LASIK is an elective procedure, which means the choice to have it is yours. One of the most important steps in choosing to have LASIK is making sure you are a good candidate for the procedure and determining whether it will fit your lifestyle and personality.
Here are some suggestions from the American Refractive Surgery Council on what to do to find out if you’re a good candidate for LASIK.
First, think about the reasons you want to have your vision corrected.
LASIK is a very good vision correction choice for many people, but it isn’t right for everyone. Ask yourself what you want out of a vision correction procedure. For instance, are you active and find glasses or contacts inconvenient? Are you struggling with reading glasses and looking for a more permanent solution to correct your vision? Asking yourself these types of questions will help you figure out what you are looking to achieve by having LASIK surgery.
Second, thoroughly research LASIK so you not only know what the procedure is – and what it is not.
Learn about the procedure, find out about recovery, risks and most importantly, if it fits with your expectations. Use authoritative medical websites like WebMD and AllAboutVision and medical organizations including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery to learn about the procedure. Facebook and other social networks are great for asking friends and followers about their LASIK experiences. Online forums and message boards are another resource to hear about other people’s opinions about LASIK.
If you’re curious about how the surgery is performed, you can check out surgery videos on YouTube or Vimeo. These videos of actual procedures can be very instructive (although be warned that they can be graphic).
Third, and most important step, is to find a highly qualified ophthalmologist
Get referrals from friends and family members who have had LASIK or other vision correction procedures. Your personal physician and optometrist may have recommendations as well. You should find a refractive surgeon who is board-certified and experienced (i.e., has performed thousands of LASIK procedures).
Then schedule a consultation. Many refractive surgeons offer free consultations to people considering LASIK.