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Your Complete Guide to Preparing for LASIK

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Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, more commonly referred to as LASIK, is a popular and effective vision correction option that can eliminate your dependence on glasses or contacts. A LASIK procedure is designed to change the shape of your cornea, which addresses the root cause of your vision problems such as:

  • Astigmatism
  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness

Treatment can also correct presbyopia, an age-related issues that causes farsightedness due to a loss of lens elasticity.

If you haven’t considered LASIK before, now may be a great time to schedule your consultation at Mission Viejo Optometric Center. If you’ve already been approved for the procedure, there are a few things you need to know to get yourself prepared.

Preparation tips for LASIK

Though Dr. Lau provides comprehensive instructions to follow based on your individual needs, you can expect to prepare for your LASIK treatment in several ways.

Don’t wear contacts.

Because LASIK procedures target the cornea, you need to stop wearing contact lenses in the weeks leading up to your treatment to ensure your corneas are stable.

Soft contact wearers may need to stop contact use at least two weeks prior to LASIK, and those who wear hard lenses or gas permeable (GP) lenses should quit at least four weeks prior to treatment.

Schedule a ride.

Although your vision may be fine immediately after your treatment, you should still enlist the help of a friend or relative to drive you home safely.

For some, use of sedative medications may be necessary to complete the LASIK procedure, which also requires reliable transportation to and from the appointment.

Read through all instructions.

Dr. Lau provides comprehensive information prior to your LASIK procedure. Be sure to read through all necessary paperwork, so you’ll know what to expect on the day of your appointment.

To ensure you’re comfortable and ready to move forward, you should call our office in advance of your procedure to address any questions you have.

Ask about medications.

If you’re taking any medications, be sure to let Dr. Lau know the name and dosage amount during your consultation.

Though you can continue taking most medications in preparation of your LASIK procedure, you may need to stop taking some medications temporarily.

Wear no makeup.

On the day of your LASIK procedure, be sure to remove all existing makeup, and don’t apply any lotions or cosmetics around your eyes.

You should also leave all valuables safe at home, especially jewelry, so nothing gets lost.

Plan to rest.

LASIK treatment normally takes less than 30 minutes for both eyes. Soon after you’re done, you can go home to rest and allow your eyes to start the healing process.

Because your vision may not be perfect immediately after treatment, you should plan to have some downtime until you’re able to return to your usual activities.

Follow aftercare instructions.

Although there are no stitches to care for after LASIK, you will start using prescription eye drops to reduce swelling and prevent infection.

In addition to using the medicated drops, you also need to frequently use artificial tears to keep your eyes moistened and speed up your own natural healing process.

If you haven’t yet scheduled your LASIK consultation, schedule a consultation online or by phone today.


Written by Dr. Tanya Lau

Dr. Tanya Lau of Mission Viejo Optometric Center in Mission Viejo, California was born and raised in San Francisco and has been living in Southern California since 2012. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz and double majored in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and Psychology. She earned her doctorate in optometry at the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum in 2016. She completed her professional internships at Lawton Indian Health Hospital in Oklahoma, Palo Alto Veteran Affairs in California, and Camp Zama United States Armed Forces in Japan.
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