LASIK is an elective procedure, which means the choice to have it is yours. If you are thinking about LASIK, one of the most important steps is making sure you are a good candidate for the procedure and determining whether it will fit your lifestyle and personality.
Should I Get LASIK?
Here are some suggestions from the Refractive Surgery Council on what to do to find out if you’re a good candidate for LASIK.
- Why do you want to have your vision corrected?
- Thoroughly research LASIK
- Find a qualified ophthalmologist
1. Why do you want to have your vision corrected?
LASIK is a very good vision correction choice for many people, but it isn’t right for everyone. Ask yourself what you want out of a vision correction procedure. For instance, are you active and find glasses or contacts inconvenient? Are you struggling with reading glasses and looking for a more permanent solution to correct your vision? While thinking about your vision correction options, asking yourself these types of questions will help you figure out what you are looking to achieve by having surgery.
2. Thoroughly research LASIK so you not only know what the procedure is – and what it is not
Learn about the procedure, how LASIK works, recovery, risks, and most importantly, if it fits with your expectations. Use authoritative medical websites like the Mayo Clinic and All About Vision and medical organizations including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery to learn about the procedure. Facebook and other social networks are great for asking friends and followers about their experiences. Online forums and message boards are other resources to hear other people’s opinions about LASIK.
If you’re curious about how the surgery is performed, you can check out surgery videos on YouTube or Vimeo. These videos of actual procedures can be very instructive (although be warned that they can be graphic).
3. Find a highly qualified ophthalmologist
Get referrals from friends and family members who have had vision correction procedures. Your personal physician and optometrist may have recommendations as well. You should find a LASIK surgeon who is board-certified and experienced (i.e., has performed thousands of LASIK procedures).
LASIK referrals: Do you need a referral for LASIK?
You do not need a referral for LASIK surgery. Your chosen opthalmologist in your initial consultation will conduct a thorough eye exam to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. If you have an eye doctor that you regularly visit, they are able to give you a referral if they determine that surgery could be a good fit for you.
Then schedule your LASIK consultation. Many refractive surgeons offer free consultations.