Is LASIK Eye Surgery Painful?

LASIK eye surgery has gained significant popularity due to its patient-friendly approach in several key areas. Notably, the LASIK procedure itself is swift, typically taking around 15 minutes for both eyes. Additionally, the healing process is often rapid and characterized by minimal discomfort. Patients can anticipate noticeable visual improvements shortly after the procedure, enabling them to resume most of their preferred activities. While LASIK boasts a high degree of consistency in outcomes, it’s essential to acknowledge a few remaining questions.

Will Your LASIK Eye Surgery Be Painful? Nope! Here’s Why

If you’re worried if LASIK eye surgery is painful. Fear not! The goal of LASIK is to gently reshape the cornea, treating only very, very small portions of tissue, by using a precise laser. Throughout the process, your LASIK surgeon will also take every step to ensure that you are comfortable.

  • Local Anesthetic – Before your LASIK eye surgery begins, your LASIK specialist will use eye drops to numb the surface of your eyes. These eye drops feel just like the type that you’d normally use to lubricate dry eyes, but contain a numbing agent so that you shouldn’t feel anything, except some pressure, during your LASIK procedure.
  • No Sedation – With LASIK, you don’t have to worry about heavy sedatives, receiving injections of anesthetics, or “going to sleep” during the procedure. Those eye drops really do all of the numbing that you need, and the lack of heavy general anesthesia means you don’t have to worry about that foggy, groggy feeling after your LASIK surgery is complete.
  • During LASIK Surgery – During surgery, the first step is creating the flap. You may feel a pressure sensation, but it is more of an odd or uncomfortable feeling than a painful one. Your eyelids will be held open with a special tool during the procedure, and while this may feel a little strange it is unlikely to cause any pain.
  • Excimer Laser – The cool beam of the excimer laser used to perform LASIK eye surgery is incredibly precise, and guided by a computer which maps the structure of your eyes down to a microscopic level. During the portion of LASIK when your cornea is being reshaped, you actually shouldn’t feel any discomfort at all.

After your LASIK eye surgery is complete, you may notice some minor pain, itching, or discomfort as your eyes heal and your vision stabilizes. These symptoms are common, and typically clear up quickly as your eyes go through the healing process. So while no surgery can truly claim to be completely pain-free, LASIK surgery is about as close as it gets – both during and after your procedure.

 Understanding the LASIK Procedure

woman worried if lasik will be painful

To better understand why LASIK is not painful, it is important to grasp how the surgery works. LASIK involves reshaping the cornea using a precise laser, targeting very small portions of tissue. Throughout the process, the LASIK surgeon takes every step to ensure patient comfort.

  • Local Anesthetic and No Sedation
    • One key aspect of LASIK’s minimal pain is the use of local anesthetic eye drops, which numb the surface of the eyes. These drops eliminate pain during the procedure, and the absence of sedation means patients won’t experience grogginess or a foggy feeling afterward.
  • Sensations During LASIK Surgery
    • During the surgery, patients may feel some pressure and discomfort, but not pain. The eyelids are held open with a special tool, which might feel strange but is not painful. The excimer laser used in LASIK is cool, precise, and guided by a computer, ensuring no discomfort during the cornea reshaping process.
  • Post-Surgery Symptoms and Recovery
    • After LASIK surgery, it is common to experience minor pain, itching, or discomfort as the eyes heal and vision stabilizes. These symptoms typically clear up quickly, making LASIK one of the least painful surgical procedures available.

How does LASIK feel?

During the LASIK procedure, patients may feel some pressure and discomfort, but not pain. Before the surgery, the LASIK surgeon will use eye drops to numb the surface of the eyes. These eye drops contain a numbing agent that eliminates pain during the procedure, and the absence of sedation means patients won’t experience grogginess or a foggy feeling afterward.

During the surgery, the first step is creating the flap. You may feel a pressure sensation, but it is more of an odd or uncomfortable feeling than a painful one. Your eyelids will be held open with a special tool during the procedure, and while this may feel a little strange it is unlikely to cause any pain. The excimer laser used in LASIK is cool, precise, and guided by a computer, ensuring no discomfort during the cornea reshaping process.

Does LASIK hurt after the procedure?

After LASIK surgery, it is common to experience minor pain, itching, or discomfort as the eyes heal and vision stabilizes. However, these symptoms are typically short-lived and clear up quickly as the eyes go through the healing process. Some patients may experience dry eyes or blurred vision for a few days or weeks after the procedure, but these symptoms can usually be managed with eye drops and will gradually improve over time.

It is important to note that while LASIK is generally a safe and effective procedure, like any surgery, it does carry some risks. Complications such as infection, inflammation, or problems with the flap can occur, but these are rare and can usually be treated with medication or additional surgery if needed.

In conclusion, LASIK eye surgery is a highly desirable option for vision correction due to its minimally invasive nature, use of local anesthetic, and quick recovery time. While no surgery can be entirely pain-free, LASIK comes close. Patients may feel some pressure and discomfort during the procedure, but not pain. After the surgery, it is common to experience minor pain, itching, or discomfort as the eyes heal and vision stabilizes. However, these symptoms are usually short-lived and can be managed with eye drops. If you are considering LASIK, it is important to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your LASIK surgeon.

The Healing Process After Your LASIK Procedure

When it comes to the healing process after LASIK, there are some important steps you can take to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery. Your LASIK surgeon will provide detailed instructions on post-operative care, but here are some general tips to keep in mind:

  1. Rest and Relaxation: After the procedure, it is important to rest your eyes as much as possible. You may need to take a few days off work to allow your eyes to recover fully.
  2. Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes: Rubbing your eyes after LASIK can increase the risk of infection and may cause discomfort. It is important to avoid rubbing your eyes for several weeks after the procedure.
  3. Use Eye Drops: Your LASIK surgeon will likely prescribe eye drops to use after the procedure. These drops help to reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and keep your eyes moisturized. It is important to use the drops as directed to ensure proper healing.
  4. Wear Protective Eyewear: After LASIK, it is important to wear sunglasses or other protective eyewear when outside to protect your eyes from UV radiation and other irritants.
  5. Attend Follow-up Appointments: Your LASIK surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress and ensure that you are recovering properly. It is important to attend these appointments to catch any potential complications early on.

In addition to these tips, it is also important to follow a healthy lifestyle to promote healing after LASIK. This includes eating a balanced diet, getting enough rest, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Frequently asked questions on the LASIK Procedure:

Q: Is LASIK painful during the LASIK procedure?

A: While LASIK is not entirely pain-free, most patients do not experience any pain during the procedure. Eye drops are used to numb the surface of the eyes, and the lack of heavy sedation means patients won’t experience grogginess or a foggy feeling afterward. During the procedure, patients may feel some pressure and discomfort, but not pain.


Q: How long does it take to recover from LASIK surgery?

A: The initial healing process after LASIK typically takes about 24 to 48 hours. However, it may take several weeks for your vision to stabilize fully. During this time, you may experience some minor pain, itching, or discomfort as your eyes heal.


Q: Is LASIK safe?

A: LASIK is a safe and effective procedure for most patients. However, like any surgery, it does carry some risks. Potential complications include infection, inflammation, or problems with the flap. These risks are rare and can usually be treated with medication or additional surgery if needed.


Q: Can LASIK be done on both eyes at the same time?

A: Yes, LASIK can be performed on both eyes at the same time. This is typically the preferred method, as it allows for a more symmetrical correction of vision.


Q: Is LASIK covered by insurance?

A: LASIK is generally considered an elective procedure and is not typically covered by insurance. However, some insurance plans may offer partial coverage or discounts for LASIK surgery.


In summary, LASIK eye surgery is a safe and effective option for vision correction that causes minimal pain and discomfort. While the healing process can take a few weeks, most patients experience a quick recovery and can return to their normal activities soon after the procedure. If you are considering LASIK, it is important to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your LASIK surgeon to ensure that you are well-informed and prepared for the procedure.


About the Author:

Having performed more than 138,000 refractive surgery procedures, Dr. Bruce January is considered one of the most prolific and experienced refractive surgeons in the world. Dr. January is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which honored him with the Lifelong Education Award.

  Dr.  January earned a medical degree from the University of Tennessee and completed an ophthalmology residency at the internationally recognized, top-ranked Emory University Eye Center in Atlanta.Dedicated to inspiring children to achieve their dreams, Dr. January speaks at schools serving the underprivileged. In his free-time, Dr. January enjoys spending time with his family, scuba diving, gardening, and “anything to do with health, diet, and physical fitness”.

The Difference Between PRK & LASIK

Dr. Dean Ellis, Ophthamologist

LASIK is the most well-known laser vision correction procedure, but there are other types of laser eye surgery too. Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK) is another type of laser eye surgery procedure. For some people, eye structure can make PRK a more desired option, and may be your doctor’s recommendation if your corneas are too thin to perform LASIK.

The end goal of any laser eye surgery is to promote better vision. PRK eye surgery was actually developed before LASIK, but both procedures are still in use today. Both PRK and LASIK are focused on reshaping the cornea, which affects how the eye focuses light. The aim of both procedures is to address vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by gently reshaping the cornea with a laser.

The PRK & LASIK Procedure

The big difference between LASIK and PRK laser eye surgery is how the eye is prepared for surgery. With LASIK, the surgeon creates a hinged flap by making an incision in the cornea. This flap gives the surgeon access to the part of the cornea that needs to be reshaped. Once the procedure is finished, the surgeon will put the flap back in place.

With PRK, there is no flap. Instead, the thin, outermost layer of the cornea, called the epithelial layer, is removed to provide the necessary access to the part of the cornea that the doctor reshapes with the laser. This outer layer regenerates naturally during the healing process.

The PRK & LASIK Recovery

Healing occurs quickly after LASIK surgery, while PRK takes a little longer to heal. Patients often report more discomfort from having PRK than from having LASIK, but it is temporary, while your eye is healing. While the healing time is different between the two procedures, the expected results over time are the same.

PRK and LASIK are more alike than they are different, but the differences are important. If the incision required to create a LASIK flap isn’t right for your unique needs, PRK may provide another option for laser vision correction. As always, please remember that it is crucial to speak with your LASIK surgeon before making any decision on how to proceed with any laser vision correction procedure.

Call today to schedule your free LASIK consultation and determine if laser eye surgery is right for you.  The LASIK Vision Institute has performed over one million procedures and offers convenient, nationwide locations!

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In the pursuit of better vision and more freedom, various methods to correct  vision  have emerged, offering individuals the opportunity to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. From traditional eyewear to advanced surgical procedures, this article delves into the different types of vision correction, uncovering the pros and cons associated with each approach, including some of the newest technological advancements  like EVO and EVO ICL.

Non-Surgical

Eyeglasses

Pros of wearing Eyeglasses

  • Non-Invasive: Eyeglasses are a non-invasive and easily reversible method of vision correction.
  • Versatility: Suitable for correcting various refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
  • Fashion Accessory: Eyeglasses have become a fashion statement, allowing individuals to express their style through a wide range of frames.

Cons of wearing Eyeglasses

  • Peripheral Distortion: Some individuals may experience peripheral distortion or reflections, affecting the clarity of vision.  The lenses also may fog when moving to warmer to cooler environments. 
  • Limited Peripheral Vision: Frames can limit peripheral vision, which may be a concern in certain activities.
  • Weight and Discomfort: Wearing glasses can become uncomfortable through the day to their weight and pressure on the bridge of the nose. 

Contact Lenses:

Pros of wearing contact Lenses:

  • Natural Appearance: Contact lenses provide a more natural appearance without the visible presence of eyeglasses.
  • Unrestricted Field of View: Unlike glasses, contact lenses don’t obstruct peripheral vision.
  • Suitable for Active Lifestyles: Ideal for individuals with active lifestyles or those who find glasses inconvenient.

Cons of wearing contacts:

  • Maintenance Required: Regular cleaning and proper hygiene practices are necessary to prevent eye infections.
  • Dry Eye Disease: Some individuals may experience dry eyes as a result of wearing contact lenses..
  • Risk of Infections: Incorrect use or poor hygiene can lead to eye serious eye infections
  • Environmental Concerns: The disposal of contact lenses and their packaging contributes to waste.  In fact, the use of contact lens products by end consumers comprises 0.5% of the total environmental waste.

Refractive Surgery

Modern LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) Custom Bladeless:

Pros:

  • Rapid Results: LASIK often provides rapid visual recovery, with many patients experiencing improved vision within the first several hours to a day.
  • Long-Lasting: The effects of LASIK are typically long-lasting, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses.

Cons:

  • Surgical Risks: As with any surgery, LASIK carries some risks, including infection, dry eyes, and changes in vision.
  • Cost: LASIK can be a significant financial investment compared to non-surgical methods.

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy):

Pros:

  • No Flap Creation: PRK doesn’t involve creating a corneal flap, reducing the risk of flap-related complications.
  • Suitable for Thin Corneas: PRK may be a better option for individuals with thinner corneas.


Cons:

  • Extended Recovery Time: PRK typically has a longer recovery period compared to LASIK.
  • Discomfort During Healing: Some discomfort and light sensitivity may be experienced during the initial healing phase.

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction):

Pros:

  • No Flap Creation: SMILE involves a small incision rather than a corneal flap, potentially reducing complications.
  • Potential Preservation of Corneal Strength: Early studies indicate that the SMILE procedure  preserves more corneal tissue, which may benefit the structural integrity of the cornea.

Cons:

  • Limited Availability: SMILE may not be as widely available as LASIK or PRK.
  • Similar complications to LASIK:  In studies, complications can be similar to LASIK including infection, dry eyes, and changes in vision.
  • Cost:  The SMILE procedure can cost significantly more than LASIK or PRK. 

EVO ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens):

Pros:

  • Reversible Procedure: EVO ICL is an implantable lens that can be removed if necessary, making the procedure reversible.
  • High Refractive Correction: EVO ICL is suitable for individuals with high degrees of myopia or hyperopia.

Cons:

  • Invasive Procedure: EVO ICL involves a surgical procedure to implant the lens in the eye.
  • Potential for Complications: As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications, including infection or changes in intraocular pressure, endothelial cell loss, and corneal decompensation.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K):

Pros:

  • Non-Surgical: Ortho-K involves the use of specially designed contact lenses to reshape the cornea overnight without surgery.
  • Daytime Freedom: Individuals can enjoy better vision during the day without the need for glasses or lenses.

Cons:

  • Temporary Effects: The effects of Ortho-K are temporary, and consistent lens wear is required for sustained results.
  • Risk of Infection: Proper hygiene practices are crucial to prevent eye infections associated with contact lens use.
  • Vision Instability:  Vision may change through the day depending on frequency of use.
  • Comfort:  It may be difficult to sleep with a rigid contact lens on the eye.

In conclusion, the landscape of vision correction is diverse, offering a range of options to suit individual preferences, lifestyles, and medical considerations. Choosing the most suitable method involves careful consideration of the pros and cons associated with each approach, along with consultation with a qualified eye care professional. Whether opting for the convenience of eyeglasses, the flexibility of contact lenses, or the transformative effects of refractive surgery, individuals can make informed decisions to achieve optimal visual clarity and comfort.

Are You Curious About Your Eligibility For LASIK?

african american woman smiling and looking at the clouds after her lasik procedure

When considering LASIK, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced and qualified eye care professional who can assess individual needs and recommend the most suitable technology. Technological advancements and preferences among surgeons can vary, so discussing specific options with a knowledgeable eye care professional is essential for making informed decisions about vision correction surgery.

Your vision is very important to us and we want to make sure you have the information you need. Start your journey to better vision by scheduling a free LASIK consultation today! Find a Lasik Vision Institute location near you!

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We’re located nationwide – it’s easy to find a LASIK Vision Center near you.

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LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) surgery has revolutionized the field of ophthalmology, providing millions of people worldwide with a life-changing solution to refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. One of the key factors behind the success of LASIK is the continuous evolution of technology, and two significant innovations that have emerged are the Wavelight laser and Contoura Vision. In this article, we dive into the intricacies of LASIK technology, exploring the principles behind the Wavelight laser and the revolutionary Contoura Vision system.

Understanding LASIK Technology

LASIK is a surgical procedure that reshapes the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye, to improve vision by focusing light directly onto the retina. The fundamental concept involves using a laser to create a precise flap on the cornea, followed by the application of another laser to sculpt the corneal tissue and correct refractive errors.

What is the Wavelight LASIK Laser?

Wavelight lasers represent a significant leap forward in LASIK technology. These lasers utilize a sophisticated method called wavefront-optimized  technology. Traditional LASIK procedures corrected refractive errors based on prescription glasses, which addressed only the most basic aspects of vision. In contrast, wavefront optimized treatments attempt to preserve the asphericity of the cornea by delivering more laser energy in the corneal periphery.Wavefront optimized treatments reduce or minimize the induction of higher-order aberrations (HOA) that have been associated with visual symptoms after conventional refractive surgery. 

What is a Contoura Vision System?

Contoura Vision is a revolutionary LASIK technology that takes personalization to the next level. Developed by Alcon, the Contoura Vision system integrates corneal topography and wavefront-guided technology to create an even more detailed and individualized treatment plan.

Corneal topography involves mapping the curvature of the cornea, providing information about its shape and irregularities. Combining this data with wavefront measurements, the Contoura Vision system creates a comprehensive 3D map of the eye. This precise mapping allows the laser to address not only the refractive errors but also subtle corneal irregularities, known as higher-order aberrations, that were previously difficult to correct.

The Contoura Vision system’s ability to address these higher-order aberrations contributes to improved visual outcomes, particularly in low-light conditions and situations with high contrast. Patients often report sharper, clearer vision and reduced instances of halos and glare.

Comparing LASIK Eye Surgery Technology

Femtosecond Lasers:

IntraLase iFS (now part of Johnson & Johnson Vision): IntraLase iFS is a femtosecond laser system used for creating corneal flaps. It offers high precision and customization, contributing to improved safety and efficacy.

Alcon FS200 the FS200 is another femtosecond laser system used for creating corneal flaps. It offers high precision and customization utilizing a low pulse energy resulting in more precise corneal flaps.

Zeiss VisuMax: Known for its precision, the VisuMax femtosecond laser is often used for creating the corneal flap in LASIK surgery. It operates with extremely short pulses of laser light, allowing for a bladeless and precise corneal flap creation.

Excimer Lasers:

Alcon’s Contoura Vision: Combining corneal topography and wavefront-guided technology, Contoura Vision aims to provide highly customized LASIK treatments. It addresses both common refractive errors and higher-order aberrations for improved visual outcomes.

Wavelight EX500: Known for its speed and accuracy, the Wavelight EX500 is equipped with advanced eye-tracking and wavefront-optimized technology. It aims to provide efficient and highly personalized LASIK treatments.

VISX Excimer Lasers: VISX excimer lasers are widely used and recognized for their reliability. They incorporate wavefront-guided technology to customize LASIK treatments based on the patient’s individual eye characteristics.

Nidek EC-5000: The Nidek EC-5000 is another excimer laser system used in LASIK surgery. It offers precision and versatility in treating various refractive errors.

What’s the difference between the Visx and Wavelight Laser?

The Wavelight and Visx lasers are two different brands of excimer lasers commonly used in LASIK surgery. While both are designed to reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors, there are differences in their technologies and features. Let’s explore the distinctions between the Wavelight and Visx lasers in LASIK procedures:

  1. Wavefront Technology:
    1. Wavelight: The Wavelight laser, as mentioned earlier, often incorporates wavefront-optimized  technology wavefront optimized treatments attempt to preserve the asphericity of the cornea by delivering more laser energy in the corneal periphery to reduce higher order aberrations.
    2. Visx: Visx lasers utilizes either a “standard” or wavefront-guided technology to customize the LASIK procedure based on the patient’s unique visual aberrations. The wavefront technology in Visx systems aims to improve not only basic refractive errors but also higher-order aberrations for enhanced visual outcomes.
  2. Eye Tracking Systems:
    1. Wavelight: Wavelight lasers typically come equipped with advanced eye-tracking systems. These systems monitor the eye’s movements during the procedure and adjust the laser in real-time to ensure accurate and consistent treatment, even if the eye moves slightly.
    2. Visx: Visx lasers also incorporate sophisticated eye-tracking technology to follow the eye’s movements and maintain precision during the LASIK surgery. The accuracy of the eye-tracking system is crucial for achieving optimal results.
  3. Treatment Speed:
    1. Wavelight: Wavelight lasers are known for their fast treatment times. The high-speed laser ablation allows for reduced exposure time and minimizes the potential for dehydration or other factors that could affect the cornea during the procedure.
    2. Visx: Visx lasers are also designed to provide efficient and quick treatments. The speed of the laser ablation process contributes to patient comfort and reduces the overall duration of the LASIK procedure.
  4. FDA Approval and Reputation:
    1. Wavelight: Some Wavelight lasers, such as the EX500, have received FDA approval for LASIK surgery. Wavelight lasers are often praised for their precision and customization capabilities.
    2. Visx: Visx lasers have a long history of use in LASIK and have also received FDA approval. The Visx brand is well-established and has been utilized in a significant number of successful LASIK procedures worldwide.
  5. Treatment Capabilities:
    1. Wavelight: Wavelight lasers are known for their ability to treat a wide range of refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The customization provided by wavefront-guided technology allows for comprehensive vision correction.
    2. Visx: Visx lasers are versatile and effective in treating various refractive errors. The technology incorporated in Visx systems aims to address both common refractive issues and higher-order aberrations for improved visual quality.

In summary, both Wavelight and Visx lasers are reputable and widely used in LASIK surgery. The choice between them often depends on the surgeon’s preference, the specific model of the laser, and the patient’s individual needs. It’s essential for individuals considering LASIK to consult with their eye care professionals to determine the most suitable technology for their unique vision correction requirements.

Are You Curious About Your Eligibility For LASIK?

african american woman smiling and looking at the clouds after her lasik procedure

When considering LASIK, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced and qualified eye care professional who can assess individual needs and recommend the most suitable technology. Technological advancements and preferences among surgeons can vary, so discussing specific options with a knowledgeable eye care professional is essential for making informed decisions about vision correction surgery.

Your vision is very important to us and we want to make sure you have the information you need. Start your journey to better vision by scheduling a free LASIK consultation today! Find a Lasik Vision Institute location near you!

LASIK Locations

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We’re located nationwide – it’s easy to find a LASIK Vision Center near you.

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What Is Monovision & How Does It Work?

Monovision LASIK, a specialized laser corrective procedure, aids individuals dealing with presbyopia. Presbyopia, an age-related hurdle affecting individuals over 40, complicates the focus on nearby objects within arm’s reach.

Beyond presbyopia, Monovision LASIK extends its solutions to a range of visual challenges such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Multiple corrective procedures include:

  • LASIK: A safe, and effective laser eye surgery capable of addressing a wide array of vision issues, including monovision.
  • PRK: Similar to LASIK but an alternative option suitable for those with thin corneas or specific eye conditions hindering LASIK eligibility.
  • ICLs: Implantable lens implants, artificial lenses embedded inside the eye, cater to individuals with conditions like cataracts that are beyond the scope of laser eye surgery.

What Happens During the procedure?

During the monovision procedure, one of your eyes will be corrected for clear distance vision and the other eye will be corrected for clear near vision. For most monovision patients, the brain quickly adapts, without any conscious effort by the patient. If monovision is an option for you, the doctor will provide you with additional details during your exam.

What Are The Benefits of Monovision?

Picture a life without having to rely on glasses, and even bidding far-well to contacts! This procedure could pave the way to enhanced confidence and a livelier lifestyle. Yet, just like any procedure, there are a few potential risks that include: dry eyes, glare, or halos.

Are You Curious About Your Eligibility For LASIK?

Find Out If You’re The Right Candidate For LASIK

Don’t let blurry vision hold you back any longer. Your vision is very important to us and we want to make sure you have the information you need. Start your journey to better vision by scheduling a free LASIK consultation today! Find a Lasik Vision Institute location near you!

We understand that choosing the right LASIK eye surgeon is a significant part of the decision-making process. Which is why we want to take the time to get to know you and understand your specific eye needs to provide you with exceptional service.

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Some of the most common questions we receive about LASIK surgery focus on the cost of the procedure, and the payment options available to cover laser eye surgery. What is the cost of LASIK, and does insurance cover it?

Most insurance companies consider LASIK an elective or cosmetic procedure, which means that it won’t be covered by most policies. There may be some exceptions where insurance companies will cover the cost of LASIK, and there are diverse payment or financing options available if your insurance policy doesn’t cover laser eye surgery.

What Is the Cost of Laser Eye Surgery with Insurance?

While most insurance providers don’t typically cover the cost of LASIK, some major providers do offer discounts for laser eye surgery procedures. These insurance companies work with LASIK providers to offer a “courtesy discount” for members, which can help cover some of the laser eye surgery cost. You won’t know until you ask, so it’s always a good idea to speak with your insurance company about any LASIK discounts that may be available.

Speaking with your insurance provider may also help you find out whether you fit the narrow requirements for LASIK to be considered something other than an elective or cosmetic procedure. Basically, insurance companies may pay for LASIK, but there are very specific requirements.

When Does Insurance Cover Laser Eye Surgery?

While it’s rare, there are some cases where your insurance company may actually cover the cost of LASIK, because circumstances make it a necessary procedure rather than an elective procedure. If you serve in the military and meet pre-determined vision requirements, you may qualify for LASIK to be covered by insurance. Typically, surgery in this case would take place in a military facility. First responders and law enforcement professionals may also qualify to have LASIK covered by insurance, depending on the case.

If you’re not in one of those careers, you may still be able to get LASIK covered by insurance, though it can be an uphill battle. If you act, entertain, or play sports for a living, you may be able to convince your insurance company that LASIK is necessary. If you have certain medical conditions like severe dry eye, allergies, or contact lens intolerance that make wearing vision correction devices difficult, then you may qualify to have LASIK covered by insurance.

What Are My Options if Insurance Doesn’t Cover My LASIK Cost?

If your insurance company won’t cover the cost of LASIK, don’t worry. You’re not alone, and there are a ton of financing options available to help you pay for the procedure in the way that best fits your budget. Tax-friendly tools like Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allow you to save for medical needs on a pre-tax basis. LASIK centers also offer financing options, so that you can pay for your procedure over time. If you have questions about how to fit LASIK into your budget, speaking with your financial adviser and LASIK provider are key steps in developing a plan.

Looking to learn more about the cost of LASIK eye surgery, and the financing options available? Start by scheduling your free LASIK consultation at your local laser eye surgery center. You can schedule your consultation by calling your LASIK center directly, or by filling out the quick contact form on this page. Your free consultation is an opportunity to speak with LASIK professionals, learn more about financing, and get answers to all of your laser eye surgery questions.

When it comes to addressing your vision issues, making an informed decision that best suits your needs and eye health is crucial. You may have come across a relatively recent eye surgery known as EVO ICL, which serves as an alternative to LASIK. In this article, we will provide a clear definition of both procedures and discuss their differences to empower you in making the optimal choice for your vision.

What is EVO ICL?

EVO ICL surgery represents a form of refractive surgery that can be likened to the introduction of specialized permanent “contact” lenses into your eyes. These lenses, referred to as Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICL), possess dimensions that are thinner and smaller compared to typical contact lenses. A skilled ophthalmologist implants this lens within the interior of the eye, positioning it behind the iris and in front of the eye’s natural lens. Within the core of the ICL lies a perforation designed to facilitate fluid circulation around the lens and iris. Notably, this lens is permanent and does not necessitate removal or cleaning akin to regular contact lenses.

LASIK VS EVO ICL?

In contrast to EVO ICL surgery, which entails an incision in the eye for lens placement behind the iris, LASIK operates entirely on the cornea, the transparent, front part of the eye. LASIK achieves vision correction by reshaping the cornea, altering its curvature to provide improved vision. Before commencing the LASIK procedure, numbing drops with anesthetic properties are applied to your eyes. Once your eyes are fully anesthetized, a LASIK surgeon employs a laser to create a thin, hinged corneal flap, which is then gently folded back to expose the stromal layer of the cornea. Subsequently, a computer-controlled laser emits controlled pulses of light to reshape the cornea, customizing the correction to your individual visual needs. The corneal flap is repositioned over the treated cornea and begins healing immediately. It adheres through natural suction, eliminating the need for sutures. The precise lasers employed during LASIK procedures ensure the permanent reshaping of the cornea to rectify the patient’s vision.

Risks Associated with EVO ICL

STAAR Surgical, a leading manufacturer of ICL implants, reports the following risks associated with EVO ICL lenses:

1. Additional (Secondary) Surgery

   Patients who undergo EVO ICL surgery may find themselves facing the possibility of additional surgeries. These procedures might be necessary for various reasons, such as the need to remove, replace, or reposition the EVO ICL lens. Additionally, secondary surgery could be required if a patient develops a cataract or experiences elevated intraocular pressure. In certain situations, these secondary surgeries are essential for maintaining eye health and visual clarity.

2. Raised Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and Glaucoma Development

   Another reported risk associated with EVO ICL surgery is the potential for elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Normal eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP), typically falls within the range of 10-21 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). An IOP above this range is termed ocular hypertension, and if left untreated, it can lead to optic nerve damage, resulting in glaucoma and permanent vision loss. Patients with high levels of nearsightedness are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Monitoring and managing IOP is crucial for long-term eye health.

3. Cataract Formation

   EVO ICL lenses are implanted inside the eye near the crystalline lens. This proximity increases the risk of cataract development, particularly in older patients with higher levels of nearsightedness prior to surgery. The risk of cataract formation continues to rise with each year the EVO ICL lens remains in the eye. Cataracts that affect vision may necessitate surgical removal. Therefore, regular eye examinations are essential to monitor cataract progression. In cases where cataract surgery is recommended, both the EVO ICL lens and the cataract are addressed simultaneously.

4. Loss of Best Corrected Vision

   There is a possibility that your vision may worsen after EVO ICL surgery, resulting in a loss of two or more lines as measured on an eye chart.

5. Endothelial Cell Loss

   The cornea’s clarity is maintained by a thin layer of cells called endothelial cells, which pump water out of the cornea. Over time, these cells naturally decrease in number with age. However, EVO ICL surgery can lead to additional loss of these cells beyond the normal rate. Excessive loss can cloud the cornea, reducing vision. Before undergoing EVO ICL surgery, patients receive an eye exam to determine their candidacy. Those implanted with EVO ICL lenses may experience ongoing endothelial cell loss, potentially leading to corneal edema (swelling) or even requiring corneal transplantation.

6. Glare and Halos

   Glare and halos, particularly noticeable in low-light conditions with dilated pupils, may become more bothersome after EVO ICL surgery. Even if patients did not experience glare and halos before surgery, they may develop these visual disturbances post-surgery. Patients currently experiencing glare and halos should be aware that these symptoms could intensify following EVO ICL surgery.

7. Additional Risks

Beyond the aforementioned risks, STAAR Surgical also notes that EVO ICL surgery may be associated with additional potential complications, including:

– Movement of the colored portion of the eye (iris) through a surgical wound to a position outside the eye (iris prolapse).

– Bleeding in the area of the retina responsible for reading vision (macular hemorrhage).

– Bleeding beneath the retina (subretinal hemorrhage).

– Increase in focusing error (astigmatism).

– Lifting or pulling of the retina from its natural position (retinal detachment).

– Inability of fluid to flow from the back chamber of the eye to the front chamber, frequently blocking drainage and raising eye pressure (pupillary block glaucoma).

– Unequal pupil size (anisocoria).

– Abnormal release of pigment particles from cells in the eye that could block fluid drainage from inside to outside the eye (pigment dispersion).

– Scar tissue formation at the outer edges of the front chamber of the eye (peripheral anterior synechiae).

EVO ICL surgery offers significant benefits in terms of vision correction, but it is important to be aware of the associated risks. Patients considering this procedure should engage in thorough discussions regarding the risks and benefits with their eye care professionals to make informed decisions about their eye health. Regular post-operative check-ups are vital for monitoring potential complications and addressing them promptly, ensuring the best possible visual outcomes after EVO ICL surgery.

Similarly, LASIK offers significant benefits in terms of vision correction, but like all medical procedures, also presents its own set of associated risks. These may include dry eyes, glare, halos, and the potential need for enhancement surgeries. To determine the most appropriate treatment for your specific needs, you can begin with a LASIK consultation conducted by a qualified LASIK specialist.

At the LASIK Vision Institute, we offer complimentary consultations to assess your eligibility for LASIK. If you qualify, we are excited to provide you with the opportunity to undergo traditional LASIK, which can enhance your vision. However, if LASIK is not a suitable choice for your situation, our medical team can discuss alternative options with you, including EVO ICL, to address your unique requirements.

Schedule A Free LASIK Consultation At One of Our LASIK Vision Centers Near You!

If you’re interested in learning morning about LASIK vision correction, schedule your free consultation at on of our local LASIK Vision Institute locations to speak with your LASIK team about your candidacy, learn all of the details about laser eye surgery, and get answers to all of your key questions.

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When you’re researching LASIK surgery, there’s a lot of information out there, which can be confusing or overwhelming. Overall, it can leave you with an uncertain feeling about LASIK and laser eye surgery in general.

That’s why the LASIK Vision Institute offers a free LASIK consultation, so you can get information and advice directly from an expert. LVI can help you feel more at ease with the process and the LASIK procedure by answering your questions about LASIK.

You can schedule an appointment on the date and time that works best for you, and meet with someone – in person – at the LASIK Vision Institute location closest to you or schedule a 20-minute virtual consultation.

What To Expect During Your In-Center LASIK Consultation

You’ll sit down with a member of our team, and have the chance to discuss your vision and why you’re interested in laser eye surgery. If you have any questions – about the procedure, the technology, or how quickly your recovery will move along – we’ll do our best to answer them. We’ll take the time to learn about your vision correction needs and run a number of pre-operative tests to see if LASIK makes sense for you.

While those who are pregnant or nursing typically aren’t the best candidates, in general, ideal candidates are at least 18 years of age, have healthy eyes and have had a stable eye prescription for the past year.

After the preoperative exam, if you’re a good candidate, we’ll provide affordable pricing options that fit with your financial priorities. After that, we’ll help schedule your next appointment…so you can be on the road to better vision.

What To Expect After Your LASIK Procedure

While contact lenses are a popular vision correction treatment option for the most common vision problems, they come with their own unique drawbacks, limitations, and inconveniences. Contact lenses, especially, require significant daily maintenance, and not everyone wants to deal with the inconveniences of wearing contact lenses.

Whether you’re a long-time wearer tired of relying on contacts or you’re facing vision problems for the first time, know that there are other options available. LASIK eye surgery is available to treat the most common vision problems, and it may be a better solution for people who don’t want to deal with the maintenance, solutions, and cost of contact lenses.

LASIK Eye Surgery vs Contact Lenses

Contact lenses may seem like a convenient solution at first, but the process is much more complicated than popping your contacts in at the start of the day. If contact lenses aren’t properly maintained each day, there could be more serious consequences to your eye health. This is true whether you’re wearing traditional contact lenses, or extended wear contacts.

Even if you’re meticulous about contact lens maintenance, there is the cost of the contacts themselves, the cost of solutions, the constant risk of losing a contact lens, and the time required to maintain your contacts each day. These inconveniences may have you searching for a better solution.

Laser eye surgery procedures like LASIK may offer a number of advantages over wearing contact lenses for vision correction:

  • LASIK eye surgery is available to treat the most common vision problems, including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
  • While nobody can promise that you’ll never have to use glasses or contacts again, LASIK patients are often able to rely significantly less on vision correction devices after having the procedure.
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up without reaching for your glasses first thing, or dealing with daily contact lens maintenance? With the benefits of laser eye surgery, you’re free to reimagine your morning routine.
  • Same goes for taking trips, enjoying outdoor activities, or participating in your favorite athletic activities. It’s nice not to have to stress about your glasses or contact lenses.
  • Glasses and contact lenses can be expensive, both to purchase and maintain, especially when you wear them for many years. While LASIK does have a one-time cost, it’s nice not to worry about the constant, ongoing cost of contact lenses and supplies.
  • LASIK is also a quick, efficient procedure. It takes only about 15 minutes for both eyes, and you get to go home the same day. After surgery, you’ll have a series of check-ups at specific intervals to follow-up on your healing progress.
  • Advances in LASIK technology may mean that even if you were unable to have laser eye surgery in the past, there may be a procedure available today that is a better fit for your needs.

Schedule A Free LASIK Consultation At One of Our LASIK Vision Centers Near You!

If you’re tired of dealing with the drawbacks of vision correction devices like contact lenses, now is the time to learn more about LASIK eye surgery, and scheduling your free consultation at your local LASIK Vision Institute location is the perfect place to start.

During your consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with your LASIK team about your candidacy, learn all of the details about laser eye surgery, and get answers to all of your key questions.

LASIK Locations

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We’re located nationwide – it’s easy to find a LASIK Vision Center near you.

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When thinking about laser eye surgery, the cost of LASIK can seem intimidating, but luckily, it doesn’t have to be. Did you know that in addition to other LASIK financing options you can use FSA or HSA funds for the procedure?

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) Funds and LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery is one of the eligible medical expenses for your FSA, and using it can help alleviate some of the financial concerns associated with this procedure. Using an FSA will decrease your taxable income while increasing your spendable income to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. Since only a certain amount of unused FSA funds can rollover into March of the next year before you lose the funds, LASIK surgery is a great use of unused funds as the end of the year gets closer.

Using Your Health Savings Account (HSA) for LASIK Surgery

Your HSA can also be used to help cover the cost of LASIK eye surgery. By setting up an HSA, you can pay for elective medical services like LASIK and other laser eye surgery procedures while maximizing your tax savings. With an HSA, contributions from your employer are excluded from your gross income, and you can claim tax deductions from your personal contributions as well as ones made by anyone other than your employer. Additionally, contributions roll over each year until they are used, and any interest or other earnings on the HSA are tax free.

When you decide you’re ready for laser eye surgery, be sure to consider all of your LASIK savings options including FSA and HSA funds so that you can achieve better vision in a more affordable way.

Schedule A Free LASIK Consultation

LASIK Locations

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We’re located nationwide – it’s easy to find a LASIK Vision Center near you.

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