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Are You Put to Sleep For LASIK?

One of the top questions we receive here at Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center when it comes to the anticipation of LASIK surgery is “are you put to sleep for LASIK?” Some patients are hopeful they will be awake for the procedure and can avoid sedation of any kind; others are unsure about keeping their eyes open as the laser successfully improves their vision. 

LASIK is a popular refractive eye surgery performed with a laser that is designed and programmed to reshape the cornea to improve myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. A misshapen cornea is what causes these refractive errors. The cornea is the top, outermost layer of the eye and the lens is the flexible tissue behind the iris. These 2 parts of the eye bend light on to the retina sending signals to the brain to interpret the images you see. LASIK seeks to correct any abnormalities, such as blurred vision, that result from the misshapen cornea. Patients are surprised to learn that although the laser has a big job to do in correcting these refractive errors, the laser only spends about 30-60 seconds on each eye. The entire LASIK procedure is usually performed in 30 minutes. Patients are not put to sleep during the surgery. Rest assured, you will not feel any pain because the LASIK procedure begins with the ophthalmologist numbing the eyes with eye drops. Other aspects of the surgery include using an eyelid holder to help keep the eye from moving or blinking, programming the laser with your specific measurements, creating a flap in the cornea, reshaping of the cornea with the laser, and folding down the flap of tissue so that the eye can heal. 

After LASIK eye surgery, you will likely want to sleep and rest your eyes. You will be given a shield to wear that covers the eyes as they heal and as a deterrent from touching the eyes as the corneas heal. LASIK has a very high satisfaction rate with over 95% of patients happy with their results. Vision typically improves to 20/20 or 20/40 without the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses.  For more frequently asked questions and to learn if LASIK is right for you, schedule your appointment with Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center by calling 815-240-0795 or filling out our request form at WEBSITE.