Frequently Asked Questions at Our Long Island LASIK and Laser Vision Correction Center

Based on Long Island, Weinstein Refractive Center offers LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures, as well as bifocal lens implant surgery and cataract surgery. This page is designed to answer your questions about LASIK, including the technological components of our custom LASIK procedures, as well as the other services offered at Weinstein Refractive Center.

Questions about LASIK

General Vision and Eye Anatomy

Cataracts and Bifocal Lens Implants

Refractive Surgery

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Questions about LASIK

Am I a candidate for LASIK surgery?

Candidates for LASIK vision correction are over 18 years old and suffer from a refractive error that has been stable for at least two years. If you have overly dry eyes or thin corneas, they may preclude you from undergoing LASIK, as can certain diseases and medications. Read more about who makes a good candidate for LASIK vision correction.

Remember that even if you are not a candidate for LASIK, there is probably another laser vision correction procedure — such as refractive lens exchange, LASEK, PRK, or AK — that can help treat your refractive errors and give you the vision you have always wanted. Contact our LASIK laser vision correction office today if you have questions about your LASIK candidacy, or are interested in undergoing any type of laser vision correction treatment.

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If I am not a candidate for LASIK surgery, do I have other options?

Absolutely! LASEK and PRK are both refractive surgery procedures that can address the same vision problems as LASIK — namely, farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, or a combination of these conditions. LASEK is an especially good option for patients who cannot undergo LASIK vision correction.

If you suffer from astigmatism only, AK is an excellent option. 

During your free consultation with Dr. Lewis J. Weinstein at our Long Island practice, he will discuss various laser vision correction methods and how well each one suits you.

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What vision problems can custom LASIK treat?

At our Long Island practice, we perform custom LASIK laser vision correction to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or a combination of these conditions. The custom LASIK procedure is able to treat the unique imperfections of your eyes - so-called higher-order aberrations, which have to do with how well you see (not just how far you see).

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What is IntraLase® bladeless LASIK?

Traditionally, the very first step of the LASIK vision correction surgery – the creation of the corneal flap — is also the most problematic. When the flap is created with a microkeratome, the instrument can malfunction or create a crooked flap, which can postpone surgery. An imperfect flap can also complicate healing and create visual side effects.

IntraLase® bladeless LASIK, however, does not make use of a microkeratome and instead employs a precise laser in the creation of the corneal flap. The IntraLase® laser works by delivering rapid pulses of light to the cornea; each pulse creates a tiny bubble, and as the laser is passed over the cornea, these bubbles connect to form a smooth, beveled flap. This thin flap is easy to reposition after treatment and promotes uncomplicated healing.

Once the corneal flap is created using the IntraLase® laser, the excimer laser – guided by the VISX® Star 4 automated system — is used for LASIK vision correction as usual. 

Patients with steep, flat or thin corneas — those who might have been ineligible to undergo traditional LASIK — can be successfully treated with IntraLase® bladeless LASIK. In addition, the bladeless technique is unparalleled in its ability to deliver impressive visual outcomes: in studies, IntraLase® bladeless LASIK was shown to deliver 20/20 vision more often than other methods.

Learn more about IntraLase® bladeless LASIK

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What is custom or WaveScan™ guided LASIK?

At our Long Island practice, custom LASIK vision correction is guided by the WaveScan™ diagnostic instrument. The WaveScan™ machine measures your unique refractive irregularities and constructs a Wavefront™ map of your eye. Once this map is constructed, the WaveScan™ software transfers this data into a set of CustomVue™ treatment instructions that control the actual surgical procedure.  

Learn more about WaveScan™ and CustomVue™ technology during LASIK vision correction  

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What is CustomVue™ Iris Registration LASIK?

CustomVue™ LASIK vision correction includes special iris registration technology, the first fully automated method of aligning the excimer laser to your eyes and their unique treatment areas.

Learn more about CustomVue™ iris registration

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What is the VISX® Star 4 laser vision correction system?

The VISX® Star 4 excimer laser system is an automated, fully customizable system that carries out the precise reshaping of your corneas during LASIK surgery. This laser system is designed to perform this ablation better than was previously possible, and to promote better healing.

Learn more about the VISX® Star 4 system

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Will I have to wear glasses or contacts following LASIK vision correction?

It’s possible you will, but it is not likely, especially if you undergo custom LASIK vision correction. An overwhelming majority — 98 percent — of people who undergo custom LASIK emerge with 20/20 vision or better.

However, the overcorrection or undercorrection of your refractive error is always a possibility. This may cause you to wear glasses or contacts, or to return for a touch-up LASIK procedure. It’s also possible that your vision will regress following LASIK surgery, and again this may cause you to use glasses or contacts, or to seek a touch-up procedure.

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Is LASIK surgery painful?

No. LASIK vision correction surgery involves minimal sensation. Your eyes will be numbed with special topical eye drops before the surgery starts. Your may feel some mild discomfort for the first few hours after surgery, but this will quickly pass.

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What is the recovery like after LASIK surgery?

LASIK vision correction is designed to promote a quick and virtually painless healing period. Immediately following surgery at our Long Island practice, your vision will be blurry. At this point, a companion should drive you home from the surgery center and you should lie down and relax to let the corneal flap stabilize. Your vision should be quite clear the morning after surgery, and you may return to work at this time.

For four days, you will use drops to promote healing and fight infection. You must not rub your eyes for two weeks, and you should avoid dusty or gritty areas (baseball fields, construction sites, etc.), swimming, and makeup, in order to aid flap healing.

At three months after surgery, the final outcome is usually stable and at this point it can be determined whether a touch-up LASIK procedure is necessary. Only 5 percent of patients require a touch-up.

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What are the risks of LASIK surgery?

While side effects of LASIK surgery are rare, especially if one undergoes custom LASIK at our Long Island practice, they can occur.

Most commonly, LASIK vision correction results in an overcorrection or undercorrection of your refractive error, which might create a need for a fine-tuning of the LASIK procedure or the wearing of glasses or contacts.

LASIK vision correction can also induce higher-order aberrations such as halos, shadows, or glare. Again, this risk is significantly reduced by custom LASIK, which is guided by a detailed Wavefront™ map of your eyes’ unique aberrations going into the procedure.

LASIK can induce or worsen dry eye symptoms. It’s also possible that your vision can regress after LASIK surgery.

While not all potential complications of LASIK laser vision correction can be discussed here, Weinstein Refractive Center treats any of our patients’ LASIK complications at no cost.

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How can I pay for refractive surgery at Weinstein Refractive Center?

At Weinstein Refractive, we make it easy to pay for your refractive surgery. In addition to accepting all major credit cards (Visa®, MasterCard®, and Discover®), we encourage our patients to look into a Flex Plan and the Capital One® Vision Fee Plan as ways to finance refractive surgery.

To learn more about refractive surgery at our Long Island practice, contact our center for LASIK laser vision correction today.

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General Vision and Eye Anatomy

What is myopia (nearsightedness)? How can it be treated?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is caused when the eyeball is longer than normal, causing light rays to focus in front of the retina, instead of directly on it. Those with myopia have no problems seeing objects up close, but distant objects such as chalkboards or movie screens will appear blurry.

Myopia can be treated with glasses, contacts, or laser vision correction surgery such as LASIK, LASEK, or PRK. To surgically correct myopia, the cornea will be made slightly flatter, causing light to focus at the correct point at the back of the eye.

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What is farsightedness? How can it be treated?

Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is caused when the eyeball is flatter than normal. As a result, light focuses behind the retina, and people have trouble seeing objects that are up close.

Hyperopia is distinct from presbyopia, an age-related condition that also causes problems with up-close vision.

Laser vision correction surgery such as LASIK can correct or improve your farsightedness by making your cornea steeper.

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What is astigmatism? How can it be treated?

Astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens and may accompany either nearsightedness or farsightedness. Astigmatism can cause blurry vision, eye strain, and/or headaches. Usually, astigmatism causes light to focus at two points in the back of the eye, instead of one. The condition is often hereditary.

Contact lenses, glasses, or laser vision correction options such as LASIK or AK can help ease the symptoms of astigmatism. Contact our Long Island laser vision correction center today to discuss which procedure would best treat astigmatism.

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What is monovision?

Monovision is a condition when one eye provides distance vision and the other provides near vision. It can be induced using contact lenses or monovision IOLs, and is a common way of addressing presbyopia (the loss of up-close vision that comes with age).

Your brain usually adjusts to monovision, but in cases when it can’t, you will experience blurry vision viewing things both up-close and at a distance. LASIK can be done with monovision, or you can opt for refractive lens exchange with bifocal lens implants.

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What is presbyopia? How can it be treated?

Presbyopia is an age-related condition that compromises the eyes’ lenses. When your lenses work properly, they are elastic and can change shape depending on where the eye is focusing. Lenses affected by presbyopia, however, lose their elasticity and thus their focusing ability. Presbyopia is the primary reason why older people need reading glasses – their eyes have lost the ability to focus up close.

However, high-tech artificial lenses such as Crystalens®, ReZoom™, and ReSTOR® can now be implanted in the eyes of those affected by presbyopia. These lens implants can focus at many different distances and reduce or eliminate the need to wear glasses.

Such multifocal lens implants are easily implanted in the eye during surgery. They represent a huge step in the treatment of eye conditions that compromise the lens, such as presbyopia and cataracts. We offer the Crystalens®, ReZoom™, and ReSTOR® bifocal lens implants at our center. Contact Weinstein Refractive Center in Long Island to learn more about this treatment for presbyopia.  

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Cataracts and Bifocal Lens Implants

What are bifocal lens implants?

Bifocal lens implants are artificial lens implants that help restore the vision of a patient afflicted with cataracts, presbyopia, or another condition that compromises the eyes’ natural lenses. Bifocal lens implants are so named because they provide good vision at close distances as well as far — replacing or supplementing the wearing of bifocals.

Lenses such as ReZoom™, Crystalens®, and ReSTOR® are offered at Weinstein Refractive Center to patients with cataracts or presbyopia — both age-related eye conditions that affect the lens. These lenses are painlessly implanted into the eye through the same tiny incision made during cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange. They mimic the abilities of a young, healthy lens, giving patients good vision. 

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What are cataracts and how are they treated?

Cataracts are the clouding or discoloration of the eyes’ natural lenses which commonly comes with aging. There are many types of cataracts, including nuclear cataracts, which appear in the center of the lens; cortical cataracts, common in diabetics; and posterior subcapsular cataracts, which begin at the back of the lens. The causes of cataracts are multiple. Cataracts can threaten your vision if not removed during cataract surgery.

In the past, lenses afflicted with cataracts were removed and the patient was forced to wear thick glasses for the rest of their days. Today, however, intraocular implants such as TECNIS™ IOLs, ReZoom™, Crystalens®, and ReSTOR® replace the eyes’ diseased lenses, giving patients good vision following cataract surgery and eliminating or supplementing bifocals.

To learn more about cataracts or bifocal lens implants, or to schedule a consultation, contact our Long Island practice today.  

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Refractive Surgery

What are the various types of refractive surgery and how can they help me?

Dr. Weinstein's practice offers several types of refractive surgery: LASIK using a blade or the latest IntraLase® bladeless technology, PRK, AK, LASEK, and refractive lens exchange.

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What is PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)?

PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a refractive procedure that can correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. Before LASIK became as popular as it is today, PRK was the most common refractive surgery procedure. Among patients who are precluded from undergoing LASIK, PRK remains a popular choice.

PRK requires a longer recovery time than LASIK, primarily because during PRK, Dr. Weinstein will manually remove the surface of epithelial cells before using a laser to reshape the inner cornea. These cells must grow back before excellent vision is restored. 

Learn more about PRK laser vision correction

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What is refractive lens exchange?

Refractive lens exchange refers to the replacement of the existing lenses with a multifocal lens implant such as Crystalens®, AcrySof® ReSTOR®, or ReZoom™. Refractive lens exchange can be integrated into cataract surgery, or can be done on its own as a treatment for presbyopia (age-related vision loss). Intraocular lens implants yield excellent visual outcomes and high patient satisfaction. For this reason, refractive lens exchange is a viable option for those seeking better vision.

Learn more about refractive lens exchange

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What is AK (astigmatic keratotomy)?

Astigmatic keratotomy, or AK, is a refractive surgery procedure that addresses astigmatism. During the procedure, the surgeon makes strategic incisions on the patient’s misshapen cornea, making it more spherical and minimizing the effects of astigmatism. AK can be performed in conjunction with other refractive procedures.

Learn more about AK laser vision correction

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What is LASEK surgery?

LASEK stands for laser epithelial keratomileusis. It can treat astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness, and can provide a good alternative to patients who cannot undergo LASIK vision correction.

The LASEK procedure is performed by cutting the epithelium – the layer of cells that covers your cornea — with a fine blade called a trephine. Next, the edges of the epithelium are loosened by an alcohol solution and this flap of epithelium is folded out of the way. Then the cornea is reshaped, based on your needs, with an excimer laser — just like in LASIK or PRK.

During healing, the epithelium acts as a bandage. Those who have undergone LASEK laser vision correction often report more pain during healing than LASIK patients, and the healing time after LASEK is longer. The advantage of this procedure, though, is that there is no risk of a dislocated corneal flap — one risk of LASIK surgery. LASEK can also treat both lower- and higher-order aberrations, and has a reduced chance of causing some of the side effects of LASIK such as glare, halos, and night vision disturbances.

Read more about LASEK laser vision correction  

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How do I get started with refractive surgery?

If you live on or near Long Island and are interested in undergoing LASIK or laser vision correction of any kind, contact Weinstein Refractive Center today. During your free consultation and eye evaluation, Dr. Weinstein will determine which type of refractive surgery option is best for you.

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With an office on Long Island, undergoing LASIK laser vision correction means turning to Dr. Lewis J. Weinstein. Contact him today to get started on your free evaluation and consultation.

The Weinstein Refractive Center
66 Commack Rd Suite #203
Commack, NY 11725