Are you thinking of getting corrective eye surgery but need a bit more information about the basics?
According to the National Institute of Health, 6% of Americans (14 million people) are visually impaired. A staggering 11 million of these people live with uncorrected sight which CAN be corrected with the use of glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Corrective eye surgery is just one of the many tools that doctors are now using to help those with vision problems. Barring any unforeseen incidences, the majority of corrective eye surgeries are successful. This success has helped elevate the procedure and has seen thousands of people opt to get the surgery.
However, before you decide on getting the surgery, here are a few basic things that you need to know first.
1. Know Which Eye Surgery Procedure You’ve Been Booked For
There are different corrective eye surgery procedures that are now being carried out across the world.
The most common are LASIK laser surgery and PRK laser surgery. However, here is a list of different corrective eye sur
geries that can be performed depending on the condition of your eyes:
- Cataract surgery
- Corneal transplant
- Conductive keratoplasty
- Glaucoma surgery
If your ophthalmologist has indicated that you need surgery, make sure you understand just what the surgery is all about. Ask as many questions as you can about the procedure. If you can, read up on the procedure as well. Address all your concerns with the doctor in question before setting a date for the surgery.
2. Get a Second Opinion
In 2010, approximately 800,000 refractive surgical procedures to correct short- and long-sight eye problems were performed. Each year the number of procedures being done keeps increasing. This also means that there are more and more qualified doctors on hand to give you a second opinion before going under the knife. It’s imperative that you trust the doctor who is going to be performing your surgery. They have to be the best, because complications during surgery could very well lead to permanent loss of vision.
3. How to Prepare for Your Eye Surgery
Give your doctor all your medical records before the surgery so they have a chance to look over everything. Usually a local anesthetic is used to numb the eye during surgery. Your doctor needs to know what you’re allergic to, in order to avoid adverse reactions to any medication used during the surgery.
Furthermore, you should also stop wearing eye makeup prior to your surgery, because residual eye makeup can increase the chances of infection post-surgery. If you are in the habit of wearing contact lenses, stop wearing them as well and switch instead to glasses in the days before your surgery.
Also, avoid using any perfumed creams and lotions near your eye area in the days leading up to the surgery. If you live by yourself and don’t have anyone to take care of you after the surgery, ensure that you have organized a caregiver to come and look after you post-surgery.
4. Post-Surgery Care
Arrange for someone to be there for you post-surgery, be it a friend, a family member, or a caregiver. You’ll need to sleep off the sedative and also shield your eyes from any lights and sun glare so make sure you’ve bought a pair of sunglasses ahead of time. You will not be allowed to drive on the day you have your surgery. It may even be a few weeks before the doctor gives you a go-ahead to resume driving again.
The day you get surgery, you should ideally keep your eyes closed the rest of the day. You need to rest your eyes. Many people underestimate just how difficult this is. To put this into perspective, this means you’re not allowed to use your smartphone, your laptop, watch TV, or do any reading. So how will you keep yourself occupied? It’s recommended that you download several podcasts or books in advance and have your caregiver play them for you until you sleep.
Preparation is Crucial
When it comes to surgery, knowing what you’re going in for, preparing yourself mentally and physically will help you get through it as best as you can. Also having someone looking out for you post-surgery will help you get back onto your feet as soon as possible. Armed with these eye surgery basics, you’re ready to head in for your operation.