A very thorough screening process helps determine whether patients are candidates for LASIK, and if not, alternative types of vision correction are offered. Dr. Holcomb believes that the best way to relax patients is to make sure they are well informed about their LASIK procedure. He and his staff tell patients what to expect before, during, and after, so there are no surprises.
There are certain health conditions or eye conditions that might disqualify you as a candidate, so at Eye Care Madison, we go through a careful list, a checklist of about 20 different criteria and we make sure that you meet all of the criteria. If there is even one that looks like it would put you at any increased risk for the surgery, then we usually tell you that you might not be a candidate and we offer some alternative vision correction methods.
So, we're very careful about trying to rule out any particular eye conditions or things that would, that might put you at an unusual risk. I have found that the best way to relax people is to have them be well informed so we tell them ahead of time exactly what to expect and what will happen through each step of the procedure, both pre-operatively and intra-operatively and then during the procedure, our staff is very good at talking to the patients. We're always communicating. There are never any surprises. We tell you exactly what's about to happen and walk you through the whole thing. And that really does more than anything, helps to calm people's fears.
As far as any pain sensation with Lasik, the surface of the eye is completely numb when we do this procedure with topical drops so there are no injections, no needles and people find it hard to believe that you can completely numb the eye with only an eye drop but it's true. You don't feel any pain with the procedure, there is a pressure sensation for about one minute during the creation of the flap and I tell patients that it's similar to closing your eyes and just pushing on your eyeball a little bit with your fingers like this. So, you get a little pressure sensation but it's not pain.
With Lasik, currently you can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism up to fairly large levels, now there is a limit to how much you can correct depending on certain factors with the patient but the only thing that we still don't know how to correct is near vision past about age 45. So, Lasik is still a distance correction mode to get people out of their glasses and contact lenses for athletic activities and driving and just having quality distance vision.
If you're less than 45 years old, normally you don't need readers yet, but the aging thing creeps in there gradually and we haven't quite got a cure for that yet. We're working on that. When it comes to your eyes, there's no substitute for experience and we have it.