In this particular episode of Ask an Eye Doc, you will learn:
- How often you should have an eye exam prior to LASIK
- How often you should have an eye exam after LASIK
- What eye conditions nearsighted people are at risk for before and after LASIK
This episode will make more sense if you have already listened to the following episodes:
- episode 13 – what is nearsightedness (myopia)
- episode 20 – what is the cornea
- episode 21 – what is LASIK
For you readers out there, here’s the answer in written form:
The reason you had LASIK was so that you didn’t have to update your glasses and contact lens prescription every year, right? So how often should you see the optometrist after LASIK?
The answer is once per year. (Hint: same as before LASIK).
Why? Your yearly exam prior to LASIK was important for two reasons:
- To check for updates to your prescription AND
- To evaluate the health of your eyes
Maybe it’s not as important to check the prescription after LASIK, but it is just as important to check your eye health after LASIK as it was before LASIK.
For example, most people who have LASIK are nearsighted. If you don’t remember how nearsightedness (myopia) affects the shape of your eye, listen to episode 13. The physical shape of a nearsighted eye puts you at risk for developing certain blinding eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic maculopathy.
As you recall from episode 21, LASIK alters the shape of your cornea. It doesn’t change the shape of the entire eyeball. This means if you were nearsighted before LASIK, you still have all the same eye health risks as you did prior to LASIK. In addition to those risks, LASIK can cause long-term eye problems, such as chronic dry eye, which should be evaluated at least yearly.
So now you know why you need a yearly eye exam after LASIK!