It is normal – even common – for LASIK patients to be nervous before their procedure. Most are experiencing an eye procedure for the first time and may find the process and technology intimidating.
LASIK patients worry about a number of things, warranted or not: lack of control, fear of the unknown, being awake for surgery, not being in control or other concerns. Here are things you can do to tamp down any anxiety about LASIK for a better experience.
Two common fears patients have about LASIK are pain and mishaps. They worry that surgery will hurt, or that they’ll blink during the procedure, sending the LASIK laser off course. Thanks to safeguards built into laser eye surgery procedures and equipment, Modern LASIK is considered a very safe and comfortable procedure.
First, gentle numbing eye drops applied by the surgeon before LASIK will prevent you from feeling anything during vision correction. This is true even if you sneeze or blink during surgery. That’s because your surgeon will use a gentle eyelid tool to prevent blinking. Plus, the surgical laser will be equipped with a sophisticated system that tracks the tiniest movements of the eye. This tracker works in conjunction with the surgical laser to automatically offset these movements, or even temporarily stop the laser, to achieve precise correction of refractive errors. Bottom line – the laser is faster than your eyes are!
The more a LASIK patient knows about LASIK surgery, usually the better off they are. Ask your LASIK eye surgeon specific questions, particularly on topics of concern for you. The doctor will arm you with helpful information and advice, and help you plan ahead to address potential anxiety.
LASIK surgeons require patients to have a ride from the surgical center on the day of surgery. If anxiety is an issue for you, bring along someone you feel is good at keeping you on an even keel. Whether they soothe you with an air of calm or distract you with razor-sharp wit, they’ll keep you from getting too much inside your own head before surgery.
In your quiet moments – such as the brief time in the waiting room – take a moment for calming breaths. Close your eyes, then inhale deeply for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and exhale for 5 seconds. Clear your head and just focus on slow, controlled breathing.
Your eye surgeon is as invested in a good surgical experience as you are, so let the doctor know if you need a little extra help to soothe jangled nerves. The surgeon can provide a low dose of anti-anxiety medication such as diazepam (Valium) a few minutes ahead of time, so you’re relaxed when you need to be.
In conclusion, it’s important to note that one of the most common statements we hear after LASIK is, “Wow, that’s it? It’s over?” Don’t be afraid to address your fears with your LASIK eye surgeon. We’re here to guide you through the best possible experience and visual outcome.
Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients attain freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a LASIK consultation or visit MissouriEye.com to learn more about our services.
Very professional and friendly. I have been here twice in the last two years and I would highly recommend them to anyone.
Staff was informative and caring. They explained what to expect at every step of the procedure. Lots of caring and information.
The entire staff at MEI was very kind and professional. I highly recommend them for your eye care. Very friendly!