Struggling to see, but hate the idea of having to wear glasses or contacts? Then it might be time for LASIK surgery. LASIK has become extremely popular because it’s a simple, fast, and efficient procedure that improves near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and even astigmatism – but there are a few things to consider. Here are six top pointers to keep in mind before making that Singapore eye centre appointment. If all boxes are ticked, then LASIK could be the answer to improved, unaided vision.
1. Stable Prescription A potential LASIK candidate needs to have a prescription (also known as a refraction status) that has remained unchanged in the last year; eyesight that’s deteriorated within a year means that LASIK might not be an option. If the prescription is stable, then the ophthalmologist will do a complete eye exam to confirm if LASIK is right. And if it isn’t, to see what options are best.
2. Age and Eyesight LASIK can only be done on people older than 18, as the eyes change too drastically before that age. Over 18, then a potential candidate needs to have eyesight that’s in an acceptable range – a prescription that’s too high will disqualify a candidate. At a Singapore eye centre appointment, an ophthalmologist will be able to determine suitability through a full pre-LASIK eye exam, which will also involve a computerised assessment of the corneal surface, as well as the cornea shape and structure.
3. Realistic Expectations Those wanting LASIK will need to know that it’s not a cure-all, but, if the refractive status isn’t severe, then the surgery is usually able to fully correct vision. But if the refractive state is severe, then the effects of LASIK will be minimal. When it comes to LASIK surgery, it’s wise to keep an open mind and be realistic before making an appointment with an eye centre. But, it’s worth noting that LASIK is suitable for around 70% of people, and those who aren’t candidates for LASIK might be able to have other types of laser eye surgery, like PRK or LASEK.
4. General Health Pregnant women can’t have LASIK due to hormonal changes affecting eyesight, while for certain eye conditions, like cataracts or keratoconus, LASIK can’t be an option. Also, any eye injuries or infections (even infections that aren’t just eye-specific) need to be mentioned before the surgery. Diabetes and any eye diseases also rule out LASIK.
5. Minimal Risk Although LASIK only takes about 10 minutes and is incredibly safe, there are a few risks involved – like with any surgery. It’s pretty common to have dry eyes after having LASIK, but this usually goes away after about a month. There could also be potential night-vision issues (like seeing ‘halos’), but if this does happen, it usually lessens after about four months. In a rare percentage of people (about 2%), under- or over-correction can occur, but this can usually be corrected three months post-LASIK.
6. Affordability For good LASIK candidates, money needs to be part of the picture. Unfortunately, LASIK is considered a cosmetic, elective procedure, and is not covered by Singaporean government medical insurance. Some personal insurance providers do cover it, so check with them first.
LASIK is a hassle-free and minimal risk procedure that takes mere minutes, resulting in glasses-free vision. Recovery time is short: most people are back at work the next day, and a full recovery of the cornea takes only a month. There’ll be a few standard follow-up appointments, and a handful of people may experience minor short-term side effects. Contact a Singapore eye care centre to make an appointment; visual freedom is definitely worth every dollar!