Imagine a life free from the burden of glasses or contact lenses, where you can experience the world with clear vision. LASIK eye surgery offers this life-changing opportunity, but it’s completely normal to feel anxious about undergoing the procedure. Worry not – we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’ll provide practical advice to help you master the art of overcoming anxiety before LASIK surgery, so you can confidently enjoy the exciting journey towards visual freedom.
Table of contents
- Key Takeaways
- Understanding and Addressing Your LASIK Surgery Fears
- Communication is Key: Talk to Your Surgeon
- Preparing for LASIK: Practical Tips
- Nourish Your Body and Mind: Healthy Eating and Sleep
- The Power of Deep Breathing Exercises
- Distract Yourself: Music, Nature, and Laughter
- Support System: Bring a Friend or Family Member
- Physical Activity to Relieve Stress
- Anti-Anxiety Medications and LASIK
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Arm yourself with the knowledge to approach LASIK surgery confidently.
- Talk to your surgeon and follow pre-LASIK instructions for a successful experience.
- Nourish body & mind, practice deep breathing exercises, distract yourself with music/nature/laughter, bring a support system & exercise regularly for stress relief before the procedure.
Understanding and Addressing Your LASIK Surgery Fears
Conquering your anxiety requires a comprehensive understanding of the LASIK procedure, also known as laser vision correction, and tackling any fears or misconceptions. Here are some key points to consider:
- LASIK eye surgery has an impressive track record, with a 96 percent patient satisfaction rate and a success rate of 99% for achieving 20/40 vision or better.
- The surgical procedure is generally a comfortable experience as numbing eye drops are administered beforehand.
- Patients usually only feel slight pressure during the surgery.
The LASIK procedure is also known for its speed, taking a maximum of 15 minutes to complete. Most LASIK patients can return to daily activities the next day after the surgery. Information is a powerful tool in overcoming anxiety about surgery, and practicing deep breathing exercises can further help you feel more relaxed.
Feeling excited, positive, and anticipatory before LASIK surgery is a normal reaction. The potential positive outcomes of the LASIK vision correction procedure can outweigh any risks associated with the procedure. Alleviate your anxiety and approach your LASIK surgery with confidence by focusing on the life-changing benefits and understanding the process.
Communication is Key: Talk to Your Surgeon
Reducing anxiety before LASIK surgery is highly dependent on open communication with your surgeon. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, discuss risks, or share concerns about the procedure. Your highly experienced LASIK surgeon will help you feel confident and relaxed before your laser eye surgery.
Collaborating with your surgeon can help manage your fears effectively. From the moment you contemplate LASIK, express your emotions and any specific worries about the surgery. Discussing potential benefits and positive outcomes will help you feel more at ease and prepared for the procedure.
Address any worries and questions, and keep yourself well-informed about the upcoming LASIK procedure by speaking with your LASIK doctor or one of the LASIK surgeons before the procedure. As you build trust and understanding with your surgeon, your anxiety can be replaced with confidence in the life-changing benefits of the vision correction procedure.
Preparing for LASIK: Practical Tips
A greater sense of control and reduction in worries can be achieved by being prepared for your LASIK surgery. Following your surgeon’s instructions, taking the time to arrange for time off work, and organizing transportation for the day of the surgery are all practical steps to feel more at ease.
Before LASIK surgery, surgeons typically provide helpful instructions, such as:
- Using prescribed eye drops one day before the procedure
- Adhering to special cleansing requirements
- Discontinuing contact lens use for at least one week before the surgery
Reading and carefully following these instructions will ensure a successful LASIK experience, a clear vision, and a smooth LASIK consultation process.
Preparing for LASIK also means taking care of yourself physically. Enjoy a balanced meal before the surgery, as fasting is not required for LASIK. By following these practical tips and being well-prepared, you can foster a sense of confidence that will help ease your anxiety before the procedure.
Nourish Your Body and Mind: Healthy Eating and Sleep
Eating well and getting a good night’s sleep before LASIK surgery can aid in recovery and improve your mental state, reducing anxiety. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
- Enjoy nutritious meals that keep you energized and feeling your best, without overindulging.
- Get a good night’s sleep to ensure your body is well-rested and ready for the procedure.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can interfere with the healing process.
- Follow any specific dietary instructions provided by your surgeon.
A well-nourished body can recover more easily, and a positive mental state can make the entire LASIK experience more enjoyable.
Ensuring your body and mind are in the best condition for surgery requires being well-rested. Here are some tips to help you achieve that:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule in the days leading up to the procedure.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine to promote restful sleep.
- Rest is essential for your physical well-being and is vital in maintaining a calm and focused mental state.
Alongside eating well and resting, avoid activities like reading, watching movies, or staying up late that may strain your eyes. Nourishing your body and mind through healthy eating and sleep will help you feel more prepared and less anxious for your LASIK surgery.
The Power of Deep Breathing Exercises
Practicing deep breathing exercises, such as the 4-7-8 technique, can help calm your nerves and reduce anxiety before and during LASIK surgery. The 4-7-8 technique is a simple yet powerful deep breathing exercise that involves inhaling for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This rhythmic breathing pattern can help relax and soothe your nerves, making you feel more confident and at ease during the procedure.
Deep breathing exercises can bring peace and relaxation to the mind and body, helping reduce anxiety. Consistently breathing in and out can be very rewarding, as it promotes relaxation, reduces heart rate, and restores balance. You can feel more in control and less anxious by practicing deep breathing exercises before your LASIK surgery.
Managing your anxiety can be significantly influenced by incorporating deep breathing exercises into your daily routine leading up to the surgery. Experiment with different techniques and find the one that works best for you. Remember to also practice deep breathing exercises during your LASIK procedure to help maintain a calm and relaxed state.
Distract Yourself: Music, Nature, and Laughter
Listening to music, spending time in nature, or watching comedy are effective distractions to help take your mind off your anxiety before LASIK surgery. Some examples include:
- Listening to relaxing music can help keep you relaxed and positive before surgery and help you enjoy a restful night’s sleep. The song “Weightless” by Marconi Union has been scientifically proven to significantly reduce anxiety by up to 65%.
- Spending time in nature, such as walking in a park or by a lake, can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety.
- Watching comedy shows or movies can help distract you from your anxiety and make you laugh, releasing endorphins and improving your mood.
Spending time in nature, such as going for a refreshing walk outside, has also been shown to affect mental well-being positively. Surrounding yourself with natural beauty can help you feel more grounded and connected, alleviating stress and anxiety. Similarly, watching a hilarious comedy movie or engaging in other enjoyable activities can take your mind off your worries and promote a positive mood.
In the days leading up to your LASIK appointment, try engaging in activities that bring you joy and help you feel more relaxed. By distracting yourself with enjoyable experiences, you can reduce anxiety and approach your LASIK surgery with a calm and positive mindset.
Support System: Bring a Friend or Family Member
The presence of a friend or family member at your LASIK appointment can offer emotional support and aid in easing anxiety. They can stay with you in the waiting room and provide support before the procedure, helping you feel more confident and relaxed. Sharing your LASIK journey with a loved one can make the experience more enjoyable and less daunting.
In addition to providing emotional support, having someone else drive you home after the painless procedure can be a practical benefit. This allows you to focus on recovering and adjusting to your new vision without the added stress of driving yourself.
Research has shown that the presence of a beloved one can help patients manage better with medical procedures and enhance their overall well-being. When you’re preparing for your LASIK surgery, consider inviting a friend or family member to accompany you. Their support can make a significant difference in easing your anxiety and ensuring a more comfortable experience.
Physical Activity to Relieve Stress
Improve your mood and relieve stress before LASIK surgery by engaging in physical activities like brisk walks, yoga, or competitive sports. Physical activity boosts the release of endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers and decreases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to significantly decrease overall levels of tension and elevate mood, helping you feel more at ease before your procedure.
Yoga, in particular, is an excellent way to reduce stress before LASIK surgery, as it increases blood circulation, relaxes the body and mind, and encourages deep breathing exercises. Incorporating yoga or other physical activities into your daily routine leading up to the surgery can help you manage anxiety and maintain a calm mental state.
It’s important to remember that while physical activity can help reduce stress and anxiety, you should be mindful of your body’s limitations and refrain from intense sports and physical activities immediately after surgery. Focus on gentle exercises and activities that promote relaxation and well-being in the days leading up to your LASIK procedure.
Anti-Anxiety Medications and LASIK
You can manage anxiety during the LASIK procedure and ensure a more comfortable experience by discussing the use of anti-anxiety medications with your surgeon. Common anti-anxiety medications used before LASIK surgery include low-dose diazepam (Valium) and benzodiazepines, which are known to be effective in relieving anxiety.
If you experience anxiety during LASIK, your surgeon can provide anti-anxiety medication to help create a calming and relaxed environment. It’s not uncommon for patients to experience mild to moderate anxiety during LASIK, and many patients report feeling anxious. Still, they also feel reassured and in good hands throughout the procedure.
If you’re concerned about experiencing anxiety during your LASIK surgery, be sure to discuss this with your surgeon. They can recommend appropriate medication options and help you feel more comfortable and confident during the procedure.
Overcoming anxiety before LASIK surgery is possible with the right tools and strategies. By understanding and addressing your fears, communicating openly with your surgeon, preparing for the procedure, nourishing your body and mind, practicing deep breathing exercises, engaging in distractions, having a support system, staying active, and discussing anti-anxiety medications, you can master the art of overcoming anxiety before LASIK surgery. Embrace the journey towards visual freedom, and confidently step into a life of clear vision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get anxiety meds for LASIK?
You can get anxiety meds for LASIK from your LASIK surgeon prior to the procedure, so you can feel more relaxed.
How can I reduce my anxiety before LASIK?
Calm your nerves before LASIK with breathing exercises, positive visualization, meditation and challenging your anxious thoughts. Additionally, list questions or concerns, read up on preparation beforehand, practice deep breathing, and find ways to distract yourself.
What do they give you to relax before LASIK?
To help you relax before LASIK, your doctor will prescribe a pregabalin dosage the night before, and 5 mg diazepam 15 minutes before the procedure.
How do you mentally prepare for LASIK?
Prepare yourself mentally for the LASIK procedure by having a post-surgery plan, practicing visual fixation, remembering that you won’t be able to “mess up” your surgery, planning a relaxing day before the surgery, getting a good night’s sleep, talking to your surgeon, planning, eating well, practicing deep breathing, and listening to soothing music. Prepare to say goodbye to glasses or contact lenses, prepare for visual freedom, and relax and recover after the surgery.
How long does the LASIK procedure take?
The LASIK procedure is quick, taking just 15 minutes of your time.
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Dr. M. Ronan Conlon started his career in the field of ophthalmology at the same time as the development of refractive eye surgery in Canada. In 1996, he brought laser technology to Canada from Germany, which allowed him to perform laser eye surgery before it was available in the United States. With the establishment of the Conlon Eye Institute, Dr. Conlon has performed more than 40,000 refractive procedures and has advanced his expertise in LASIK and refractive cataract surgery.