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Though excimer lasers were invented in the 1970s and adapted for use in eye surgeries in the 1980s, there is a long history of vision correction in human culture. Eye glasses have been seen in artifacts from 13th century Italy. Even contact lenses were recorded as early as 1888. However, following tests in the early 1990s, photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, was approved by the FDA in the United States in 1995. Meanwhile, two European doctors were already working on enhancing this procedure to allow for less discomfort and a faster recovery. Using a blade to cut a micro-thin flap in the cornea, using a laser on the tissue underneath, and then replacing the flap, the first surgery that we now call LASIK was approved in the United States in 1999.
LASIK remains incredibly popular to free patients of constant eye problems. However, Dr. Matzkin prefers to take a comprehensive and consultative approach with patients before deciding on the right procedures for a patient. Sometimes, there are better options that will make more positive, more lasting changes for a patient’s vision. Here are a few steps that our office wants to make sure that all patients know before they receive LASIK surgery.
- We Require a Comprehensive Eye Exam.
At Allied Eye, we like to understand the full scope of the problem before prescribing solutions. During this exam, Dr. Matzkin will check to ensure your corneas are healthy and take a full look at your eyes to evaluate what is causing the vision issues. Not every patient is a good candidate for LASIK, and surgical options like PRK could be a better choice.
- Stop Wearing Contacts
Did you know that your contacts can actually affect the shape of your eyes? Even soft contact lenses can give your eyes a slightly altered shape, which can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of surgery. Dr. Matzkin will let you know how much time your eyes will need to go back to their natural shape. Make sure to listen if you want your surgery to be effective!
- Plan for Surgery Day
Though LASIK is painless and a relatively quick procedure, you’ll still want to want to schedule for someone to take you to and from surgery. Your vision might be blurry and you’ll likely feel drowsy. Driving a car could be very dangerous, so make sure someone comes with you on surgery day. After surgery, wear your protective goggles and then go home and take a rest. You’ll be tired, and sleep is the best thing you can do for healing.
- Post-Op Exam and Follow Up
You’ll already have your post-operative exam scheduled, so be sure to have a ride to and from our office that day. It’s normal for eyes to still be blurry at this time. You’ll also want to make sure to take your eye drops regularly that Dr. Matzkin will provide to avoid dangerous infection and inflammation. Take it easy during the month or so following your procedure. Even a glancing hit to the eye can cause significant damage to the surgical procedure.