Q. Am I a good candidate?
A. If you are in good health, at least 18 years old and have no eye disease such as glaucoma or cataracts, laser vision correction may be right for you. Today's state-of-the-art laser technology can correct a wide range of vision problems, including nearsightedness, astigmatism and farsightedness. It can even correct severe prescriptions and conditions, which were difficult to treat with previous approaches. To find out if you can benefit from laser vision correction, schedule a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. Our doctors will answer your questions, explain the procedure and determine if it is right for you.
Q. What kind of improvement should I expect?
A. Because every person is different, the precise degree of improvement varies from person to person depending on your initial vision and your eye's ability to heal. However, most people with moderate corrective prescriptions achieve within 1 to 2 lines of 20/20 vision on an eye chart. Those with more severe prescriptions may experience similar improvement, although additional enhancements may be needed to achieve the maximum corrected vision possible.
Q. Can I expect to be free of glasses or contact lenses?
A. If you are like the vast majority of people who have undergone this procedure, the answer is yes. A very small number of people find glasses helpful when driving at night. In addition, like most of us, you will probably require reading glasses as a natural part of aging. Our outcomes at Whitson Vision are excellent. Overwhelmingly, our patients report that they are able to live their lives without glasses or contacts. Many tell us they can see as well or better than they could with glasses or contacts.
Q. Are the results permanent?
A. Laser vision correction has been in use since the 1980’s. There has also been extensive research on the effects of the excimer laser on the cornea. Most experts agree that the correction achieved with LASIK will be lasting. Vision changes may occur over may years, but these changes are generally related to the slow and natural age-associated progression of cataracts and are usually NOT related to changes in the LASIK treatment itself. In addition, research indicates that the excimer laser has no long-term negative side effects on the cornea.
Q. Will it be painful?
A. Laser vision correction with LASIK is virtually painless. The procedure is performed with anesthetic eye drops to numb your eye. Some people feel a bit of irritation in the eye afterwards, and dryness may last for several days. The majority of people experience no discomfort at all.
Q. How long before I return to all my regular activities?
A. You will be amazed how rapidly your eyes will heal after laser vision correction. Because of our doctors’ skill in using today's advanced techniques, you will be able to see the results immediately, and your vision will continue to improve over the next day or two. Most people return to work and most of their regular activities the following day.
Q. What kind of follow-up will I need?
A. At the time of your procedure, you will receive detailed instruction about follow-up care, including the use of prescription antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops. We will check your eyes the next day, and you will be scheduled for regular check-ups to monitor your vision. In addition, if you have any concerns at any time after your procedure you may make an appointment.
Q. Will my insurance cover laser vision correction?
A. Because these procedures are considered elective, most insurance companies do not cover them. However, we will be happy to check with your health care plan for you. Laser vision correction may be tax deductible depending on your filing status, so ask your accountant. During your consultation fees will be explained to you, as well as our variety of affordable payment options to help you manage the cost.
Q. Are there any risks?
A. LASIK is an extremely safe procedure. In clinical studies, the risk of complications that could reduce vision was less than 1%. As with any medical procedure, there are always some risks. These will be explained to you in detail, including in writing, before your procedure. Then, if you still have any questions about these concerns, the doctor will be happy to discuss them with you.
Q. How do I decide who should perform my laser vision correction?
A. This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. So please take the time to ask questions and consider your choices carefully. A primary consideration is the training of the ophthalmologist who will perform your procedure. Your surgeon should be a fellowship trained cornea-specialist and have advanced training in today's laser vision correction techniques. Experience is critical, as well. Laser vision correction is an extremely precise procedure, so the more frequently a surgeon performs it, the greater their skill. That is why it is best to choose a physician who specializes in laser vision correction. As an added bonus, it is nice to know that Dr. Whitson has actually trained many other eye surgeons in how to safely and effectively perform LASIK eye surgery. Be sure to ask about the technology itself. The Allegretto Wave® laser is considered the most advanced medical laser in use, providing the greatest degree of precision and accuracy possible. In addition to the skill and experience of the surgeon, choose a team that will continue to provide you with ongoing care as part of your treatment. Find out about follow-up care, monitoring your vision after correction to assure that you have achieved the best results possible, and whether or not enhancements are included in your care. Most important of all is a relationship of honesty, trust and respect between patient and doctor. One of the best ways to evaluate this is to ask for references so that you can talk with other people who have had their vision corrected by the physician you are considering. You need to feel confident that your vision is as important to your physician as it is to you.
Q. How can I get the latest information?
A. To find out more about laser vision correction or to determine if you are a candidate, contact Whitson Vision at 317-844-5500.