Frequently Asked Questions
Is laser vision correction permanent?
Yes, laser vision correction results in a permanent change to the shape of the cornea. However, laser vision correction will not prevent age-related conditions such as presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) or cataracts. Patients over the age of 40 may want to consider NearVision SM CK® or LASIK to correct one eye for near vision and one eye for distance vision, creating an effect known as monovision and helping to reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses.
Is laser vision correction safe?
Every surgical procedure carries some risk; however, serious complications with LASIK or PRK are extremely rare. The chance of having a vision-reducing complication is much less than one percent. Many of the risks and complications associated with these procedures can be eliminated or reduced through our careful patient selection process as well as thorough pre-operative testing with our state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.
You may experience some visual side effects after laser vision correction. These are usually mild and most often diminish a few days to a few weeks following your procedure. The most common side effects of laser vision correction are "halo" effect and some glare at night around lights. These are related to the area of treatment on the surface of the eye and the size of your pupil in dim lighting. However, these problems are usually no worse than those often experienced by contact lens and eyeglass wearers.
What can I expect my vision to be following laser vision correction?
The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce a patient’s dependence on corrective lenses, and we have been consistently successful in meeting this goal. However, no one can guarantee a result of 20/20 vision. Dr. Holzman will not perform laser vision correction on anyone we feel does not have a good possibility of achieving independence from glasses or contact lenses. Because of this and his refined skills, Dr Holzman has one of the lowest enhancement rates in the country. The vast majority of our patients are extremely happy with their results and can do most activities without dependence on corrective lenses after laser vision correction.
Are all laser centers the same?
No. Many of the discount laser centers feel that the experience of their surgeons, the type of laser and diagnostic technology they use, and follow-up care don't matter. At TLC Laser Eye Centers, Dr. Holzman wants you to make your decision very carefully because it will affect the way you see for the rest of your life. LASIK marketing can at times be misleading and knowing what to ask before moving forward can be to your great benefit. We encourage you to visit other laser centers and suggest you utilize our list of laser vision correction considerations to help you know what to look for in a laser center. We feel the more you know about us, the more confident you will feel about choosing Dr. Holzman and TLC Laser Eye Centers to be your laser vision correction provider. You may also consider attending one of our seminars or scheduling a complimentary consultation to learn more about your options.
What are the long-term effects of laser vision correction?
Laser vision correction procedures have been performed since 1987. The FDA has approved the use of the excimer laser in such procedures and recognized laser vision correction as being safe and effective for the treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism in eligible patients.
What about night vision?
There has been considerable news coverage about people having a difficult time driving at night after having laser vision correction. Night vision problems may include blurry vision, halos, starbursts, and glare around lights. Some of these can be caused by over-correction, under-correction, or residual astigmatism. These effects usually diminish as the eye heals (in the first three to six months following the procedure). The good news is that newer technology, such as custom wavefront treatments, have greatly diminished the risk of night vision problems.
Pupil size may be a cause of poor night vision. The pupil expands at night to allow more light to enter. If the pupil opens beyond the laser treatment area, the light may be blurry or out of focus. This is one of the reasons some patients are not good candidates for laser vision correction and reflects the importance of pre-operative testing. However, at TLC Laser Eye Centers, Dr. Holzman uses advanced laser technology which has expanded treatment zones, and patients that at one time were not candidates can now be successfully treated.
Will LASIK make my eyes dry?
Most patients experience temporary dry eye immediately following a LASIK procedure. Most often this is treated successfully with the use of artificial tears. The dry eye sensation usually clears up in eight to 12 weeks, except in some rare cases. The use of the IntraLase system, which Dr. Holzman utilizes, has been shown in studies to decrease the incidence of dry eyes.
Patients with dry eye may not be good candidates for LASIK unless they are treated for this condition both before and after surgery. This concern should be discussed this with Dr. Holzman during your pre-operative examination. Dr. Holzman has a conservative approach and is a firm believer in preventative care. He will pre-treat your eyes prior to surgery with special medications and treatments specifically designed for dry eyes. These have significantly reduced the incidence and impact of dry eye after Lasik for Dr. Holzman's patients.
Will laser vision correction hurt?
You will experience little or no discomfort during your procedure since anesthetic eye drops will be used to numb your eyes. Some patients experience mild discomfort or a slight pressure sensation during their procedure. It is common to have some eye irritation in the first few hours following your procedure. An over-the-counter pain medication or use of artificial tears will generally take care of this discomfort. Patients usually experience irritation for three to five days following a PRK procedure.
What if I move my eye during my procedure?
We use the most technologically advanced excimer laser that offers eye-tracking capabilities to continually reposition the laser beam during your procedure. The laser detects and then compensates for small movements of the eye by guiding the beam to keep it precisely centered over the treatment area.
Will both eyes be treated on the same day?
For most procedures, both eyes will be treated on the same day.
How long does the procedure take?
Since both eyes are usually treated during the same appointment, you will be in the laser suite for approximately 20 minutes. The surgery itself typically requires less than two minutes per eye.
When can I return to work and normal activities?
Most patients notice dramatic improvement within the first few days of the procedure and are able to drive a car and return to work within one to three days. Most LASIK patients see quite well the very next day. However, the speed of visual recovery ultimately depends on personal healing patterns. With PRK, the recovery time may be a little longer.
If you are wearing hard or gas permeable contacts, it is important that you remove them at least four weeks prior to your full pre-operative exam, and soft lenses should not be worn for at least two weeks prior to this exam. This is necessary to ensure that the curvature of your eye returns to its natural shape. After your evaluation, Dr. Holzman will provide you with specific instructions regarding how long you need to be out of your contacts prior to your procedure.
How do I determine if I am a candidate for laser vision correction?
Schedule a complimentary consultation at our office to determine if you are a good candidate for laser vision correction. You need to be over 18 years of age, and your eyeglass or contact lens prescription should not have changed in the last year. If you are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive, you should not have laser vision correction at this time. Your complimentary consultation with Dr. Holzman and TLC Laser Eye Centers will take approximately 45 minutes and during this time we will determine candidacy.
Will my insurance cover laser vision correction?
A few insurance companies do pay for all or part of vision correction procedures. You should check with your plan administrator, or we will be happy to make a copy of your insurance card and check coverage for you. Cafeteria or flex spending accounts are eligible for laser vision correction and can save you up to 50 percent by using pre-tax dollars.
Is there financing available?
Yes, we offer payment plans and competitive pricing to make laser vision correction more affordable. It is easy to apply online and receive credit approval before you schedule your appointment.
What is a fair price for laser vision correction?
The cost of vision correction varies among practices and it is only natural to want to get the best price. At TLC Laser Eye Centers, Dr. Holzman proudly provides the latest technology with competitive prices. There are many factors that determine fees, such as the experience of a surgeon, the technology available, and what the center includes in the fee. We are not the least expensive providers because we never sacrifice safety or compromise results to save you money. Please refer to our section on laser vision correction considerations for guidelines on how to choose a laser center that is right for you. After an examination to determine what procedures you are a candidate for and what degree of correction you need, we'll be able to give you an exact price.
Will I need reading glasses following LASIK or PRK Vision Correction?
You will only need to wear reading glasses (readers) following these procedures if you are over 40 years of age, and you have elected to have both your eyes fully corrected for distance vision only. These readers are available at your eye doctor's office or at the drug store and are simple magnifiers. All eyes weaken for reading as we age, this is a condition called Presbyopia, and it occurs in our 40's. It continues to worsen, so expect to need stronger readers as you get older. Your distance vision which has been corrected, should stay stable and sharp with age. It is only the reading component which changes with aging. Some patients elect to do a modification known as MONOVISION, and this can help reduce the need for readers, but also has a mild compromise in the overall image quality. It works because we correct the Dominant eye for sharp distance vision, and then correct the Non Dominant eye for some reading distance which is chosen. For more on MONOVISION options, click here. Be sure to ask the Doctor about this option at your exam.