Laser vision correction known as LASIK has been widely performed since the 1990s. It has helped millions of people toss their eyeglasses for many years, and continues to be one of the most popular options for vision correction available today. We frequently perform LASIK and enjoy the satisfaction on our patients’ faces when they finally see clearly without special lenses. As well-known as LASIK is, there is a little misconception that keeps circling about this procedure, and we think you should know what it is.
Most people who see their specialist for LASIK surgery mistakenly believe that they will have crystal clear vision immediately after their procedure. We can see why they would. If you were to ask someone who has had LASIK about their experience, they would tell you as much. There are two reasons this happens. One is that patients do tend to be able to see better across the room than they did before their procedure. The other has to do with emotion.
Science has proven that we remember emotions and feelings much, much longer and better than we remember the actual details of an event. We see this with mothers who seem to magically forget the discomfort of childbirth. We also see it with LASIK patients, who remember the excitement, and maybe the nervousness, of their treatment day but not so much about the finite details of the experience. They know they woke up in the morning with blurry vision and went to bed that same night with nice, clear vision. They just happen to forget the temporary haziness that happened in between.
Why Does This Happen?
Haziness is a side effect of LASIK surgery that virtually every patient experiences. We know because most ask us about this when they look around after their procedure. The reason this happens is simple. If you’ve ever swum underwater with your eyes open, you may remember your vision being hazy for a short time; maybe a few minutes, maybe a few hours. This happens because the cornea gets water-logged. During LASIK surgery, saline is used to keep the eyes clear and clean which, you guessed it, causes the cornea to take on water. The eye drops that are inserted after the procedure is over deliver even more moisture to the overloaded cornea. This is not damaging, it’s just a temporary issue that will resolve on its own, usually within about six hours.