Are you sick and tired of wearing glasses and contact lenses? There may be another way if you qualify as a LASIK candidate.
LASIK surgery can change your life by giving you clear vision without needing to burden yourself with glasses or contact lenses. The procedure is low-risk and highly effective.
Did you know 96% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better after having LASIK? But one of the things that people want to know is when you get LASIK, how long does it take to see results?
While improvement isn’t always immediate, most patients instantly see visual improvement after the procedure. However, this does depend on the patient.
Your vision will only continue improving in the weeks and months after LASIK. Keep reading to learn more about LASIK and what it means for your vision as it improves!
How Does LASIK Work?
To understand how fast your vision can improve, you should first know what LASIK is and how it works. LASIK is a laser vision correction procedure that corrects refractive errors.
These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Refractive errors occur due to the shape of the cornea, which is the outer, clear part of your eye.
Your eyes work by sensing light that passes through them. The cornea refracts that light, bending it so it hits the back of your eye, where the retina translates that light into impulses sent to the brain.
Light doesn’t refract the right way when you have refractive errors. As a result, what you see will appear blurry or distorted at certain distances.
LASIK permanently changes the shape of your cornea by removing a tiny amount of tissue with a laser. Light can refract through it as intended by changing how your cornea operates.
Reshaping the cornea is what corrects your refractive error. Undergoing LASIK is a simple, outpatient procedure that only takes a few minutes per eye.
There’s no general anesthesia necessary, meaning you can go home after it’s over. You’ll have your eyes numbed with eye drops to prevent pain during the procedure.
Why LASIK is Different
LASIK is different from other refractive laser eye surgeries because it involves creating a flap in the cornea before reshaping it. Your LASIK surgeon at New England Eye Center will lift the flap and then use a pre-programmed excimer laser to remove a precise amount of corneal tissue under the flap.
After completing LASIK, they will put the flap back into place, where it acts as a natural bandage while the eye heals. It doesn’t need sutures to stay in place as it will eventually fuse back to the rest of your cornea.
Initial Recovery After Having LASIK
Because of how LASIK works, patients can see results after a very short period. This is much quicker than other refractive procedures like PRK.
The corneal flap keeps the tender, healing part of your eye covered. It also keeps the surface of your cornea untouched.
Because of this, many patients often see visual improvement right away. For some, this is within days or even only a few hours after having LASIK.
It may take longer for some patients to see improvement than others, but almost all LASIK patients notice a difference in their vision within the first week or so of recovery.
Recovery from LASIK surgery isn’t something that takes a long time. On the first day of having the procedure, you’ll want to take it easy.
But after this, you can start returning to many of your day-to-day activities. Many patients feel well enough to work the day after LASIK.
As the numbing eye drops wear off, much of the initial discomfort won’t last. If you use eye drops and take over-the-counter pain medication as necessary, you may start feeling better after a few hours.
Patients must refrain from certain activities for about two weeks to avoid infection. After this initial period, they can resume most activities.
However, even though you’ll feel like you’re back to normal, your eyes are not fully healed after this period. Patients also won’t have their best vision, as they’ll only see a slight improvement at first.
But once your eyes finish healing, you’ll experience the final results of LASIK.
Full Recovery After Having LASIK
While you can return to your normal activities after the initial recovery, it takes more time for your eyes to heal and adjust after having LASIK. Your eyes will feel fine during this period.
Your vision will only continue to improve. Full recovery from LASIK takes three to six months. As the corneal flap eventually fuses back with the rest of your eye, your vision will stabilize and reach its peak once fully recovered.
During this time, you’ll have follow-up appointments with your LASIK surgeon. These appointments ensure your eyes continue healing and improving.
Once you reach your peak vision and have stopped healing after LASIK, your new and improved vision will last. After all, LASIK is a permanent procedure.
Before having LASIK, you need a stable prescription to ensure your vision won’t change after LASIK. Getting LASIK will not stand in the way of developing age-related eye conditions like cataracts or presbyopia.
It can also only treat refractive errors. LASIK is a permanent procedure with excellent long-term outcomes. There’s a reason LASIK surgery is so popular and has such a high rate of patient satisfaction, and that’s because the results last.
You may see improvement immediately after getting LASIK, but your vision will only continue improving. The long-term outcomes of this vision correction procedure are ultimately worth the wait. LASIK can give you your best vision while providing visual freedom.
Want to learn more? Book a LASIK consultation today at New England Eye Center in Boston, MA, to find out if LASIK is right for you!