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Undergoing laser eye surgery is a huge decision to make. It is not something you should take lightly since it involves having a qualified surgeon handle the procedure in a controlled setting and the use of specialized equipment and tools.
Since it is a delicate medical procedure, you need to study up on it to be fully informed and have peace of mind before, during, and after the surgery.
With this in mind, make it your priority to ask your surgeon the right questions before undergoing laser eye surgery in Dubai.
Essential Questions to Ask About Laser Eye Surgery
It can be easy to forget to ask the most important questions during your initial consultations with your eye surgeon.
Below are some of the crucial questions you shouldn’t forget to ask your specialist before undergoing laser eye surgery:
1. Am I eligible for laser eye surgery?
All ophthalmologists need to determine if a patient is suitable for laser eye surgery before recommending this procedure.
To know if you are a suitable candidate, you have to undergo a comprehensive eye test that your surgeon will administer.
The exam usually includes measuring the shape and thickness of your cornea and evaluating your pupil size, eye lubrication, intraocular pressure, and an accurate refraction.
Your surgeon will also factor in your medical history and any health conditions you have. If you have an eye injury or disease, diabetes, or an autoimmune illness, you may not be eligible for laser eye surgery.
During your first consultation, ask your surgeon which tests you have to undergo to determine your eligibility and when you have to undertake them.
2. What does laser eye surgery involve?
When you undergo laser eye surgery, a thin layer of the front of your eye will be lifted. Laser is then applied to this exposed part to reshape the cornea.
There are different types of laser eye surgery. These include:
- LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis)
- LASEK (laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy)
- PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)
These procedures aim to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
Your surgeon should be able to explain the steps involved in each procedure and recommend the most suitable one that will correct your vision problem based on the results of your eye exams and medical history.
3. How long does the surgery take?
During the day of the surgery, you will likely be in the actual treatment room for around 20 minutes.
The laser will be applied to your eyes for only several seconds.
However, plan on being in the clinic on the day of your surgery for two to three hours since your doctor will discuss the important aftercare tips and steps with you. You also have to undergo a pre- and post-surgery checkup.
Additionally, you need to spend some time in the recovery room to recuperate after the surgery.
4. Is the surgery painful?
LASIK, LASEK, and the other types of laser eye surgeries are relatively painless since numbing or anesthetic drops will be instilled on the eyes before and during the procedure.
Because of this, you won’t feel any significant or intolerable pain and discomfort during the surgery.
Some patients may feel uncomfortable pressure from the eyelid holder used to prevent them from blinking. This can also be reduced when numbing and lubricating drops are used on the eyes.
After the surgery, you may experience some mild discomfort, which usually lasts for five hours in the case of LASIK surgery. This is one of the main reasons why you shouldn’t drive after undergoing the procedure.
In LASEK or PRK surgery, the discomfort may last longer than 6 hours, and this will be explained to you. A bandage contact lens will be applied to protect the healing surface of the cornea after the surgery.
You can reduce this discomfort by following your doctor’s aftercare tips, which include using the prescribed eye drops on schedule, not getting soap and water in your eyes, and avoiding smoking and makeup for at least two weeks.
5. What can I expect after the surgery?
Laser eye surgery comes with certain side effects. You have to know them beforehand so that you can prepare for them well.
These side effects include:
- Frequent tearing
- Dry eye syndrome
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
As mentioned, you may also feel some discomfort and there is a minimal risk of eye infection. You can reduce these side effects by using the antibiotic eye drop medicine your doctor prescribed.
After the procedure, and the healing process, you will have clearer vision and you can start reducing your reliance on your eyeglasses or contacts to see clearly.
You can experience this change and minimize the side effects within a few days after the surgery if you follow your surgeon’s post-op advice and have a strong immune system.
Lastly, expect to see your doctor several times after the surgery so that they can check the recovery of your eyes and the condition of your vision.
6. What is your background in laser eye surgery?
Lastly, you want to get reassurance that an experienced, qualified specialist will perform the surgery.
You can feel more confident and reduce your worries regarding the procedure by asking your surgeon about their background.
Ask your surgeon about their qualifications, training, and experience in performing laser eye surgery. Take the time to verify their credentials by looking them up online.
If your specialist has been performing the procedure for at least three years and constantly undergoes relevant training, you can be confident that you’re in good hands.
Undergoing laser eye surgery can be a life-changing decision since it can improve your eyesight and lifestyle significantly.
Because of these reasons, learn as many things as you can about the procedure to prepare for it. You can get accurate, reliable information straight from your eye specialist.
Dr. Millicent M. Grim, Specialist Ophthalmologist & LASIK Specialist, is the Medical Director of the former Gulf Eye Center in Dubai.
Since 2002, Gulf Eye Center’s highly qualified ophthalmologists and optometrists/ODs have been successfully treating a wide range of eye conditions using advanced techniques. They have recently moved to GULF EYE DOCTORS, and also provide comprehensive eye care and vision restoration procedures for people of all ages.