Open mobile navigation

LASIK Eye Surgery FAQ

Q. How do I know if I am a candidate for refractive surgery?
Q. Is the surgery safe?
Q. How many people have had refractive surgery performed?
Q. What age patients are candidates for refractive surgery?
Q. When can I go back to work?
Q. Will I need reading glasses after surgery?
Q. What is monovision?
Q. Does insurance cover refractive surgery?
Q: Which laser is the best for treating my refractive error?
Q: Can you send me more information or respond to my concern?
Q: How can I find out if a particular laser has been approved to treat my refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmastism)?
Q: Which laser is the best for treating my refractive error?
Q: How does wavefront LASIK compare to conventional LASIK?
Q: What percentage of patients attain 20/20 vision or better without glasses or contacts?

Q. How do I know if I am a candidate for refractive surgery?

A. Candidates for refractive surgery should be 18 years or older, have had stable vision, have healthy eyes and a refractive problem
within the range of effective treatment.

Q. Is the surgery safe?

A. There are risks associated with all surgical procedures. Refractive surgery in the hands of the experienced surgeon is associated with minimal risk. Although this risk is small (about the same as the risk associated with extended-wear contact lenses), all patients should be well informed of the risks of surgery and follow their post-operative instructions carefully. That educational process is what the consultation is all about.

Q. How many people have had refractive surgery performed?

A. Over two million Americans have had refractive surgery to improve their natural vision. Millions more around the world have also had refractive surgery.

Q. What age patients are candidates for refractive surgery?

A. The surgery is generally not recommended for anyone under 18 years of age. There is no upper age limit as long as you have "healthy" eyes.

Q. When can I go back to work?

A. Most patients are back to work the next day after Lasik surgery and between one to four days after PRK surgery.

Q. Will I need reading glasses after surgery?

A. Most patients under 40 years of age read well without glasses following surgery. Nearly all patients, as they enter their early 40’s, require reading glasses or bifocals.This is also true for patients who have had refractive surgery (unless you choose the monovision option).

Q. What is monovision?

A. Monovision is a method of correcting your vision so that one eye is corrected for distance and the other for near vision in presbyopic patients (patients over 40 years of age). This can potentially can eliminate the need for reading glasses and distance glasses. You need to discuss this further with your doctor to find out if you are a good candidate.

Q. Does insurance cover refractive surgery?

A. Select insurance companies and some cafeteria plan programs will sometimes cover refractive surgery. You should check with your insurance carrier or employer prior to consultation.

Q: Which laser is the best for treating my refractive error?

A: The FDA approves the safety and effectiveness of a device independent of any other product and does not provide comparisons between
refractive lasers. Two of the most significant advances in the field of refractive surgery were the introduction of the IntraLase femtosecond laser to perform LASIK flaps and the ability to perform “wavefront based” or customized surgery. You should discuss any questions concerning the medical devices used in a particular procedure with your doctor.

Q: Can you send me more information or respond to my concern?

A: Please go to our special reports by clicking here. You may also use the contact form to submit a question and we will refer you to a doctor to answer your question.

The following Frequently-Asked-Questions are provided courtesy of the FDA.

Q: How can I find out if a particular laser has been approved to treat my refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism)?

A: You can find approved devices, their approval date, and a synopsis of the approved indications on the FDA-APPROVED LASERS page

Q: How does wavefront LASIK compare to conventional LASIK?

A: Wavefront adds an automatic measurement of more subtle distortions (called higher order aberrations) than just nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism corrected by conventional LASIK. However, these “higher order aberrations” account for only a small amount (probably no more than 10%) of the total refractive error of the average person’s eye. Conventional LASIK increases higher order aberrations. Although wavefront-guided treatments attempt to eliminate higher order aberrations, results from the clinical studies have shown that the average aberrations still increase, but less than they do after conventional LASIK. In a few studies comparing wavefront-guided LASIK to conventional LASIK, a slightly larger percentage of subjects treated with wavefront LASIK achieved 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses compared to subjects treated with conventional LASIK. Patient selection (“When is LASIK not for me?”) and the experience and competence of the surgeon are still the most important considerations.

Q: What percentage of patients attain 20/20 vision or better without glasses or contacts?

A: Data in the Approval Orders and related documents summarizes the outcomes from the clinical trials submitted to the FDA for each approved device. Links to these documents are included on the FDA-APPROVED LASERS page.

The screening process and standards used by Trusted LASIK Surgeons can be found at:

How Are Lasik Eye Surgeons Qualified at TLS

To find a refractive specialist who has qualified to be listed at Trusted LASIK surgeons in your local area, please visit:

Find a Trusted LASIK Eye Surgeon

If you are a LASIK or Cataract Surgeon and interested in being a member of the Trusted LASIK Surgeons, sign up below and we will contact you.

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy

    Fuchs' dystrophy (pronounced fooks DIS-truh-fee) is an eye disease characterized by degenerative changes to the cornea’s innermost layer of cells. The cause for Fuchs' dystrophy is not fully understood. If your mother or father has the disease, then there is roughly a 50 percent chance that you will ...

    Read More
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    One of the leading causes of vision loss in people who are age 50 or older is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This common eye condition leads to damage of a small spot near the center of the retina called the macula. The macula provides us with the ability to clearly see objects that are straight ...

    Read More
  • Diabetic Eye Diseases

    Diabetes is a condition that involves high blood sugar (glucose) levels. This can affect many parts of the body, including the eyes. One of the most common diabetic eye diseases is diabetic retinopathy, which is also a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy ...

    Read More
  • Presbyopia

    Somewhere around the age of 40, most people’s eyes lose the ability to focus on close-up objects. This condition is called presbyopia. You may start holding reading material farther away, because it is blurry up close. Reading suddenly gives you eyestrain. You might wonder when manufacturers started ...

    Read More
  • Laser Cataract Surgery

    The only way to correct the clouded vision caused by advanced cataracts is surgical intervention. If you find yourself pursuing cataract surgery to remove one or both cataract-disease lenses, you may be wondering what surgical approaches are available for treatment. Although eye surgeons have successfully ...

    Read More
  • Cataract Surgery

    With cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist removes the cataract-diseased lens of your eye. The ophthalmologist then replaces your natural lens with an artificial one. The Procedure This outpatient procedure is generally safe and takes less than an hour. Your ophthalmologist will dilate your pupil ...

    Read More
  • Peripheral Vision Loss

    Normal sight includes central vision (the field of view straight ahead) and peripheral vision (the field of view outside the circle of central vision). The inability to see within a normal range of view often indicates peripheral vision loss. In severe cases of peripheral vision loss, individuals only ...

    Read More
  • Presbyopia

    As we age, our eyes—like the rest of our bodies—begin to lose flexibility and strength. When this happens to the lens of the eye and its surrounding muscles, your lens will become stiff. This makes it harder to see close objects clearly because the eyes can't focus properly. It's a natural part of ...

    Read More
  • Patches

    Eye patches are used to strengthen muscle control in weak eyes. By placing a patch over the strong eye, the weaker eye is forced to do the heavy lifting. While it may be uncomfortable for the patient at first, the muscle controlling the weaker eye will become tougher and more resilient. This will allow ...

    Read More
  • How to Transition Into Different Lighted Situations

    Does it take a little while for your eyes to adjust to the dark? Try a few of these tips. ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles