Waite Vision

Overcoming Anxiety and Nervousness About LASIK

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a well trusted refractive eye procedure that has helped millions of people worldwide achieve visual freedom. Despite its high success rate and positive outcomes, it’s natural to feel a little nervous about undergoing the procedure. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of nervousness about LASIK and provide helpful tips to ease your anxiety and put your mind at ease.

We Understand Your Anxiety About LASIK

A Personal Note From Dr. Waite

As an ophthalmologist, I understand the nerves that come with considering LASIK. You are definitely not alone. Essentially every single patient is nervous prior to the procedure. Fortunately your LASIK eye surgery is a journey we undertake together. I want you to feel secure about your decision, fully informed and, above all, excited about the incredible positive impact this will have on your life.

As a board-certified ophthalmologist and fellow of the World College of Refractive Surgery, I’ve seen first-hand the life-altering power of modern eye surgery. I founded Waite Vision with a singular mission: improving your quality of life through vision correction.

Our team, the lifeblood of Waite Vision, comprises some of the most dedicated, compassionate, and experienced professionals in the industry. We’re committed to redefining what “going to the doctor” means to you – personal, genuine care, coupled with top-tier medical expertise. We get that you might be nervous and our goal is to help you feel at ease.

You’ll find that our services are unparalleled. From your pre-operative full diagnostic testing all the way to your post-procedure care, everything is backed by the most advanced technology.

Fears about surgery, recovery time, cost, and potential complications are natural. Together, we will address these and make an informed decision that suits you and your lifestyle. The journey to clearer, sharper vision doesn’t have to be a daunting one.

If it is the proper procedure for your eyes, LASIK will be your path to a glasses and contact lens-free life, providing a youthful, hassle-free experience. Imagine the liberation of participating in all your daily activities – athletics, social events, and precious family time – without the constraints of vision correction prosthetics.

I welcome you to start this transformative journey with us at Waite Vision. Don’t let apprehension hinder you from the life-changing benefits of LASIK. Allow us to guide you, educate you, and support you throughout this process. I invite you to schedule a consultation with me. Let’s conquer your fears together and illuminate your path towards remarkable vision and a rejuvenated, confident you.

Dr. Waite

Are you ready to take the next step in your vision journey?

Causes of Nervousness and Anxiety About LASIK

The decision to undergo LASIK can evoke a myriad of emotions, including apprehension and nervousness. It’s completely normal and even expected, as you consider the significant, positive changes this procedure can make in your life. However, understanding these sources of anxiety can go a long way in helping to alleviate them. Here are some common reasons why people feel nervous about LASIK:

  1. Concerns about the procedure itself: The idea of undergoing a procedure on one’s eyes, especially one involving a laser, can be intimidating for some people. We get can squeamish about our eyes.

  2. Fear of the unknown: It’s a common human trait to fear what we don’t know or understand. When it comes to LASIK, not knowing what to expect during and after the procedure can indeed cause anxiety. Waite Vision believes in patient education as a key to overcoming this fear. Our team provides comprehensive pre-surgery counseling, walking you through every step of the LASIK process. We’re transparent about what the procedure involves, how long it takes, what you might feel, and what to expect in the recovery period.

  3. Concerns about side effects: Potential side effects, such as dry eyes or glare, can be worrisome. While these side effects can occur after LASIK eye treatments, they are typically temporary and manageable. Dry eyes, for instance, can be effectively handled with lubricating eye drops, and the condition often improves within a few weeks to months. Similarly, glare or halo effects tend to reduce and eventually disappear as your eyes heal. Modern technology has reduced the potential for any such side effects. LASIK is one of the safest and most frequently performed elective surgeries globally. Dr Waite’s vast experience and surgical judgement, combined with advanced laser technology, further reduces the risk of side effects. We prioritize your safety above all else. We are committed to you.

  4. Worry about pain: Some people think the procedure will be painful or uncomfortable. However, LASIK is essentially painless. Numbing eye drops are used before the surgery begins, minimizing discomfort during the procedure. Afterward, you may experience mild irritation or a sensation of grittiness, but these feelings are temporary and usually resolve within a few hours.

  5. Financial concerns: The cost of LASIK may concern some individuals. This will be one of the best investments you can make. Waite Vision understands the financial consideration and believes everyone should have access to life-changing vision correction. Therefore, we provide a range of flexible financing options to help make LASIK more affordable.

  6. Anxiety about over-correction or under-correction: LASIK is highly accurate. While even the most precise procedures can have variance, our combination of skilled expertise and advanced technology significantly reduces these risks. Our goal is to reach a perfect result after a single treatment. Every person is different and their method of healing will vary. If there is an over or under correction, we will simply fix it with an enhancement procedure. This cost is included in the price of LASIK at Waite Vision.

While these concerns are completely understandable, it’s important to remember the LASIK procedure has been continually refined and improved over its almost 30-year history, making it safer and more effective than ever. Waite Vision is committed to addressing your concerns and providing personalized care to ensure your comfort and satisfaction. Your vision is our passion, and we’re here to guide you through your LASIK journey with full support and transparency.

Facts About LASIK to Help You Overcome Anxiety

Knowing about the safety and positive outcomes of LASIK surgery can help alleviate worry.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • LASIK was comprehensively studied and approved the by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999. Since then, greater technological improvements have occurred to make LASIK even more safe and effective than the technology approved in 1999.

  • We have more than 20 years of data on LASIK outcomes. LASIK eye surgery is considered to be one of the safest elective medical procedures available. Studies have shown that up to 98% of patients achieve 20/20 vision without glasses or better following the procedure. Those that fall short of 20/20 are able to have a second procedure to refine the outcome and reach 20/20.

  • Patient Satisfaction: According to a 2016 study by the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, which analyzed global LASIK satisfaction rates over a 16-year period, more than 98% of patients reported being satisfied with their results.

  • Long-term Safety: In a 2008 study published in the journal Ophthalmology, LASIK was found to be a safe and effective procedure over a ten-year follow-up period. The same study indicated that the long-term incidence of corneal ectasia, a rare complication, was extremely low.

  • Low complication rates: Complications from LASIK surgery are extremely rare, less than 0.4%. These numbers continue to decrease due to ongoing improvements in technology and surgical technique.

  • Myopia correction: In a 2019 study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, 100% of myopic patients achieved a visual acuity of 20/40 or better post-LASIK surgery, which is considered the standard for driving without correction in most US states

  • Waite Vision offers one of the most advanced pre-operative eye exams available in the United States. Because this evaluation is so thorough, Dr. Waite can see if you are a LASIK candidate or if a LASIK alternative would be a better fit for your vision needs. We never perform LASIK on someone who is not an ideal candidate! We don’t believe that is the proper way to practice medicine.

Tips to Overcome Your Nervousness About LASIK

Embarking on your LASIK journey may seem daunting, and it’s completely normal to experience nervousness. However, by following certain strategies, you can actively alleviate this apprehension and feel more prepared and confident about your decision. Here are some tips to help you overcome nervousness:

  • Educate yourself: This can’t be overstated – knowledge truly is power. By understanding the LASIK procedure, you can dispel myths, conquer fear of the unknown, and reduce anxiety. Take some time to research the procedure, read about others’ experiences through patient testimonials. You’ll have ample time to have detailed discussions with Dr. Waite and our eye care professionals who place a strong emphasis on patient education to help you comprehend what to expect during your LASIK journey.

  • Choose an experienced surgeon: The skill and experience of your LASIK surgeon plays a pivotal role in the success of your surgery and your comfort levels. Choose a surgeon with a proven track record, strong credentials, and positive patient feedback. Dr. Waite is not only a highly experienced refractive surgeon, but also has a deep-rooted passion for providing exceptional eye care. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with us where you can directly express your concerns and have all your questions addressed.

  • Discuss your fears with your doctor: Honest communication with your eye doctor or LASIK surgeon is essential. Express your fears, ask questions, and seek clarity about any aspect of the procedure that worries you. Our professionals are here to provide accurate information, alleviate your concerns, and guide you to make an informed decision about LASIK. Your comfort and confidence in the procedure are our top priorities.

  • Focus on the benefits: When anxiety creeps in, remind yourself of the potential life-enhancing benefits of LASIK. The prospect of improved vision, the ability to enjoy daily activities without the hindrance of glasses or contact lenses, and the boost in self-confidence are all powerful motivators. Keeping these positives at the forefront of your mind can help counteract any fears you might have.

  • Practice relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation can work wonders in managing stress and anxiety. Incorporate these into your routine in the lead-up to your surgery. They not only aid in reducing anxiety specific to LASIK but also contribute to overall well-being and stress management.

  • Connect with others: Human beings find comfort in shared experiences. Connecting with others who have undergone LASIK or are contemplating it can provide invaluable reassurance. Hearing their stories, insights, and even tips can make your own journey seem less daunting and more familiar. There are numerous online forums, community groups, and even social media platforms where you can engage with others about LASIK.

More Background on LASIK

Often, knowing more about the actual procedure itself can help you worry less about the procedure. Let’s take a deeper dive into LASIK.

LASIK is a minimally invasive eye surgery that reshapes the cornea to correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. The procedure is quick, painless, and offers rapid recovery times.

LASIK, an acronym for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a minimally invasive eye surgery that has garnered global recognition for its effectiveness in treating refractive errors. These errors, which include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism, can prevent you from seeing the world with crystal-clear clarity.

LASIK addresses these issues by finely reshaping the cornea – the transparent, front surface of your eye. But what exactly does this reshaping entail? During the procedure, a thin flap in the cornea is created using a highly precise computer-guided femtosecond laser. This flap is gently lifted to reveal the underlying corneal stroma, which is then reshaped using an excimer laser. The laser removes microscopic amounts of tissue to correct the shape of your cornea, thus improving the way light is focused onto the retina, and consequently enhancing your vision. The corneal flap is then repositioned, naturally adhering back on its own without the need for sutures.

What makes LASIK laser eye surgery such a popular choice among patients and eye care professionals alike is its quick and painless nature. From start to finish, the actual LASIK procedure often takes less than 10 minutes per eye. Moreover, LASIK patients experience no discomfort during the surgery, thanks to numbing eye drops that are applied before the procedure begins. This allows you to stay awake and comfortable, yet completely pain-free.

LASIK is distinguished by its rapid recovery time. Most patients notice a significant improvement in their vision almost immediately after the procedure, and the majority achieve near-optimal vision within 24 to 48 hours. This means in just a day or two, you could be seeing your world in high definition, without the need for glasses or contact lenses.

LASIK is a time-efficient, minimally invasive, and remarkably effective solution to correct refractive errors. Armed with this knowledge, it’s easier to see why the benefits of this procedure far outweigh the fleeting moments of anxiety you might feel before undergoing LASIK. At Waite Vision, your vision is our passion, and your comfort and understanding are our top priority.

We Are Here to Help

We understand that choosing to undergo LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis), a globally recognized refractive procedure, is an important decision that comes with its share of concerns and anxieties. That’s completely normal. After all, it’s about your vision – the very sense that shapes your perspective of the world. With an impressive track record, LASIK has successfully transformed the lives of millions of individuals around the world, bestowing upon them the gift of clearer sight. However, despite its high success rate and overwhelmingly positive outcomes, the thought of undergoing this procedure can naturally spark apprehension. It’s our mission to ensure you feel fully informed and confident as you prepare for this life-changing decision.

At Waite Vision, we’re not just about providing medical services – we’re about nurturing relationships. We believe that patient comfort and satisfaction is as crucial as the surgery itself. Thus, we make it a priority to create a relaxed and supportive environment where your concerns are heard, your LASIK surgery questions answered, and your comfort ensured.

We understand the prospect of LASIK can trigger feelings of anxiety. We hope the information and reassurances we share in this article can help ease your nervousness. Your Vision is Our Passion. We’re committed to helping you see your world your way through modern, safe, and effective vision correction procedures. Remember, you’re not just a patient to us, you’re part of the Waite Vision family, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. Request an appointment for your LASIK consultation today and start your journey to visual freedom.

Embrace a clearer future today. Contact Waite Vision for a consultation, and let us guide you through your journey to superior vision.


Book your consultation.

Are you ready to take the next step in your vision journey?

More FAQ’s About Overcoming Anxiety and Nervousness About LASIK

Is LASIK painful?

No, LASIK is generally not painful. Numbing eye drops are applied before the procedure, minimizing any discomfort during the surgery. After the procedure, some patients may experience a temporary sensation of grittiness or mild irritation, which usually resolves within a few hours to a day.

What are the potential side effects of LASIK?

Some patients may experience temporary side effects such as dry eyes, glare, or halos, particularly in low light conditions. These side effects are generally temporary and typically resolve over time as the eyes heal.

How soon can I return to my normal activities after LASIK?

Most patients can resume normal activities within a day or two following the procedure, although it’s recommended to avoid strenuous activities and contact sports for at least a week. Your surgeon will provide specific guidelines based on your individual circumstances.

How long does the LASIK procedure take?

The actual LASIK procedure typically takes less than 10 minutes per eye. However, you should expect to be at the clinic for about one to two hours on the day of your surgery to allow time for preparation, the procedure, and initial post-op recovery instructions.

What is the success rate of LASIK surgery?

LASIK has a high success rate, with the majority of patients achieving better than 20/20 vision. Those that may not reach 20/20 without glasses after LASIK, can have a second LASIK procedure to refine the outcome and improve the focus of the eye. Outcomes can vary based on individual factors such as the degree of refractive error and overall eye health.

What if I blink or move during the LASIK procedure?

There’s no need to worry about this. During the procedure, a small instrument will be used to gently hold your eyelids open. Additionally, modern LASIK systems incorporate eye-tracking technology that adjusts to your eye’s movement during the surgery, ensuring precise correction.

I’m worried about potential complications. How often do they occur?

The risk of complications from LASIK are extremely rare, thanks to the advanced technology and techniques used. The vast majority of patients undergo the procedure with no issues. If minor side effects do occur, such as dry eyes, they are typically temporary and manageable.

What if my nervousness or anxiety causes me to postpone or cancel my procedure?

It’s completely normal to be nervous or anxious before any surgical procedure. If you’re feeling particularly anxious, it’s important to communicate this to your surgeon. They can provide additional information and reassurance, and if necessary, reschedule your procedure to a time when you feel more comfortable.

I’m concerned about the discomfort during the recovery period. What can I do to alleviate it?

Post-LASIK discomfort, such as a gritty sensation or mild irritation, is usually very mild, temporary and resolves quickly. Lubricating eye drops can be used to alleviate any dryness or discomfort following the procedure. Also, your doctor can provide specific postoperative care recommendations to enhance your comfort during the recovery period.

What should I do if I have an anxiety disorder and I’m concerned it will affect the LASIK procedure or recovery?

If you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, it’s important to discuss this with your surgeon during your consultation. They can work with you to devise a strategy that will help to manage your anxiety during the procedure and recovery, ensuring your comfort and peace of mind.

Remember, your concerns are important, and addressing them is a crucial part of helping you overcome your fear and ensuring a positive LASIK experience. Don’t hesitate to bring up any fears or concerns you may have with your surgeon, no matter how small they may seem. At Waite Vision, your comfort and confidence are our priority.


Dr. Aaron Waite is a fellowship trained, board-certified ophthalmologist and the founder of Waite Vision. He discovered his passion for ophthalmology while working as an ophthalmic technician and scribe. During this time, he witnessed the life-changing impact modern eye surgery can have on an individual’s life.