eye surgery

Am I Too Old for LASIK?

Many patients seek to eliminate their reliance on glasses and contact lenses but are unsure if LASIK is a viable option as they age. A common question about LASIK is whether it’s suitable for older individuals. Fortunately, the criteria for LASIK candidacy remain consistent regardless of age: stable vision prescription, healthy eyes, and good overall health are key factors. However, since our eyes and visual needs evolve over time, there are a few additional considerations for laser eye surgery later in life.

Why There’s No Upper Age Limit on LASIK

The only real age limit for a LASIK procedure, per the FDA, is that each surgical candidate should be at least 18 years of age. Our eyes and corresponding prescription requirements may change frequently at that age, and it’s important to wait until that tendency to change stabilizes before having laser eye surgery. There are a few other developmental milestones in life that often motivate people to consider laser eye surgery, beginning in early adulthood.

  • The most common range for LASIK patients is between 20 and 45 years old. Vision prescriptions often stabilize in the mid-twenties, so this is a natural time for people to consider LASIK eye surgery.
  • Next up is the 45 to 55-year age range, the time when many people begin to feel the early effects of presbyopia, which is related to the natural aging process and causes difficulty with near vision. While LASIK may be a treatment option for some presbyopia patients, we certainly have more vision correction technologies to offer our presbyopic patients, such as Monovision.
  • Beyond age 55, cataracts may start to develop even though they may not affect your vision at early stages. When cataract is determined to be the main reason for changes in your vision, cataract extraction surgery becomes the preferred method of treatment to improve your vision instead of LASIK eye surgery.

The basics for LASIK candidacy include a stable vision prescription for at least one year, no eye diseases, and good overall health. If you’ve got those things, then you’re off to an excellent start.

It’s important to note that good overall health doesn’t have to mean perfect health. Not every potential health issue for seniors impacts the eyes, and speaking with a LASIK specialist is the best way to learn how laser eye surgery fits in with various health needs.

Regardless of your age, are you curious whether LASIK eye surgery is the right fit for your vision health needs? The easiest way to find out is to schedule a free consultation with TLC LASIK specialist, where you can determine if you’re a candidate and learn more about what laser eye surgery can do for you.

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Can I Get LASIK Eye Surgery If I’m Pregnant?

Capture Every Precious Moment

Motherhood is a whirlwind of joy, filled with countless milestones that fly by in a blink. From first smiles to wobbly steps, these moments become cherished memories. But blurry vision can make it harder to fully experience the magic.

LASIK: A Gift for Future Adventures

LASIK eye surgery offers a safe and effective way to achieve clear vision, but it’s important to wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Hormonal changes and medications used during LASIK can impact results.

The Wait is Worth It: Preparing for Post-Pregnancy LASIK

The good news? Recovery from LASIK is quick, so you won’t miss precious time with your little one. Here’s how to prepare for LASIK after pregnancy:

  • Find Your Perfect LASIK Provider: Research local surgeons and prioritize finding one who aligns with your needs.
  • Explore Financing Options: Many LASIK centers offer financing plans. Researching these options upfront empowers you to make informed decisions later.
  • Gather Your Questions: Make a list of questions for your consultation. This ensures you get all the information you need.
  • Seek First-Hand Experiences: Talk to friends or family who’ve had LASIK. Their insights can validate your research.

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Embrace the Future with Clear Vision

Imagine seeing your child’s first laugh with perfect clarity. LASIK unlocks a world of vibrant details, making every milestone even more special.

The Gift of Seeing Clearly

Clear vision is a gift that keeps on giving. By researching LASIK now, you’ll be ready to embrace motherhood with perfect vision.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms!


Source:

How does pregnancy affect LASIK? (2018, February 12). American Academy of Ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/how-does-pregnancy-affect-lasik

Cost Questions to Ask Your LASIK Provider

The cost of LASIK eye surgery depends on many factors and with so many factors to consider, it’s no surprise that questions about LASIK cost are quite common. Ahead, we’ll cover some of the most common questions about the cost of LASIK eye surgery, and suggest key topics to discuss with your LASIK provider.

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What is included in the LASIK cost?

This is one of the most important questions you can ask about the cost of laser eye surgery. The answer depends in large part on your LASIK provider, and how they structure their services. Some LASIK cost quotes focus specifically on the laser eye surgery procedure, while others include aftercare and other extras. Ask your provider exactly what they include in the cost of LASIK, and don’t be afraid to request clarification if you’re unsure about anything.

Is the laser eye surgery cost different by eye?

The cost of laser eye surgery is typically listed per eye, so a laser eye surgery quote of $1,000 per eye would equal a total cost of $2,000 for both eyes. While most laser eye surgery patients have the procedure on both eyes, there are occasions in which people may opt for LASIK on one eye due to their specific vision correction needs.

Do different LASIK procedures have difference costs?

Different LASIK and laser eye surgery procedures do have different costs, often based on the laser technology used to perform the laser eye surgery procedure that is specific to your vision correction needs. Consider the benefits of each procedure and how they relate to your own needs in order to make an informed decision. The best way to understand if LASIK if right for you is to schedule a free consultation.

What if I want an assurance plan?

A LASIK assurance plan provides re-treatment when certain criteria apply, typically, for a set period after your laser eye surgery is complete. Ask your surgeon if a one-year assurance plan is included with your surgery, and request information on the cost of a lifetime assurance plan. An assurance plan will typically increase the cost of LASIK up front, but many LASIK patients enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that re-treatment is always covered if they have the need.

Does insurance cover LASIK surgery?

Laser eye surgery is generally considered to be an elective procedure by insurance companies, which means that it won’t normally be covered by a health insurance policy. However, you may be covered by insurance if certain conditions apply, so it is worth inquiring with your insurance company. The good news is that even if you aren’t covered by insurance, there are many affordable ways to cover the laser eye surgery cost.

When it comes to the cost of LASIK surgery, remember that you have many financing options available. Most LASIK providers offer financing that allows you to pay for the procedure over time, and tax-friendly savings options like health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts make it easier to save for medical costs.

In conclusion, the cost of LASIK surgery encompasses various factors, including the LASIK provider’s pricing structure, the specific procedure chosen, and the inclusion of additional services or assurances. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of these elements, individuals can make informed decisions regarding their vision correction journey. Whether exploring financing options or assessing the benefits of different LASIK procedures, proactive engagement and thorough research are key to achieving optimal visual outcomes.

Schedule a free LASIK consultation with TLC Laser Eye Centers to embark on your path to clearer vision today.

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Does LASIK Eye Surgery Hurt?

LASIK eye surgery, a revolutionary procedure correcting refractive errors, has transformed countless lives by eliminating dependence on glasses and contacts. Yet, a lingering concern for many considering LASIK is, does LASIK hurt?

We understand this apprehension. The thought of any intervention on the eye can be daunting. However, we can assure you that LASIK prioritizes patient comfort with advancements minimizing discomfort significantly.

Understanding the LASIK Procedure

LASIK, which stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis uses a highly precise laser to reshape the cornea, the clear front portion of the eye, to correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

The LASIK procedure: A Step-by-Step Look

  1. Anesthetic Eye Drops: To minimize discomfort, anesthetic eye drops are administered to numb the eye’s surface.
  2. Corneal Flap Creation: A specialized instrument called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser is used to create a thin, hinged flap in the cornea.
  3. Corneal Reshaping: With the flap folded back, the excimer laser carefully reshapes the underlying corneal tissue to correct the refractive error.
  4. Flap Replacement: The corneal flap is then repositioned, allowing it to heal naturally and seal without the need for stitches. The entire LASIK procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes per eye. Discomfort is minimal and transient, easily managed with the numbing drops and relaxation techniques.

Comfort Measures in LASIK

While the idea of having a laser reshape your cornea may seem daunting, the truth is that most patients experience little to no pain during the actual LASIK procedure. This is primarily due to the anesthetic eye drops used to numb the eye’s surface. However, it’s important to note that some patients may experience a pressure sensation during certain stages of the procedure, such as when the corneal flap is created or when the excimer laser is applied. This pressure is typically brief and well-tolerated.

LASIK numbing eye drops

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Post-Operative Recovery

After the LASIK procedure, some patients may experience mild to moderate discomfort or irritation in the treated eye(s). Common post-operative symptoms include:

  1. Dryness: The creation of the corneal flap can temporarily disrupt the eye’s tear production, leading to dry eye symptoms like burning, stinging, or foreign body sensation. Artificial tears prescribed by your ophthalmologist can alleviate this until your eyes can fully heal.
  2. Light Sensitivity: The treated eye may be more sensitive to bright lights for a few days after the procedure. Wearing sunglasses can help manage this.
  3. Eye Fatigue: Reading, using digital devices, or other visually demanding tasks may cause temporary eye strain or fatigue.

These symptoms are usually temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter eye drops, lubricating ointments, and proper rest. Most patients experience significant relief within a few days, and complete recovery typically occurs within a week or two.

Minimizing Discomfort

To minimize discomfort during and after LASIK, it’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully. This may include:

  1. Pre-Operative Medications: Taking prescribed anti-inflammatory or anti-anxiety medications as directed to reduce inflammation and promote relaxation.
  2. Proper Eye Care: Adhering to the recommended post-operative eye care regimen, including the use of prescribed eye drops and ointments.
  3. Resting and Avoiding Stress: Allowing your eyes to rest and avoiding strenuous activities or eye strain during the initial recovery period.

Consult with an Experienced LASIK Professional

Considering LASIK? Consultation is Key. Consulting with an experienced and reputable LASIK professional, like the professionals at TLC Laser Eye Centers, is crucial.  Our specialization in LASIK procedures, with over 2.3 million performed, allows us to provide personalized guidance, address your concerns, and ensure realistic expectations for both potential discomfort and the recovery process.

By following your doctor’s instructions and taking proper precautions, the vast majority of patients find that any discomfort associated with LASIK is manageable and well worth the benefits of improved vision and reduced dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

Like any surgery, LASIK has risks and potential complications that are discussed during a surgical consultation prior to the procedure.  If you have any further questions, please consult with your eye doctor.

Individual Experiences May Vary

It’s important to note that every individual’s experience with LASIK may vary. Some patients may experience more discomfort than others, depending on their unique physiology, pain tolerance, and adherence to post-operative instructions.

LASIK vs. Cataract Surgery: Can You Have Both?

Considering Cataract Surgery After LASIK?

Many people who have undergone LASIK eye surgery to correct their vision in their younger years wonder if they can still have cataract surgery later in life. The answer is YES!! What many people do not know is that you can have LASIK even after cataract surgery if you have a residual correction that needs refined.

Understanding the Difference:

  • LASIK Surgery: This procedure reshapes the cornea, the clear dome at the front of the eye, to improve your ability to focus light and achieve clearer vision.
  • Cataract Surgery: This procedure replaces the clouded natural lens of the eye, located behind the iris, with a clear artificial lens, restoring vision clarity.
LASIK and Cataracts

Cataract Surgery for Non-LASIK Patients:

For those who haven’t had LASIK, cataract surgery usually offers a straightforward and predictable outcome. The implanted lens can often replace the need for distance vision glasses, though reading glasses may still be required.

Cataract Surgery After LASIK:

Even with LASIK history, modern technology allows for precise eye measurements to ensure you have a  successful cataract surgery. It can effectively address vision concerns even for individuals who have undergone LASIK previously. While complete LASIK records are ideal for optimal lens selection, alternative approaches are available to achieve a successful outcome.

Seeking Professional Advice:

If you have further questions about LASIK, cataracts, or your individual eligibility for either surgery, consult a qualified eye care professional. They can assess your specific situation and provide personalized guidance.


Source:

Bishop, S. (2023, August 18). Cataract Surgery is Possible for Most People Who’ve Had LASIK. Mayo Clinic News Network. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cataract-surgery-is-possible-for-most-people-whove-had-lasik/

LASIK Recovery Time: What to Expect

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a popular vision correction procedure that uses lasers to reshape the cornea, improving vision for those with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. While LASIK offers the promise of clearer vision without glasses or contact lenses, understanding the LASIK recovery time and potential side effects is crucial for making informed decisions.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect after LASIK eye surgery:

First few hours after treatment:

  • Temporary eye discomfort: You may experience some initial eye discomfort, such as a tingly sensation or slight dryness.
  • Increased tear production: Your eyes might produce more tears initially to aid healing and lubrication.
  • Temporary light sensitivity: You may be temporarily more sensitive to light, similar to having an adjusted camera lens.

Your doctor will provide eye drops to manage discomfort and a protective shield for overnight wear. Best thing to do?  Try and get some rest right after treatment.

24-48 Hours:

Schedule a quick follow-up visit with your eye doctor to ensure your eyes stay healthy and comfortable. During the appointment, they’ll perform a routine vision assessment and discuss any adjustments to your eye care routine, like potentially prescribing new eye drops or recommending artificial tears for additional comfort. You’ll be able to resume your normal activities right away, but it’s best to avoid strenuous exercise for 1-3 days to allow your eyes to fully recover.

1-3 Weeks:

  • Temporary vision adjustments: You may experience some temporary changes in your vision, such as slight blurring or fluctuations, as your eyes heal.  This has been reported to be similar to an old glasses or contact lens prescription.
  • Light sensitivity: You might notice some initial light sensitivity, which is normal and usually subsides quickly.

Up to 3 to 6 Months:

Expect your vision to steadily improve over the next few months, with many people achieving clear and stable vision around 3 to 6 months. Regular check-ins with your eye doctor will help them track your progress and address any questions or concerns you may have along the way.

Factors Affecting LASIK Recovery Time:

  • Flap dislocation: A rare complication where the corneal flap created during LASIK moves from its position. It requires immediate medical attention and can prolong recovery.
  • Dry eye: The most common side effect, causing irritation and discomfort. Symptoms usually subside within a month, but can persist in some cases.
  • Infections: Extremely rare, but following post-operative care instructions strictly minimizes the risk.

Tips for a Smooth LASIK Recovery:

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions meticulously.
  • Avoid lotions, creams, and makeup around the eye for 2 weeks, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Continue eyelash hygiene as instructed.
  • Refrain from swimming, hot tubs, and strenuous activities for the recommended period.
  • Protect your eyes from getting hit or rubbed, especially in the first few weeks.
  • Use artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated.
LASIK recovery days

Remember, LASIK recovery is a process, not an event. While most people experience significant vision improvement quickly, complete healing and stabilization can take up to 3 to 6 months. Consulting a qualified LASIK care expert and adhering to post-operative care guidelines are crucial for a successful LASIK experience.

LASIK Eye Surgery Boasts an Impressive 96-98% Patient Satisfaction Rate

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) has revolutionized vision correction, providing a minimally invasive alternative to glasses and contact lenses. As of 2018, over 9.5 million Americans have undergone LASIK surgery due to its convenience, good results, and high success rate.

In fact, one study reports that LASIK has an impressive patient success rate between 96-98%! Research indicates LASIK enables:

  • 99% of patients to achieve 20/40 vision or better
  • 90% of patients to achieve ideal 20/20 vision
  • 50% of patients to gain better than 20/20 vision
LASIK success rate

Driving Factors Behind LASIK’s High Success Rates

Several factors account for why LASIK is so successful, including:

  • Advanced laser systems
  • Precision techniques
  • Experienced surgeons.

Additionally, the vast majority of procedures are performed by specially trained ophthalmologists and optometrists with years of surgical experience. Their expertise contributes greatly to LASIK’s impressive outcomes.

Understanding LASIK’s Low Complication Rates

In addition to excellent success rates, LASIK eye surgery has been determined to have minimal risks or side effects. Current estimates place the complication rate at less than 1%

While the first days may involve mild irritation and light sensitivity, long-term issues like dry eye or halos are uncommon. When they do occur, symptoms often resolve within 3-6 months.

The most serious complications involve the corneal flap created during surgery. However, with precise laser tools and skilled surgeons, flap issues and related optical problems are very rare.

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Affordability May Be the Only Barrier for Some Patients

Given the outstanding safety and success of modern LASIK techniques, affordability remains one of the biggest barriers limiting access for patients. While prices vary, custom options with advanced technology may cost more than standard treatment.

For those concerned about cost, flexible spending accounts, health savings account, insurance and financing options can make LASIK more affordable. The proven results and life-changing conveniences make it well worth the investment for most people. Check out the ongoing expense of glasses and contacts.

Like any surgery, LASIK has risks and potential complications that are discussed during a surgical consultation prior to the procedure.


Sources:

Bayba, M. (2024, January 11). LASIK Statistics – Safety and Success Rates in 2024. Vision Center. https://www.visioncenter.org/resources/lasik-statistics/

Refractive Surgery Council. “Is LASIK Safe? What You Need to Know,” October 13, 2022. https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/is-lasik-safe/#:~:text=LASIK%20is%20one%20of%20the,of%20patients%20suffer%20complications%20LASIK.

Refractive Surgery Council. “What Is the LASIK Success Rate?,” August 16, 2022. https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/laser-eye-surgery-lasik-success-rate/#:~:text=The%20LASIK%20success%20rate%20%E2%80%93%20or,achieve%2020%2F20%20or%20better.

Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Vol. 42, Issue 8, August 2016, Pages 1224-1234

Sugar A, Hood C, Mian S. Patient-reported outcomes following LASIK: quality of Life in the PROWL Studies. JAMA. 2017;317(2):204–205. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.19323

Hays RD, Tarver ME, Spritzer KL, et al. Assessment of the Psychometric Properties of a Questionnaire Assessing Patient-Reported Outcomes With Laser In Situ Keratomileusis (PROWL). JAMA Ophthalmol. 2017;135(1):3–12. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.4597

See Clearly in 2024: Lasik Eye Surgery Market Booms (7.7% CAGR). (n.d.). DataMIntelligence. https://www.datamintelligence.com/research-report/lasik-eye-surgery-market

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your LASIK Surgeon

Preparing for your first LASIK visit, or thinking about scheduling a consultation? Before you head to your local LASIK center, it’s important to consider any questions you might have about laser vision correction. Ahead, we’ll cover five questions that everyone should ask when visiting their LASIK doctor.

LASIK notes

How many LASIK surgeries have you performed?

This is the perfect place to start when getting to know your LASIK surgeon. While a low number of surgeries don’t necessarily speak poorly of a provider, many people prefer to work with a more experienced surgeon. No matter your preference, it’s always a good idea to learn about your surgeon’s experience level.

What laser technology do you use?

LASIK technology is always evolving, including the lasers used to perform the procedure. In addition to standard laser vision correction, your provider may offer options like Bladeless LASIK, Custom LASIK, and Topography-Guided LASIK. Each comes with its own benefits, and your provider will help decide which is right for you.

What determines my LASIK candidacy?

The first thing to know is that if you’re healthy and over the age of 18, you’ve already checked two of the biggest boxes. However, each LASIK candidacy is evaluated individually, and it’s important to understand exactly how your candidacy is determined.

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What can I expect during my LASIK surgery?

LASIK is a quick procedure – just 15 minutes, total – and is performed on an outpatient basis at your LASIK center. You likely have more questions about the LASIK procedure and your LASIK doctor is the perfect person to ask for more information.

What can I expect after my LASIK surgery?

While LASIK is known to deliver consistent results, everyone heals individually. If you want to understand more about what the recovery period is like, how long it takes, and how soon you’ll notice improved vision, ask your LASIK surgeon for details. Online research may provide an outline, but only your surgeon can give an individualized answer based on your prescription and personalized laser eye surgery treatment plan.

These are some of the most common LASIK questions, but there are all sorts of small details that you may want to ask about during your visit. Remember that there is no such thing as a silly question! Before your visit, set aside some time to make a list of your key questions. Your LASIK surgeon will be happy to provide answers, tailored to your individual case.

Are Regular Eye Exams Important After LASIK?

Eye Exams after LASIK Surgery

Many LASIK eye surgery candidates question if they need to continue seeing an eye doctor after they have their procedure. After all, you could have 20/20 vision or better after surgery, which means there’s no point in getting regular eye exams, right? Wrong. Even after LASIK surgery it is important to get a comprehensive eye exam at least every one to two years. In these exams, eye doctors do more than just check your prescription and prescribe contacts or eyeglasses, so it is necessary to keep up with them even after your LASIK procedure.

Your doctor will also check your overall eye health and for a multitude of potential problems such as: early signs of eye disease, focusing issues, refractive errors associated with age, and eye teaming problems or making sure your eyes work together and are properly aligned.

Since most people take their vision and visual health for granted and usually don’t notice that something is wrong until there is a bigger problem, it is essential to keep up with routine eye exams after LASIK eye surgery. This way, your eye doctor can detect any eye problems early on so that they can be remedied as soon as possible. Some people will also experience dry eyes and discomfort from allergies, and an eye doctor can prescribe eye drops to relieve these symptoms so you can enjoy the benefits of your LASIK surgery to the fullest.

eye exam

LASIK Eye Surgery: A Lifetime Commitment

By choosing to have LASIK surgery, you’ve already decided to live life with better vision, and annual visits to your eye doctor will help you enjoy those benefits for years to come. At TLC Laser Eye Centers, the TLC Lifetime Commitment® helps patients maintain the best possible vision throughout their lives by offering LASIK enhancements to eligible candidates. One of the main conditions of this program is to complete an annual eye exam with your TLC-affiliated eye doctor, making it even more important to continue with regular eye exams after LASIK eye surgery.

It is always important to consult with your eye doctor for the best exam schedule after LASIK eye surgery based on your personal eye health. Attending these appointments is the best way to make sure you can benefit from a lifetime of better vision.

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