Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How often should I have an eye exam?
Eye exams are recommended periodically, with the interval differing for various age groups. In the first three years of infancy, a child should have vision checked along with normal pediatric checkups. Between the ages of three and six (the most crucial period of eye development) an eye exam should be scheduled every year or two. After that period, until adulthood, exams should be scheduled as necessary. For seniors, an exam every year or two is recommended.
In addition to these basic guidelines, people with a family history of eye problems, those monitoring a diagnosed eye disease, or those with certain high risk diseases such as diabetes, it is recommended that exams should be performed at least once a year. Regular eye exams are the best way to keep you seeing your world clearly.
I have been noticing strange things with my vision lately. What should I do?
Any abnormal phenomena or changes in your vision can indicate a variety of possible problems. The key to preserving vision in the face of most eye diseases is early treatment. Thus it is important to consult an optometrist if you notice anything unusual or any change in your vision. It could be a serious problem, or it could be inconsequential, but the peace of mind and the possibility of catching a serious problem early are certainly worth it.
My vision is great; I have no problems. Is there any reason to have my vision checked?
Many serious eye diseases often have little or no symptoms until they are well developed. The only way to diagnose a problem early in such a case is to schedule periodic eye exams. This is the best way to preserve the clearest vision possible for life.
Is LASIK right for me?
If you are considering LASIK eye surgery, it means you are living with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, and probably currently wear glasses or contact lenses. LASIK is a great way to reduce your dependence on, or completely free yourself from, corrective lenses. It may be especially appealing because of your profession or lifestyle. It could be that you cannot wear contact lenses and dislike the appearance of glasses, or you may just want to reduce the expense and hassle of glasses and contacts.
However, LASIK is not appropriate for everyone. There are several factors which determine the best candidate, including age, medical history, individual eye anatomy, and expectations. Each person is a unique case requiring individual evaluation.
No website can tell you for sure if you are a good candidate for LASIK. The only way to find out is to schedule a LASIK eligibility exam. Be prepared to talk about your medical history, and any current diseases or medications. You will also discuss instructions and expectations for the procedure, recovery, and results. You will be given a comprehensive eye examination, including some tests especially tailored to evaluate whether your eyes are appropriate for the corrective surgery. From the results of this exam, the doctor can work with you to decide if LASIK is the right choice for you.
Is LASIK safe?
It is important to realize that, like any surgery, LASIK is not without risk. However, major complications are extremely rare. Minor complications occasionally occur, such as dry eye, and halos or glare around lights at night. However, such problems are uncommon, are often treatable, and will usually reduce or disappear within months of the surgery.
Does LASIK hurt?
There is no pain associated with the LASIK procedure. Local anesthesia is used on the cornea, which is administered through eye drops. Some patients may experience mild discomfort or pressure. After the procedure, patients may experience minor irritation in the eye. This should fade within a day or two.
Is LASIK guaranteed to eliminate my need for glasses or contacts?
Many people achieve 20/20 vision, or better, after undergoing LASIK eye surgery. Although patients experience an improvement in their vision, some may still need to wear corrective lenses for certain tasks, though the necessary power of correction will be much smaller than before.
The result of the LASIK procedure is also influenced by the amount of correction needed. Patients within a few diopters of 20/20 vision most often achieve sufficient results after undergoing LASIK that they no longer require corrective lenses. Patients with a wider error, especially those who are extremely nearsighted, sometimes will still require corrective lenses after the surgery, though their prescription will be greatly reduced.