LASIK FAQs

The following are answers to frequently asked questions provided to help you better understand the LASIK eye surgery procedures offered at our Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia area practice locations.

Am I a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery?
Individuals with myopia, astigmatism, or hyperopia can enjoy the benefits of LASIK eye surgery. LASIK is available to individuals with a wide range of prescriptions. Candidates for LASIK eye surgery are over 21 years old and in good health. LASIK candidates should have realistic expectations of the potential outcome for their prescription. Ocular conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts may be contraindications for LASIK. Certain medical conditions such as uncontrolled rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes are also contraindications for LASIK eye surgery. Nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism can all be corrected with laser vision surgery. To provide patients with a successful outcome, the surgeons at Eye Doctors of Washington limit the correction to:

  • Myopia (-0.50 to -10.00 diopters)
  • Hyperopia (+0.50 to +4.50 diopters)
  • Astigmatism (+0.50 to +5.0 diopters with myopia or +3.0 diopters with hyperopia)

To help patients determine whether they are LASIK eye surgery candidates, EDOW provides complimentary screenings, which include diagnostic testing, educational videos, and discussion of refractive alternatives.

Why is Eye Doctors of Washington my clear choice for laser vision correction?
Eye Doctors of Washington offers extraordinary care by surgeons who are recognized experts in the field of ophthalmology. Our physicians have performed thousands of procedures. Eye Doctors of Washington surgeons have authored numerous scientific articles and are invited guest lecturers at national and international meetings, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • Washington Hospital Center
  • Washington Optometric Society

Eye Doctors of Washington surgeons were involved in the clinical studies that led to U.S. FDA approval of the LASIK eye surgery, PRK, and Intacs® procedures.

What other refractive procedures are offered by Eye Doctors of Washington?
Although LASIK eye surgery is the most common refractive surgery procedure performed in the United States today, not everyone is a candidate for LASIK. Other refractive procedures are currently available and exciting new refractive developments are anticipated.In addition to LASIK eye surgery, EDOW offers the following refractive procedures:

How long have Eye Doctors of Washington surgeons been performing LASIK eye surgery?
Our surgeons were involved in the clinical trials that led to the FDA approval of LASIK, PRK and Intacs®. They have been performing laser vision correction since 1994! They have trained thousands of surgeons in the latest techniques of refractive surgery.
Can Eye Doctors of Washington predict my results?
LASIK eye surgery has been performed in the United States for approximately 20 years with excellent results. The vast majority of patients with low to moderate myopia realize better than 20/40 vision, the vision standard by which most states test vision for operating a motor vehicle. Most patients achieve 20/20 vision or better. Periodically, an enhancement is needed to improve the initial LASIK outcome.
I only wear glasses for reading. Can I still have LASIK eye surgery?
An ocular condition called presbyopia generally occurs in individuals between the ages of 40 and 50 and is responsible for increased difficulty in reading small print. Inside the eye, a change in the natural crystalline lens results in presbyopia. Because LASIK does not treat the lens inside the eye, LASIK cannot correct this condition. Many patients with presbyopia elect to have LASIK eye surgery using a correction called monovision. With a monovision correction, one eye receives a full distance correction and the other eye receives a lesser correction enabling the patient to have great near vision. Dr. Clinch had monovision correction and loves it! Eye Doctors of Washington doctors will gladly assist you in determining if monovision is a good choice for you.
Will I need reading glasses after LASIK eye surgery?
Many patients over 40 years old who receive LASIK eye surgery to treat their distance vision will need reading glasses for close vision. This is a condition called presbyopia, in which the lens of the eye progressively weakens, making it more difficult to read small print. However, monovision is a great alternative. Monovision allows patients to see distant objects with one eye and to read with the other eye. The choice of monovision is individual and can be based on a prior record of success with monovision contact lenses. Your physician at Eye Doctors of Washington will fully discuss these options with you.
Will I feel anything during my procedure?
Prior to LASIK eye surgery, topical anesthetic eye drops will be administered to numb your eye so that you will not experience pain during the procedure. You may experience a sensation of pressure on the eye when the surgeon when the surgeon creates the LASIK flap. Neither the creation of the flap nor the laser causes pain.Some patients report a scratching or burning sensation after their procedure. We recommend that you take a short nap after returning home. After several hours these feelings will subside.
Do I need follow up care?
Eye Doctors of Washington’s fees include one year of follow up care. Post-op visits are done at one day, one to two weeks, one to two months, and as needed.
What is a LASIK enhancement?
Our goal is to provide you with the best vision possible. Although the vast majority of LASIK patients enjoy 20/20 vision, occasionally a LASIK re-treatment is recommended to improve the vision. Fast recovery is typical for LASIK eye surgery patients, with each individual healing at different rates. Most patients achieve good vision quickly, with continuing improvements over the next month or two. Given the unique nature of healing patterns and rates, recovery times vary. Your vision will be checked at frequent intervals and, if necessary and desired, an enhancement will be recommended to give improved results.
What are the risks of LASIK eye surgery?
Patients should understand that LASIK eye surgery is a surgical procedure and like all surgical procedures, carries the potential for complications. Approximately one million laser vision procedures are performed each year. LASIK is now one of the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States. To date, no long-term consequences have been attributed to LASIK. Most complications resolve within several months and do not result in long-term interference with vision. The overall complication rate with LASIK has been demonstrated to diminish with surgeon experience. Numerous studies from around the world have carefully looked at the long-term effects of LASIK eye surgery. In the hands of experienced surgeons, complications occur in less than 1 percent of patients. For a complete list of possible complications, please read the LASIK consent form.
Will I have both eyes done the same day?
Due to the high level of success associated with LASIK, bilateral LASIK procedures are most commonly performed. Patients should be counseled regarding the advantages and disadvantages of correcting one eye at a time.
Is LASIK eye surgery covered by insurance?
Most insurance companies consider LASIK eye surgery an elective procedure. For this reason, LASIK is not usually a covered expense. In some instances, specific insurers may cover LASIK eye surgery in whole or in part. Eye Doctors of Washington will gladly provide you with any information needed in these instances.
Does Eye Doctors of Washington provide financing?
Eye Doctors of Washington is glad to furnish convenient patient financing through Wells Fargo. Please visit our financing page for more information.
What is Wavefront Optimized technology?
Wavefront optimized technology uses advanced optics to correct your vision. The result is a decrease in higher-order optical aberrations like glare and haloes. This is why significant problems with glare and halos are so rare with modern LASIK.

If you have additional questions or would like more information about LASIK eye surgery offered by our surgeons, contact Eye Doctors of Washington today.

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