry or itchy eyes
Sensitivity to light
If you are experiencing severe pain or these symptoms do not subside after a few days, contact your doctor immediately for an evaluation.
The lasting effect
How long does LASIK last? LASIK lasts a lifetime. Studies show that 94% of patients were satisfied with their surgery results and did not have to go back to wearing glasses or contact lenses afterward.
You will want to do regular checkups for at least six months after the surgery to ensure the surgery was a success.
Eye Center of Texas Will Take Care of You Before and After LASIK Eye Surgery
Now that you have a better idea of what happens before and after LASIK eye surgery, you can decide whether or not LASIK is right for you.
If you’re searching for a top LASIK surgeon in Houston, look no further than Eye Center of Texas. Our surgeons have performed over 75,000 successful LASIK eye surgeries that have not only improved our patients’ vision but improved their quality of life.
If you have any other questions regarding the LASIK before and after process, contact us to speak to a specialist today.
Have you ever had a friend or family member talk about LASIK and wondered if LASIK Eye Surgery Sugar Land is right for you? What are the benefits? The risks? Where can you find someone you trust to take care of something as important as your eyes? Rest assured, the experts at Eye Center of Texas are here to answer your questions in this comprehensive guide to LASIK Eye Surgery in Sugar Land, TX.
What is LASIK eye surgery?
LASIK eye surgery is a short, 30-minute procedure that uses laser refractive surgery to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. For the day of your procedure, you should have someone drive you to and from the doctor’s office and avoid wearing any makeup or other cosmetics.
As for the surgery itself, your doctor will numb your eyes with drops to prevent any pain. Then your doctor will make an incision in your cornea to pull back a thin flap. Once a corneal flap has been made, another laser is used to reshape the tissue beneath according to your condition.
After that, the flap is put back in place and that’s it! Although you will likely be able to see clearly in a few short hours, your total LASIK recovery time may take anywhere from three to six months.
The most asked question we get about LASIK is, is LASIK safe? The procedure has a 96% success rate and is concerned safe and effective for most patients. If patients do complain about any symptoms post-surgery, complaints can include:
Dry Eye That Lasts for More than a few Days
Glare or Halo Problems
Periodic Blurry Vision
Problems with the Flap
Reduced Night Vision
If you notice any of these symptoms after your procedure, please contact your surgeon immediately.
One common question about LASIK eye surgery is whether it is permanent and the answer is a little complicated: yes… for the most part. The procedure permanently changes the shape of your cornea and for most patients, this improves their vision. It is possible for your prescription to regress slightly, but it will most likely remain much improved from your prescription pre-surgery. Some patients may wish for further correction through an additional LASIK procedure many years down the line, but this is not a common experience.
One thing LASIK can’t prevent, however, is the natural aging process of the eye. Cataracts are a common condition in aging eyes that can negatively affect your vision and may require correction. Presbyopia is another condition associated with aging that leads many people to require reading glasses, regardless of their history of vision correction.
Is LASIK Eye Surgery right for me?
Lasik eye surgery is great for anyone with moderate vision loss and no unusual vision problems who are tired of wearing contact lenses or glasses.
If you’ve ever encountered these issues with your corrective devices, then you might want to consider LASIK:
Glare off of monitors
Losing track of where your glasses are
Improper fit (pinching tightly or falling off your face)
Difficulty putting them in
Irritation or tearing
There are other considerations you should make when deciding on LASIK, such as the cost of LASIK eye surgery. So, is LASIK covered by insurance? Because it is an elective surgery, the LASIK eye surgery cost is generally not covered by insurance and you will likely have to pay out of pocket.
What can disqualify you from LASIK?
If you are or have one of the following conditions, LASIK may not be the right corrective procedure for you:
Unstable vision for at least a year
A significant health risk or condition, especially involving your eyes
Autoimmune diseases or disorders such as HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes
Extremely dry eyes
Pregnant or breast-feeding
Under 18 years of age
Even if you don’t make a great candidate for LASIK, there may be other options to help improve your vision.
Are there alternatives to LASIK?
Besides the standard corrective measures such as glasses and contact lenses, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is another popular surgical alternative to LASIK. What is PRK eye surgery? PRK is a laser refractive surgery that has many similarities to LASIK.
As discussed, the LASIK procedure involves creating a corneal flap under which the doctor reshapes your eye tissue, whereas your entire outer corneal layer is removed with PRK. While that may sound scary, the success rate of the two procedures is very comparable. However, PRK usually requires a longer recovery time since the outer layer needs time to regenerate.
PRK eye surgery is recommended for those who have especially dry eyes or thin corneas. Be sure to consult with your doctor on which option is best suited to your eyes.
Trust Eye Center of Texas with your LASIK Eye Surgery in Sugar Land
If you’ve always wanted to wake up in the morning and see your alarm clock clearly or finally shed your cumbersome glasses or uncomfortable contact lenses, LASIK just might be the right choice for you.
Eye Center of Texas has multiple locations, including one conveniently located in Sugar Land, staffed with the best medical professionals to help you today. Contact us to get started on your path to clear vision.
It’s important to know what to expect after LASIK surgery. This way, you can avoid unnecessary complications and guarantee a smooth recovery process.
LASIK is a highly effective vision correction surgery. It can have profound and lasting improvements on your vision, and post-surgery complications are extremely rare. However, the average LASIK recovery time can be up to 6 months, and this timeline can become even longer if you partake in certain activities or fail to properly care for your eyes post-surgery.
To make sure your recovery process isn’t hindered, we’ll cover what to expect after LASIK, including LASIK recovery tips and potential complications.
How long does it take for your eye to heal after LASIK?
As we just mentioned, the LASIK recovery time period lasts around 6 months. However, this is in total, and it does not mean you’ll be down for the count the entire 6 months. In fact, you can resume most normal activities after the first 24 hours. This includes driving, working, and reading.
Within the first week, you might notice some light sensitivity and minor eye irritation that may give you the urge to rub your eyes. In fact, approximately 95% of patients said they experienced dry eyes after LASIK. However, after the first few weeks, these side effects should almost completely disappear. For most LASIK patients, it seems that the recovery process ends right around this time. You will be able to resume nearly all normal activities (including swimming), you shouldn’t feel any further irritation, and you won’t need to wear any eye coverings.
This being said, your eyes, especially the corneal flap (to many patients’ concern), will continue to heal (even if it isn’t noticeable) up to the 6-month mark.
What should I avoid after LASIK?
If you really want to know what to expect after LASIK, then you need to understand that there are a handful of normal activities that you need to avoid at all costs — at least for a certain time period. Here are some of the activities to avoid after your LASIK surgery:
Do not drive, get on an airplane, or watch TV for 24-48 hours
Do not wear makeup, exercise, or apply facial creams for the first week
Avoid getting shampoo/soap in your eyes when you shower
Do not wear contact lenses, play contact sports, or swim for up to a month
Our favorite LASIK recovery tips
One of the best LASIK recovery tips we can offer is to make sure you avoid the list of items up above for the recommended amount of time. Below are additional tips to help make your recovery process as easy and smooth as possible.
Remember to protect your eyes from the sun. Wear sunglasses and eye coverings when necessary.
The recovery process is different for everyone. Stay in contact with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Attend all follow-up appointments, even if you feel you don’t need to attend them.
Take all medications (and avoid others) as prescribed by your doctor (learn more about the recommended eye drops after LASIK).
Ask a friend to help you out during the first day or two after the procedure. Remember, you won’t be able to drive or watch TV, which means you’ll need a ride home from the doctor’s and you may want some company. Learn more about how to help care for someone after LASIK.
What are the risks of LASIK?
Risks or complications associated with LASIK are rare. The only real concern is the possibility of infection. However, this only occurs if you’re not following our LASIK recovery tips and failing to avoid all the unsafe post-LASIK activities. For example, if you decide to swim before the first month is up, there’s a likelihood that you could suffer from some type of bacterial infection.
If you are still concerned about potential issues arising after your operation, speak with your doctor before undergoing LASIK surgery. They’ll be able to reassure you of the benefits of this low-risk procedure.
Ready to get started with LASIK? Contact Eye Center of Texas today.
With over 75,000 successful LASIK eye surgeries under our belt, we’ve quickly become the go-to spot for LASIK surgery in Texas. Our vision experts can help you understand what to expect after LASIK and provide you with the best tools for post-surgery treatment.
If you’re ready to start your LASIK journey, give us a call at 713-395-1515 or contact us online.
If you’re wondering what to ask in a LASIK consultation, you’ve come to the right place. At Eye Center Of Texas, we’ve performed over 75,000 successful LASIK surgeries. And as one of the top providers of LASIK in Texas, we have created a list of the top 4 questions to ask during your initial LASIK consultation.
Take a look at those questions below, and please call us if you have any further questions about LASIK in Houston!
What is a LASIK consultation?
Before jumping right into what to ask in a LASIK consultation, let’s do a quick review of what a LASIK consultation actually is. During the consultation, you will meet with a doctor, discuss your goals for LASIK, discuss any eye health or general health complications you have, ask questions, and review your candidacy in general.
If you’re not sure what to do before a LASIK consultation, that’s OK. Just bring any records regarding your eye health if you have them and prepare a list of questions that are important to you. Don’t be afraid to have tough questions for your LASIK doctor. Good LASIK doctors will be prepared to answer them and to walk you through the process so that you can make a LASIK decision that is best for you.
1. What are the risks of LASIK?
Many people are wary of eye surgery, so we have gone ahead and put this question as #1 for what to ask in a LASIK consultation to get it out of the way. Fortunately, LASIK is a very common surgery and complications are extremely rare.
In fact, when it comes to the question of LASIK vs. contacts, LASIK is almost always the safer choice. Under 1% of LASIK patients suffer from complications, as opposed to 5% of contact users. On top of this, LASIK is a fix-it-and-forget-it solution.
The use of contacts, on the other hand, comes with many issues — dirt, overwearing, outdated prescriptions — all of which you’ll likely encounter on a regular basis, and all of which can lead to more serious complications.
Meanwhile, infection during LASIK recovery is the most common complications associated with LASIK, although it is rare. Compared to contact use, however, where potential infection is a daily issue, LASIK is ultimately a much safe solution.
If you’re concerned at all about the risks of LASIK, make sure to bring this question up to your doctor during your LASIK consultation. We know that safety is the number one concern when it comes to what to ask during a LASIK consultation, and will be able to explain what risks may more closely align with your individual eye and health situation.
FAQ: Do I need to worry about blinking during LASIK? No. Your eye will be held open and numbed, so you do not need to be concerned about blinking.
2. Am I a good LASIK candidate?
There are certain situations that could disqualify you for LASIK surgery or could make approval a longer process. At Eye Center of Texas, we begin determining your candidacy for LASIK during your initial LASIK consultation.
It’s recommended that your prescription be stable for at least 12 months pre-LASIK surgery. There are also certain medical conditions that make LASIK not ideal. However, some conditions that were once considered a no-go for LASIK are now considered safe.
For example, diabetes and LASIK were once thought of as a poor match, but it has now become more acceptable to undergo LASIK surgery even with diabetes. Ultimately, your candidacy boils down to your individual situation and your control (or lack of control) over any pre-existing medical conditions.
No matter what, the important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t automatically rule out LASIK if you have any pre-existing conditions. Ask your doctor whether or not you are a good candidate, and if you aren’t, determine if there is a path towards candidacy available for you.
If you’re willing to undergo surgery, then odds are you want long-lasting results. With LASIK surgery, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
LASIK surgery permanently alters the shape of your cornea, and there is no “wearing off.” If you do suffer from any vision loss in the future, it will be due to the overall health of your eye and will not have anything to do with your LASIK surgery.
However, if your vision does gradually get worse, you can undergo LASIK surgery again. How many times you can have LASIK surgery is dependent on the thickness of your cornea, your eye health, and your overall health.
Your doctor can help you determine candidacy if you find yourself in need of an additional LASIK surgery. And during your LASIK consultation, your eye doctor can provide you with estimated results based on your individual eye situation.
4. What is the recovery process like?
The LASIK recovery process differs from person to person. While some patients can see clearly without contacts or glasses the day of their operations, others may not see the full benefits of LASIK for a few weeks.
Regardless, your eyes will be healing for some time after the surgery, and there are a handful of situations that you’ll want to avoid while you’re in recovery.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common situations you’ll want to avoid post-LASIK surgery:
Up to 48 hours after surgery: flying, going outside without sunglasses, driving, sleeping without eye patches, washing your face
Up to 1 week after surgery: exercise, makeup
Up to 1 month after surgery: contact lenses, sports
Up to 5 weeks after surgery: swimming
Every patient’s eyes are unique, and your doctor can guide you on what makes the most sense for you and your recovery process. They can answer recovery questions such as What eye drops should I use after LASIK?, Can You watch TV after LASIK?, and more.Make sure that you attend all follow-up appointments with your doctor, so you can discuss your individual situation.
Another thing you’ll want to discuss with your doctor during your LASIK consultation is how to prepare for the recovery process before surgery. For example, you will need someone to drive you home after surgery, and you can give your partner tips for how to care for someone during LASIK recovery. It’s the little things like this that your doctor can cover with you during your LASIK consultation, so you can start making preparations as soon as possible.
Now that you know what to ask in a LASIK consultation, it’s time to take the next step and schedule your LASIK consultation. Eye Center of Texas is Houston’s go-to source on all things LASIK. We can help you answer the question, “Am I a LASIK candidate?”, walk you through common LASIK FAQs, and provide you with information on alternative solutions.
Give us a call today at 713-395-1515 and let’s get started on your journey to better vision.
LASIK surgery is a common and safe procedure for healthy patients. However, if you have a chronic illness like diabetes which can affect your eye health, it’s natural to wonder whether you will qualify LASIK. That’s why, “Can diabetics get LASIK?” is a recurring question among our patients.
In the past, it was recommended that diabetics not undergo LASIK surgery. However, as the industry has gathered more data and perfected the procedure as a whole, diabetes no longer immediately disqualifies you from LASIK surgery.
Instead, candidacy depends on the individual’s current control of their diabetes and whether or not they have any related issues that can complicate surgery or the recovery process.
While your particular situation will vary, let’s take a quick look at how diabetes affects your eyes and what might allow a diabetic to qualify for LASIK.
Relative and absolute contraindications for LASIK & diabetes
When it comes to LASIK, diabetes may be considered either relative contraindication or an absolute contraindication.
When LASIK is considered a relative contraindication for a diabetic, it means that LASIK can be performed but caution must be used. In this situation, an individual will have controlled blood sugar and no additional complications that could make surgery not a viable option. The benefits of the surgery outweigh any potential risk.
When LASIK is considered an absolute contraindication for a diabetic, it means that LASIK cannot be performed. In this situation, an individual will have an uncontrolled form of diabetes and/or will have additional complications that make surgery not possible.The benefits of the surgery do not outweigh the potential risk and it’s unclear whether or not the procedure will provide lasting benefits.
What disqualifies a diabetic from LASIK?
LASIK requires a doctor to change the shape of your cornea. However, with uncontrolled diabetes, your vision may change quite often. Because of this, your doctor may not be successful in reshaping your cornea in a way that will provide a positive and lasting effect on your vision.
Possibility for infection
LASIK involves the removal of tissue from the cornea. For diabetics, this tissue removal could lead to additional LASIK diabetes complications such as scarring, leaking fluid, and more.
Just as it’s not good to perform eye surgery with high blood sugar, elevated blood sugar levels can also negatively affect the recovery time of any surgery. So whether it’s LASIK or another procedure, a doctor may decide not to perform the surgery based on the idea that you may have a more difficult or longer recovery.
Diabetes can lead to vision problems like fluctuating vision loss and eye health issues such as diabetic retinopathy. LASIK cannot fix this issue. If your vision loss stems from diabetic retinopathy, you won’t be a candidate for LASIK surgery.
Manage your diabetes: LASIK is not an option for individuals with uncontrolled diabetes. You should strive to achieve optimal eye and physical health to ensure you can be a candidate for LASIK.
Review your history with your doctor: Your doctor will want to review your history of diabetes with you in detail and determine if you are at risk of any future complications. Your eye doctor will likely need to have a discussion with your primary physician.
Schedule a full examination: Your doctor will also need to examine your eyes and get a full workup of your eye health. He or she will need to determine if you have any eye issues that would eliminate you as a candidate for LASIK.
Can Diabetics get LASIK? Discuss the possibility with a trusted ophthalmologist
If your diabetes is well-managed and you are curious about LASIK surgery, we encourage you to consult a trusted ophthalmologist at Eye Center of Texas about your options.
The trained ophthalmologists at Eye Center of Texas can help spot and treat eye issues, including diabetic retinopathy, diabetes-related fast-growing cataracts, macular degeneration, cataracts, and more. As home to some of the best LASIK in the country, over 275 doctors in Houston refer their patients to Eye Center of Texas.
“Can you watch TV after LASIK?” is a question almost every LASIK patient asks us. That’s because, after LASIK surgery, you’re supposed to rest and keep activity to a minimum. In the age of Netflix binging, resting and keeping activity to a minimum often means one thing: watching TV. But can you watch TV after LASIK? Unfortunately, it’s not recommended, as are a few other things. If you’re considering LASIK surgery or if you already have surgery scheduled, it’s crucial that you understand the LASIK recovery timeline and that you follow post-surgery guidelines. These guidelines include screen time and a series of simple do’s and don’ts.
Let’s take a few moments to cover the LASIK basics.
Can you watch TV after LASIK? Why it’s not a good idea.
Can I watch TV after LASIK? Can I play video games? What about my phone — can I use my phone after LASIK? To be blunt, there is a 24-hour no-screen time recommendation after undergoing LASIK surgery. That’s because the television and other similar screens (computers, phones, and tablets) can possibly have a negative impact on your recovery process immediately following surgery.
For example, looking at screens reduces your blink rate, which in turn can lead to dry eyes. Keeping your eyes lubricated is a key element of recovering from LASIK. Dry eyes and LASIK surgery often go hand-in-hand during the recovery process, so it’s doubly important to limit the potentially negative impacts of screen time on eye health, especially in the first 24 hours after surgery.
While we understand that you’re bored and probably stuck at home after the surgery, it really is important to follow this recommendation. If you’re wondering what to do after LASIK, consider downloading a few podcast episodes or an audiobook when you’re preparing for your surgery. Alternatively, you can catch up on all that sleep you lost while daydreaming about what life will be like without glasses or contacts. For more ideas, check out our article on how to help care for someone who just had LASIK surgery.
The risks of skipping the 24-hour no-screen recommendation
Aside from simply feeling eye strain, there are definitely some risks associated with too much screen time post-LASIK. These include but are not limited to:
Extended recovery time
Remember: You will likely experience minor discomfort after surgery no matter what. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns regarding what’s considered normal after LASIK surgery.
Can you read after LASIK?
After asking us “Can you watch TV after LASIK?” we sometimes get the follow-up question, “Can you read after LASIK? Whether you’re asking about reading an analog book or a book on your tablet, the answer for both activities is, unfortunately, still no. Reading a paper book can also reduce your blinking rate. As mentioned before, though, audiobooks are just fine!
Other activities to avoid after LASIK surgery
Besides watching too much TV, there are a handful of other activities you should avoid after LASIK surgery. Here are a few of the heavy hitters:
Do not drive: Many people wonder, “How long after LASIK can I drive?” You will need someone to drive you home after the surgery. In fact, Eye Center of Texas’s policy is that you have someone you know pick you up and drive you home after your surgery. (This does not include ride shares!) After that, we recommend that patients avoid driving for the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Of course, the recovery process can vary from patient to patient. It’s important to get the sign-off from your doctor before you get behind the wheel of a car.
Go ahead and shower: It’s okay to shower the day after surgery, but please avoid getting any shampoo or other chemicals in your face. This also includes post-shower activities, such as applying facial creams and makeup.
Stay out of the pool: Swimming after LASIK can be problematic. This is because your eyes will be exposed to harsh chemicals or to various bacteria that can lead to infections. In fact, it’s best to avoid stepping in a pool for at least a month after LASIK.
Protect your eyes: There are many daily activities that can cause issues with post-LASIK eyes. Use common sense and avoid any of these activities that can potentially harm your eyes. This can include anything from sports and exercising to sun exposure and contact lenses. Maintain open communication with your doctor and get all of your questions answered regarding activities that are unsafe post-LASIK.
Post-LASIK tips to remember
Whether or not you manage to get through that 24-hour no-screen recommendation, here are a few tips that can help you get through LASIK recovery.
Adopt the 20-20-20 Rule: If you choose to ignore the plethora of advice telling you NOT to watch TV and to sit through an episode of your latest Netflix obsession anyway, at least follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. These breaks will help you limit eye strain and dry, red eyes.
Lubricate, Lubricate, Lubricate: You can also use eye drops for dry eyes after LASIK. Eye Center of Texas will provide you with a set of prescription eye drops for immediately post-op. After that time, it is recommended that you use preservative-free eye drops and to limit your usage to 4 times a day.
Pay Attention: If your eyes feel strained or uncomfortable at any part during the day, take notice and make a change. Focus on something else, close your eyes for a few minutes, or pop in a few eye drops. And no matter what… don’t forget to blink regularly.
A seamless recovery starts with Eye Center of Texas
So, can you watch TV after LASIK? No, not for at least 24 hours. The good news? This advice comes from a company that has years of experience helping their patients recover and thrive after LASIK eye surgery.
Eye Center of Texas has performed over 75,000 successful LASIK eye surgeries, and we are dedicated to providing all of our patients with a seamless recovery. From surgery preparation to post-surgery treatment, our goal is to make sure all of our patients have the right tools to follow all LASIK best practices.
If you have more questions regarding activities considered safe post-LASIK or if you’re considering LASIK surgery, we’re here for you. Give us a call at 713-395-1515 or contact us online to set up a LASIK consultation today.
ICL vs. LASIK: Visian ICL, Visian Toric ICL, and LASIK
Patients exploring their vision correction procedure options wind up having a debate between ICL vs. LASIK. The implantation of an ICL (implantable Collamer lens) or the use of LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) are both popular solutions for those struggling with vision loss due to refractive errors.
When comparing ICL vs. LASIK, several questions may arise. Is one type of procedure better for me than the other? Are both LASIK and ICL eye surgery safe? Is ICL surgery permanent, like LASIK?
Let’s explore the answers to these and other frequently asked questions regarding ICL vs. LASIK to help you choose the procedure that best fits your needs.
What’s the difference between, Visian ICL, Visian Toric ICL, and LASIK?
If you struggle with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism and are ready to be free from glasses and/or contact lenses, you have several options available to you. ICL and LASIK surgeries are two of the most popular types of procedures. Depending on your eye health needs, one may serve you better than the other—which is how we distinguish them below. LASIK
LASIK surgery is a refractive surgery that uses a laser to reshape the surface of the cornea. The procedure can help correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, and can be performed in conjunction with many other eye procedures. It is renowned for its safety and for its short surgery recovery time. However, not everyone is an ideal candidate for LASIK. For more information, read our article: Is My Vision too Bad for LASIK?
The Visian ICL is an implantable, bio-compatible contact lense that can remain in your eye indefinitely, freeing you from the constant need to maintain and change your contacts. However, unlike LASIK, which has permanent effects, an ICL can be removed if a patient so wishes. ICLs are especially good for patients whose cornea’s are too thin or dry for them to be good candidates for LASIK. Unfortunately, Visian ICL can only be used to help those patients struggling with myopia (nearsightedness).
Visian Toric ICL
Until recently, patients with myopia who also had higher prescriptions and/or astigmatism would LASIK performed in conjunction with the use of an ICL to have all of their vision issues addressed. However, all of that changed when the FDA approved the Visian Toric ICL in 2018. Along with nearsightedness correction and all the other benefits of Visian ICL, the Visian Toric ICL can also address the issues caused by both higher prescriptions and astigmatism without the need for an additional LASIK procedure!
Is ICL better than LASIK?
When comparing ICL vs. LASIK, it can be tempting to ask which of the two procedures is “better.” Both procedures are safe but, like all surgeries, both contain risks. Both surgeries have a minimal recovery time and both procedures offer long-term solutions to patients living with refractive errors. So, which is better?
While some doctors may argue for one type of surgery over the other, the reality is that it depends on the patient. For that reason, we strongly encourage you to consult a trust ophthalmologist in Houston when choosing between these procedures.
Considering ICL Vs. LASIK? Request a consultation at Eye Center of Texas
Eye Center of Texas is home surgeons who have served as pioneers in multiple types of eye surgery, including the LASIK, Visian ICL, Visian Toric ICL procedures. We encourage you to explore which of these options might be best for you, then schedule a visit with our esteemed doctors to begin down the road toward clear vision.
With six convenient locations in the Greater Houston Area, Eye Center of Texas makes it easy to fix your vision in comfort. To request a LASIK consultation, call 713-395-1515. For other vision needs, please call Eye Center of Texas at 713-797-1010, or schedule an appointment online today.
As it has grown in popularity, Houston LASIK has begun to be treated as a cure-all surgery for eye issues—to the point that when patients come in, they often have to ask, “Exactly what can LASIK surgery correct?”
LASIK is an incredible procedure that has restored the vision of millions of people in North America alone. However, it cannot correct all vision issues. Let’s review the vision problems and eye health issues that the LASIK procedure can and cannot help.
Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, otherwise known as LASIK or laser eye surgery, corrects refractive errors. Refractive errors occur when a misshapen cornea misdirects the angle of light as it enters the eye, causing the light to focus on the retina at an incorrect angle and resulting in blurred vision.
LASIK reshapes the cornea using lasers, which are safer, less invasive, and more efficient than bladed LASIK procedures. The whole procedure often lasts less than 15 minutes, and LASIK recovery time is typically minimal, with many patients reporting improved vision clarity on the same day as the procedure.
In some cases (around 70%) LASIK can improve vision beyond 20/20. Over 95% of patients report satisfaction with their LASIK results.
What can LASIK surgery correct?
LASIK is a refractive surgery that works by reshaping the cornea. There are several main types of ways that your cornea can be misshapen, each resulting in its own kind of refractive error.
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, occurs when your cornea curves at too sharp an angle, or when your eye is too elongated. Because of these aberrations, the light enters your eye and focuses too far in front of your retina, negatively affecting your distance vision. During the LASIK procedure, your ophthalmologist corrects nearsightedness by using the laser to flatten the cornea.
As the name would suggest, farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is in many ways the “opposite” of nearsightedness. Farsightedness occurs when your cornea is too flat, or when your eye is “too short.” These issues cause light to focus too far behind your retina, negatively affecting your near vision. During the LASIK procedure, your ophthalmologist corrects farsightedness by creating a steeper angle on the surface of the cornea.
Astigmatism occurs when the surface of your cornea is uneven. Flat in some places, curved in others, the uneven cornea breaks up the light that enters your eye, causing it to focus on multiple places on and around your retina instead of one place. During the LASIK procedure, your ophthalmologist corrects astigmatism by smoothing the surface of the cornea.
Presbyopia is an age-related eye condition that occurs when your lens loses flexibility. This loss of flexibility keeps your lens from being able to make adjustments and focus light on the retina, negatively affecting your near vision. Scientists are still researching surgical procedures for effectively treating presbyopia. While LASIK cannot fix presbyopia completely, patients do have the option to try Monovision LASIK. During this procedure, an ophthalmologist fully corrects the distance vision of one eye while making the other slightly more nearsighted.
Some people have difficulty adjusting to monovision, so it is recommended that patients undergo a trial period using lenses or glasses that mimic the effects of monovision. Patients who can adjust to monovision enjoy the freedom from external eyewear that this procedure affords. Patients who can’t adjust to monovision might fare better with alternative treatments, including lens replacement for presbyopia.
What can’t LASIK surgery correct? Eye diseases and some extreme refractive errors.
Now that we have addressed the question, “What can LASIK surgery correct?” Let’s tackle some of the eye issues that LASIK doesn’t affect.
Keratoconus is when your corneas become thin and weak, resulting in blurred vision and eyes that are cone-shaped in appearance. Because in reshaping the cornea LASIK sometimes involves thinning the cornea, patients with Keratoconus should not get LASIK surgery.
There are several types of Glaucoma, all of which involve the damaging of your eyes’ optic nerves. If left untreated, glaucoma can result in extreme vision loss and even blindness. LASIK cannot address vision loss caused by glaucoma. However, if your glaucoma is being successfully treated, LASIK may still be used to correct any vision loss caused by refractive errors.
Cataracts are another (frequently) age-related eye condition that occurs when the proteins in the lens of your eye begin to degrade. When this breakdown occurs, the lens becomes cloudy vision problems arise. LASIK cannot address clouded lenses caused by cataracts. However, if desired, LASIK can often be performed in conjunction with or after cataract surgery.
Dry eye syndrome
During the LASIK procedure, the laser may cut some of the nerves in your cornea that detect when your eye needs extra lubrication. It is typical for patients to experience dry eyes for a short time after LASIK—as well as for most dry eye symptoms to subside after one month. However, patients who already naturally struggle with dry eyes should consult with their ophthalmologist to see whether LASIK is right for them.
Extreme refractive errors
Refractive errors are measured in units called diopters. In cases in which a patient’s refractive errors are more extreme and fall beyond certain diopter measurements, your ophthalmologist may not recommend LASIK; these patients may experience more pronounced issues with their nighttime vision and halos after LASIK. For more information, please read our article: Is My Vision Too Bad for LASIK?
Additional FAQs about what LASIK surgery can fix:
Can LASIK correct nearsightedness and farsightedness at the same time?Yes. If a patient is nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other, LASIK can be adjusted to correct the specific refractive area found in each eye. Not sure if you’re nearsighted or farsighted? Check out our article: The Difference Between Nearsighted and Farsighted.
Can you get LASIK if you wear bifocals?
Yes, although your doctor will likely recommend Monovision LASIK. Patients typically wear bifocals to address presbyopia, the loss of flexibility in the cornea described above.
Can you get LASIK multiple times?
While it is rare that patients would need to have LASIK performed multiple times, it can certainly be done. However, whether you are a candidate for multiple LASIK surgeries will depend on the health of your eyes and the thickness of your corneas. Patients can also opt for PRK surgery in Houston or the use of intraocular lenses (IOLs). For more information, please read our article: How Many Times Can You Have LASIK?
Curious about what LASIK surgery can correct? Considering LASIK in Houston? Contact Eye Center of Texas
Now that you know the answer to the question, “What can LASIK surgery correct?” you may be wondering, “Am I a good candidate for LASIK?” At Eye Center of Texas, we can answer these questions and more during your LASIK consultation. Our surgeons are some of the best LASIK surgeons in the country and have been pioneering advances in Houston’s eye care for decades.
LASIK can be life-changing—just check out this real-life LASIK experience by one Rice PhD student! Here at Eye Center of Texas, we are proud to be a part of these transformations and to provide Houstonians with quality, top-rated eye care.
LASIK & Other Major Life Changes: A Rice PhD Student Receives LASIK
May 2019 was a busy month for Curtiss Chapman. In the span of 31 days, he received LASIK from Eye Center of Texas, graduated with a doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience from Rice University, got married, moved to Germany, and started a new job — all in that order.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Curtiss’s friends and family questioned his decision to receive eye surgery before so many major life changes. But he and his wife had already decided to move ahead: The benefits of the procedure far outweighed the risk.
“My wife and I, we had a lot going on,” says Curtiss, “but in the end, that wound up being another reason to get LASIK. We figured, LASIK is incredibly safe whether we’re busy or not, so why not go for it? Why not go through all these important events and start this new phase of my life without glasses?”
The couple had another reason to go ahead with the procedure: “We’d done our research, and we knew that the doctors at Eye Center of Texas are some of best LASIK doctors in Houston and the country. Waiting meant going elsewhere. It meant worrying more.”
Happily, Curtiss agreed to document and share his LASIK experience, both pre and post-surgery. Curious about what preparing for and living a glasses-less life entails? Follow Curtiss on his exciting journey to new eyesight and new beginnings!
Hello! Curtiss here, writing to you sans glasses on my face… meaning yes, my LASIK procedure went well. Better than ‘just’ well: I now have 20/20 vision in both eyes! I’m hoping that these videos/this post will help encourage individuals interest in LASIK to go ahead and take the plunge if they can. So much can change in just 10 minutes on the operating table.
Before the procedure
Before you can get LASIK, you have to verify whether you’re a good candidate for the surgery or not. I went in for a consultation and the doctor patiently and candidly answered all my questions (I ask a lot of them, so… that’s no small feat).
I was given the green light. The next day I called to arrange the date of my surgery as well as the acquisition of the medicated eye drops that I would need to use to help prepare my eyes for the surgery.
That was the easy part. The hard part was talking to everyone about the surgery. People meant well, but it felt like everyone had heard that their cousin’s best friend’s dad’s sister had something “go wrong.” What that something was they could never say… but considering less than 1% of LASIK patients have complications, and the vast majority of those are treatable, I took these stories with a grain of salt.
… until a couldn’t anymore, and then I called Eye Center of Texas in a bit of a panic. They were able to shine light on many of these stories and, essentially, talk me down, and get me back on track to looking forward to life after LASIK. Including…
During the procedure
The day of my procedure, I met with Dr. Roach for a consultation before and after the surgery. Dr. Mayo performed the actual LASIK procedure. This video should give you an idea of how the day went.
Here are some additional takeaways from the morning of the procedure:
You put your nametag on upside down because that’s the direction the surgeon sees it from.
Before the procedure, you will be given I was given the prescription for the eye drops you’ll need for after the surgery (and a very handy schedule for when to take them), an eye shield, and sunglasses.
You need someone to go with you to your surgery so that you can get a ride home.
I was very calm during the procedure because I was given a Valium. The valium also helped me sleep later when I got home (I don’t nap often, so that was a relief).
I didn’t feel any pain during the procedure, but I did feel a kind of “pressure.” The sensation isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, but it’s normal (and really not that bad).
The doctor warned me that my vision may go black at some point during the procedure. This doesn’t happen to everyone – it didn’t happen to me – but I was still glad that I knew about it.
If you are offered a stuffed animal, take it. I didn’t, and I regretted not having something to hold… not because I needed to be comforted, but because it gives you something to do with your arms.
Eye Center of Texas will help you donate the glasses you don’t need anymore to someone who can use them.
After the procedure
I was told that patients are to avoid opening their eyes as much as possible on the day of a LASIK procedure. Dr. Mayo and Dr. Roach also told me that the best thing to do would be to sleep (wearing the eye shield).
As I said, thanks to Valium, I was actually able to sleep. The rest of the day I listened to podcasts, put in my eye drops, and used Tylenol PM to make sure I slept at night.
All said, the day went really well because my wife and I had done a little bit of planning. If you’re about to get LASIK, Eye Center of Texas has a pretty comprehensive list of good things that you (or your spouse/friend/parent) can do to help you through your first day post-LASIK.
A day after the surgery, I could see clearly again. Isn’t that crazy?
I did have dry eyes, but the eye drops helped with that, and dry eyes post-LASIK are pretty par for the course. Writing to you from around a month out, I can tell you that my dry eyes have gotten (and are continuing to get) a lot better, although I do occasionally need eye drops throughout the day.
A few days after the surgery, a good number of my immediate family came into town for my graduation — 16 total, if you include the kids. That was the first time that any of them saw me without my glasses, including my nephews, who were quick to tell me, “you look different, Uncle Curtie!”
I was able to walk the stage without wearing the glasses that had seen me through 6 years of study — not something I ever imagined would happen. But the fact that I no longer needed glasses didn’t really hit home until I saw several of my colleagues get their glasses knocked off of their face as they were being hooded.
The move pt. 1
My wife and I moved in stages: first, from Houston to San Antonio, where we would stay a few weeks until we got married there, then we went on our honeymoon, and then we moved to Germany.
As we packed up our belongings for the first stage of the move (Houston to San Antonio) Houston, ever the cooperative city, decided to rain. The rain was not ideal, but it was a lot less frustrating than it normally would be because I was no longer wearing glasses. Where before I would have been either staring through raindrops or constantly taking my glasses off to wipe them, I could now simply focus on not dropping the sofa.
I didn’t take a video of me not wearing glasses on my wedding day proper, but when the pictures get developed, I won’t be wearing glasses in any of them.
I wasn’t wearing glasses when I looked out on the crowd of our friends and family who gathered to celebrate my wife and me, I wasn’t wearing glasses when I saw my beautiful wife walking down the aisle, and I wasn’t wearing glasses when I danced like crazy during the reception.
In fact, I didn’t even think about my glasses at all on my wedding day, and that was awesome.
But, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a video of me and my wife the day AFTER our wedding, right before we hung out at the lazy river (in sunglasses but not glasses… because UV rays and cataracts are definitely a thing).
The move pt. 2
My wife and I just finished our honeymoon, and while I’ve grown accustomed to living without glasses, I still occasionally forget that I no longer need them.
I have now reached for phantom glasses in the following cities (so far): Houston, San Antonio, Denver, New York, London, Vienna, Salzburg, and our new hometown in Germany. I have pushed phantom glasses up my nose on planes, in the mountains, and while drinking delicious German beer.
It’s strange to think that my colleagues here will never see me wearing glasses. Strange, but good.
My wife has also gotten used to seeing me without glasses. And with everything that has happened between my LASIK surgery and now, this huge change to my everyday life does sometimes seem like it happened a long time ago, in a different life.
But every once in a while my wife will look at me, smile, and say, “no glasses!” and both my joy at living without glasses and my gratitude for Dr. Mayo and the staff at Eye Center of Texas comes rushing back, all over again.
Life after LASIK at Eye Center of Texas
Patients like Curtiss (aka Dr. Chapman) are one of the main reasons the team at Eye Center of Texas loves coming to work every day. Even with 75,000 successful LASIK surgeries under our belts, we never get tired of hearing how LASIK has changed the daily lives of our patients.
Curious about what it’s like to work with some of the best LASIK eye surgeons in Houston? Wondering, “Am I a good candidate for LASIK?” or what the average LASIK recovery timeline looks like?Request your LASIK appointment online or call us today at 713-395-1515 for more information.