Just Breathe! LASIK and PRK Tyson's Corner, Virginia By Kristina Oneill on April 22, 2013

Why is it that everyone is so into the practice of yoga?  I attended a hot yoga class this weekend and found myself annoyed by all of the over exaggerated breathing people were doing!  However, half way through the class as the poses became more difficult and I was boiling from the room temperature, I found myself realizing that by holding my breath, I was tensing up and was unable to twist and mold into the yoga poses.  Many people breathe poorly, often holding their breath when undergoing something that is uncomfortable or unknown.   


It makes me also think of my children who freak out and tense up every time I take them to the doctor for a physical because they are young and get shots.  By holding their breath and reacting in that way, it hurts even before a needle is introduced, they move and resist, reducing the control of needle placement, and they flush, increasing blood circulation to the face and therefore the risk of bruising.  


The same concept holds true when it comes to having LASIK and PRK.  Patients who tell themselves “just breath normally” on the other hand, have less discomfort during the procedure because they are not fighting against what Dr. Holzman is doing.  Patients who continue to breathe calmly complete their procedure with ease. 


Breathing comes in handy in life in general!  An ever-increasing amount of research shows that the practice of conciouse breathing is extremely effective in reducing anxiety.  I watch patients get themselves so worked up and anxious before their LASIK or PRK procedure that they hold there breath and they experience discomfort.  Some patients almost faint from holding there breath!  So, the lesson here is just breathe.  Embrace the experience of the procedure and do not let your mind and anxiety get he best of you!  Correcting your vision is a simple procedure when you are in the hands of a skilled surgeon.  You are an active participant.  Once you have made the life changing decision to have LASIK or PRK, remember, do not hold your breath!  Just breath.

Dr. Andrew Holzman

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS, is one of the most well-respected ophthalmologists in the greater Washington, DC, area. He is regularly sought out by professional athletes, media personalities, and other doctors for laser eye surgery. Dr. Holzman is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American College of Surgeons
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • The American Medical Association
  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery

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