Some lucky folks wake up each morning and simply open their eyes to begin their day, thinking nothing of the fact that the world shows up in perfect clarity. But for the rest of us, the need to fumble with glasses first thing in the morning just to turn off the alarm or squint through the fog is just part of reality. Glasses and contacts can help compensate for the imperfections in our eyes, but they are only temporary solutions. For those wanting to make a long-lasting change, LASIK surgery is the best option. This proven laser eye surgery reshapes the cornea to help improve vision without the need for corrective lenses.

Once you have decided it’s time to go ahead with a LASIK procedure to correct your vision, the next step is to find the most qualified LASIK surgeon. To do this, first ask for referrals. Your eye care practitioner and any friends or family members who have undergone the procedure are great places to start. If you know of a surgeon in another state with a seller reputation, contact their office to ask if they could recommend a doctor in your area.

After compiling a list of referrals, do your homework on each doctor. Research online reviews. Check credentials like board certifications and memberships with The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), which also have qualified eye surgeon directories on their websites.

After narrowing down your search, make an appointment for a LASIK consultation. Think of the consultation like a job interview. It is best to have questions prepared beforehand. How long has the surgeon performed LASIK? How many procedures has the surgeon completed? It is not uncommon for a LASIK surgeon to have 25,000 or more procedures under their belt. What is their experience with new LASIK technologies?

Ask about their screening process. LASIK is not recommended for patients with health issues, thin corneas, young patients, and pregnant women. You want to make sure your surgeon follows industry standards for selecting patients and doesn’t perform the procedure on people who aren’t good candidates.

You should also ask about the possibility of re-treatment. Some patients do not respond well to the procedure and need follow-up treatments.  What is the follow-up policy if complications do occur? Will you have to pay for additional treatments? What does post-procedure care and maintenance look like?

It is also important to find out if the surgical center has had any outbreaks of eye infections. They can be very serious. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is on the rise, so it is essential that the center follows impeccable standards of sterilizing instruments and equipment. Ask for recommendations of past patients who can talk to you about their experience.

Surgery of any kind can be intimidating. Taking the time to find the best LASIK surgeon for your procedure will put your mind at ease and increase the likelihood that you too will be one of the lucky ones that open their eyes first thing in the morning to see a sharp new day.