LASIK surgery is a safe vision correction procedure that corrects refractive errors, which you probably know better by the terms myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. When you meet with a skilled eye doctor, you’ll be able to find out if LASIK is right for you or if another treatment option would be better for your unique vision correction needs.
Right now we’d like to focus on the topic of LASIK recovery, particularly the issue of infection. Many patients ask us questions about this very matter, so we want to go over it in some detail right now.
About LASIK Surgery
It helps to go over some of the basics regarding LASIK surgery first, which helps when it comes to addressing those concerns about infection.
LASIK surgery is a laser eye surgery that reshapes the cornea, which is the clear, frontal portion of the eye. This is accomplished by first making a small flap in the topmost layer of the cornea. Through this flap, a LASIK surgeon can reshape and recontour the cornea and improve the passage of light through the eye.
Is eye infection after LASIK a common problem?
It’s actually pretty rare as far as LASIK complications go, but there is always a small chance of it occurring. Even in the past when a physical instrument called a microkeratome was used to create the epithelial flap, infection was uncommon thanks to sound sterilization practices.
How Technology Has Reduced the Chance of Infection
Even though the microkeratome was safe, new advances in technology have led to the creation of bladeless LASIK. With bladeless LASIK, the flap in the cornea is created not with a physical tool but with a laser. There is no physical contact between an instrument and the eye, which means even less chance of infection. The laser is computer guided and very safe, meaning added accuracy and efficiency.
What You Can Do to Prepare for LASIK and Prevent Complications
Before you undergo LASIK, your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions for pre-operative and post-operative care. In terms of pre-operative care, we ask that patients avoid using eye makeup, facial lotions, and creams on the day of surgery in order to prevent potential infection and to ensure that the surgery runs smoothly.
Avoid Physical Contact with the Eyes
While recovering from LASIK surgery, patients will be asked to avoid rubbing or scratching their eyes to avoid potential infections. Patients should wear an eye shield as they sleep in order to prevent incidental and unconscious contact with the eyes as well.
Avoid Getting Water In the Eyes
Showers should also be avoided until otherwise noted as water in the eyes will boost chances of infection. The same goes for swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, and so on.
Avoid Facial Makeup and Creams
Makeup, facial lotions/creams, and anything else that might get into the eyes should be avoided for at least a week after LASIK to help prevent potential infections from through substances.
Avoid Smoky and Dusty Places
We also recommend that dusty or smoky environments be avoided until otherwise noted. This helps prevent irritants, particles or matter, and other substances from affecting the eyes.
Learn More About LASIK Surgery
There are probably other issues related to LASIK surgery that you would like to discuss. For more information about laser eye surgery and other eye care topics, be sure to contact our Oklahoma City laser vision correction center today. The entire team here looks forward to going over all of your options for vision correction in more detail.