LASIK FAQs

Why should I choose Dr. Gladsden?

Dr. Gladsden was the first in the Western Maryland region to specialize exclusively in refractive surgery, and he is the first refractive surgeon in Maryland to become LASIK Certified by the Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance (CRSQA). Unlike other certifications, CRSQA certification required a review of the surgeon’s results over an extensive period of time. This certification assures patients considering LASIK that our patient results meet or exceed the council’s high standards. Dr. Gladsden has also been awarded the “VISX Star” award placing him in the top 5% of refractive surgeons nationwide.

Through years of experience with thousands of LASIK procedures, Dr. Gladsden has learned the minute details that can affect and improve results. Then he constantly reviews all patient outcomes and will make any adjustments necessary to attempt to maintain a 20/20 or better standard. His constant vigilance regarding vision quality after LASIK allows the best results with today’s technology.

How Does LASIK differ from other procedures?

Radial Keratotomy (RK) was the first surgical alternative to glasses or contact lenses available in the United States. The procedure involved the strategic placement of tiny incisions on the surface of the cornea. Although the procedure was relatively fast and effective, the recovery time was longer than more recent forms of vision correction that use lasers to reshape the cornea, rather than incisions, and the results were less precise.

Photo Refractive Keratotomy, or PRK, was the first method of laser vision correction available and uses a laser to reshape the cornea. It can take several weeks for vision to stabilize, which is one reason LASIK has become the procedure of choice for most surgeons and patients.

After LASIK, the vision is usually much improved within the first 12 hours and patients can return to normal activity and work the next day.

What does it mean to have a “Refractive Error”?

Refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism are commonly corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. A refractive error is a defect in the way light passes through the eye. In normal vision, light enters the eye through the cornea and is focused at a single point on the retina at the back of the eye. With a refractive error, light rays do not refract (bend) properly to achieve a single focus point. Instead, light rays focus in front of the retina (myopia), behind the retina (hyperopia), or at two different points (astigmatism). Refractive errors usually result from a defect in the length of the eye or shape of the cornea. In normal vision, light entering the eye is precisely focused at a single point on the retina. Since the early 1990’s, ophthalmologists have been able to offer their patients with refractive errors surgical alternatives to glasses and contact lenses. However, exciting advancements have been made in the field of refractive surgery over the years that allow almost anyone who requires the aid of glasses or contact lenses to benefit from laser vision correction (LASIK).

Am I a good candidate for LASIK?

Just as glasses and contacts help you to see clearly, so does LASIK– but without much of the inconvenience and long-term expense. There are, however, some guidelines. You must be at least 18 years of age with healthy corneas. Your vision should also be relatively unchanged over the last year. People with certain medical and/or eye conditions are not candidates for Laser Vision Correction. The professionals at New Vision Laser Center can provide additional information and advice during a free, no-obligation LASIK screening and extensive eye evaluation to determine whether LASIK is the best choice for you.

What are the benefits of LASIK?

LASIK is possibly the most exciting development in the field of eye care since the invention of the contact lens. LASIK is the modern alternative to glasses or contacts. With virtually every patient achieving improved vision, LASIK can free you from the nuisance of glasses and contacts by providing clear, natural vision.

Is LASIK safe?

Over five million LASIK procedures have been performed worldwide in the past 10 years with almost 2 million in the US last year alone. Data obtained during exhaustive clinical trials shows that all patients experienced a significant improvement in uncorrected vision (vision without glasses or contact lenses) after LASIK.

New Vision Laser Center is equipped with the VISX Star 4 with the ActiveTrak eye tracker capabilities. This means that every movement of your eye during the procedure can’t cause problems. We also offer the CustomVue procedure at our center, which provides the patient with the most accurate procedure available today. In addition, our center has specialized in providing our patients with the state of the art visual assessment equipment that accurately determines the health of your eyes and the treatment that best suits your unique visual needs. New Vision Laser Center takes the time to thoroughly examine your vision and explain the variables that can influence your outcome. Our goal is to work together with each patient to personalize their procedure and achieve the best possible results.

How much time will I need to set aside?

Procedure times may be scheduled according to a patient’s availability. On the day of your surgery you will be in our Laser Center for about two hours including the time for pre- and post-operative care and instructions. The entire procedure itself will last about 10 minutes per eye.

Several post-operative visits are required after the procedure during the first year. Most patients are able to return to their active lifestyles the next day after the procedure, and most can drive themselves to our offices for their post-operative exams…without the aid of glasses or contacts! Some patients return to work the next day following their LASIK procedure.

If you work in a particularly strenuous or dirty environment, an extra day may be necessary.

What limitations will I have after LASIK? Can I exercise?

For the day of the procedure, you should take it easy and let the eye settle down and heal. Beginning the next day, you should be able to resume normal activity, as long as you do not rub your eyes. Swimming is not recommended for a week or so, and swimming under water with the eyes open or diving are not recommended for 3-4 weeks.

Will I still need reading glasses?

Presbyopia, a normal part of the aging process which usually occurs about the age of 40, is the loss of reading vision. As the eye ages the normally soft, flexible lens inside the eye becomes harder and has difficulty focusing on close objects. Reading vision becomes blurred and difficult. Bifocals and reading glasses, which aid the eye in focusing on close objects, are used to treat presbyopia. Since the laser has no effect on the lens of the eye we cannot cure presbyopia.

However, for those people in their 40’s and 50’s and older who have lost their reading vision, we can slightly modify the LASIK procedure to allow convenience close up (reading) vision. With this alternative, patients can get along without reading glasses most of the time and just use them occasionally for very small print. This option will be be explained and discussed with all of our presbyopic patients.