Be PreparedThe FDA has approved laser-eye-surgery equipment, but they don't monitor each physician or procedure. It is very important to consult with your optometrist and alert him if you have any of the following conditions: herpes, glaucoma, hypertension, eye diseases, such as uveitis/iritis (inflammations of the eye) or previous eye surgeries. Also, performing this procedure on a cornea that is not thick enough can be extremely damaging. And if you have tried LASIK before, make sure you consult with your doctor before trying it again.
It is recommend that you stop wearing your contact lenses for several weeks before your baseline examination, as they change the shape of your eyes. (The exact length of time depends on the type of contacts.) You should also stop using lotions, makeup and perfumes the day before the procedure. What's the operation like? Well, maybe not as bad as you'd assume. The doctor will give you an oral sedative such as valium, and then he will numb the eyes. An instrument called the retainer will be used to keep your eyes open. High pressure is then used to create suction directly on the cornea -- and this is where you might be a bit uncomfortable. Using the laser to adjust to your prescription, the doctor will then cut a flap in the cornea of your eye. The second step is using the laser which involves focusing on light while the doctor watches your eyes through a microscope. During this time, the laser is sending pulsating light to your cornea. The exact time of the procedure depends on your eyes; the stronger the prescription, the longer it will take.