As the premier LASIK provider throughout the Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins areas, we see a lot of patients every day, many of whom have a lot of anxiety leading up to the procedure. It’s understandable… we can talk all day about how safe, painless and effective the procedure is, but any time the words “laser” and “eyeball” are used together in the same sentence, it’s bound to give at least a little pause. Even though Dr. Cutarelli has years of surgical experience and has performed over 70,000 LASIK procedures over the course of his professional career, we understand that you might still need a little extra reassurance. Here are some simple things you can do before your surgery that will help you rest your nerves.
There’s a reason that you’re always hearing about breathing exercises being a great way to cope with anxiety – they work. For some people, thinking about their procedures leads to thoughts about irrational outcomes, which in turn leads to rises in heart rate and blood pressure. These physical symptoms will make your body feel as though it needs to breathe faster due to your body being sent into the “fight or flight” mode.
Studies show that simply consciously counting your breaths can decrease anxiety and stress throughout the body. Common techniques include:
- Counting your breaths up to 10 – the rise and fall equals one breath.
- Slow breathing – this includes inhaling for 5 seconds and exhaling for 5 seconds.
- Taking a quick inhale, holding your breath for 5 seconds and then slowly exhaling.
Using visualization is also another great way to combat anxiety and stress. One of the best ways to do this is to visualize a positive outcome from your LASIK procedure. Closing your eyes and taking the time to imagine the positive impact LASIK will have on your life will help you adjust. You can imagine yourself sitting by the pool or playing a sport without worrying about how glasses or contacts may hinder your experience. Calming visualization works well because it can be adjusted to your liking and let you focus on a positive outcome after your surgery.
Meditation has its benefits, whether you use it for a short or long period of time. Meditating on an anxious thought doesn’t always mean that you need to sit cross-legged with your hands resting on your knees. Whether you practice meditation at your home or even minutes before your LASIK operation, meditation can be done anywhere you like. It can encompass breathing techniques, positive visualization and it will allow you to reflect on your thoughts.
Challenge your Thoughts
When it comes to LASIK, you may start having irrational fears regarding the outcome of the procedure. It is important to challenge your thoughts in these moments. Make sure to ask the questions that you are most anxious about, even if they do seem irrational at the time. Educating yourself about the LASIK procedure will also help you realize that this choice is for the better and will lead to a positive impact on your life.
Experiencing anxiety is perfectly natural when it comes to thinking about LASIK, or any surgical procedure. We can’t stress enough that LASIK is one of the safest, most reliable procedures on the planet, especially when performed at the hands of a skilled surgeon such as Dr. Cutarelli – but nevertheless, we know there can be some lingering anxiety and hope that you’ve found these tips useful.
With our years of experience and offices located throughout Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder Valley, we proudly serve our patients with the highest quality LASIK procedures available today. Rest assured that the team at Cutarelli Vision will help you through every step of your LASIK process and provide a stress free experience. Schedule an appointment with us today!