Parents (USA)

5. THIS COULD BE YOUR YEAR TO GET LASIK

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It’s the most popular type of refractive eye surgery—refractive, as in the way the light bends in your eye. During the procedure, a surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea, which corrects vision. LASIK is a more common treatment for those who are nearsighte­d and have astigmatis­m. (Your doctor can also discuss a technique called monovision, which addresses farsighted­ness and nearsighte­dness.) The pandemic may even have inspired a LASIK boom: “More people want to be free from glasses since wearing a mask causes lenses to fog up,” Dr. Soroosh Behshad says. “It’s also appealing to parents who wake up in the middle of the night unable to see or have kids who grab at their glasses.” Here’s what to expect.

BEFORE: To be a good candidate, you should have had the same prescripti­on for the past year or two. You’ll want to save up for it: Insurance typically doesn’t cover the procedure, which runs around $2,000 to $3,000 per eye, but you can likely use an HSA or an FSA to help with the cost.

DURING: You will be awake, but your eyes will be numb, and you shouldn’t experience any pain. The actual surgery takes only a few minutes. The rest of the time (about one to two hours from start to finish) involves taking calming meds, answering questions, and waiting until you’re able to leave.

AFTER: You can’t drive, so bring someone with you or prepare to Uber. Your sight will be blurry with some light sensitivit­y and dryness for about a day; you’ll be fully recovered within a week. Until then, you’ll wear goggles at night to prevent yourself from touching your eyes. After that, your vision will be corrected and your eyesight won’t change, aside from age-related shifts that would happen anyway, Dr. Behshad says. So yes, you could still need reading glasses in the future.

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