Patient FAQ Center

LASIK & Beyond

Do you offer payment plans for LASIK?

We partner with CareCredit to offer simple, no-interest financing for 18 months. That means that you can pay as little as $250 per month for LASIK!

How many LASIK procedures have you performed?

Wilmington Eye is eastern North Carolina’s premiere LASIK provider. For more than 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of people in our community and its surroundings reduce or completely eliminate their need for glasses and contacts.

What does your LASIK fee include?

Our fully comprehensive LASIK fee for both eyes includes your consultation, all pre-operative exams, advanced measurements and tests, a personalized surgical plan developed by you and your surgeon, an entire year of post-operative visits, access to your entire eye care team and surgeon, and an as-needed enhancement during the first year following your procedure.

Are there additional charges for higher prescriptions or astigmatism?

Wilmington Eye’s fee for LASIK is a single, flat rate for both eyes. It includes your consultation, a personalized surgical plan, access to our surgeon and your entire eye care team for an entire year, all post-operative visits for 1 year, and an as-needed enhancement during the first year following your procedure. We do not increase this price based on your prescription or degree of astigmatism.

What do you charge for a consultation?

At Wilmington Eye, we do not charge a consultation fee. However, we do require a $50 appointment reservation fee. This $50 will be refunded or applied to your fee for LASIK, whichever is more convenient.

How soon will I be able to see?

Most patients will notice an improvement immediately following their LASIK procedure. However, your eyes will need time to heal and your vision time to stabilize. For many patients, this can take several weeks and in some cases, months.

Will I need to wear glasses following vision correction?

Most patients who undergo LASIK no longer need glasses or contacts for their daily activities. However, there is a possibility that you will need reading glasses as a result of the natural aging process, usually in your 40s or 50s.

Does insurance cover vision correction procedures?

LASIK is an elective procedure, which means that it isn’t medically necessary. Because of this classification, most insurances will not cover the cost of LASIK. However, we work with CareCredit to offer affordable, interest-free financing options. In addition, we offer a reduced price for first responders, teachers and active-duty military personnel.

Does LASIK hurt?

Prior to your LASIK procedure, eye drops are used to numb your eyes and suppress your natural urge to blink. Most patients report feeling no pain at all, only a slight pressure sensation. After LASIK, your eyes may feel scratchy or watery, but these symptoms are temporary.

Implantable Collamer Lens

Will I be able to feel the Visian ICL once its in place?

The Visian ICL is designed to be completely unobtrusive after it is put in place. It stays in position by itself and does not interact with any of the eye’s structures.

Is the Visian ICL visible to others?

No. The Visian ICL is positioned behind the iris (the colored part of the eye), where it is invisible to both you and observers.

Can the Visian ICL be removed from my eye?

Although the lens is intended to remain in place permanently, a surgeon can remove the implant if necessary.

What is the track record of the Visian ICL?

Extensive research and development preceded the introduction of the Visian ICL. It is now being used by more than 800,000 patients worldwide. The satisfaction rate among patients is extremely high – above 99%. The Visian ICL provides unparalleled quality of vision and has excellent and stable outcomes for patients with moderate to severe myopia. The Visian ICL has been available internationally for over 10 years and was FDA approved in the US in 2005.

Is the Visian ICL FDA approved?

Yes. The Visian ICL received approval from the FDA for a wide range of myopic (nearsightedness) correction needs in 2005.

Cataract Surgery

Will I feel anything while the ORA System measurements are being taken?

Anesthetic drops are used to numb your eye in order to ensure you are comfortable throughout your cataract procedure. The ORA System does not touch your eye and all measurements are easily taken while you focus on a flashing light.

How effective is ORA-guided cataract surgery?

Compared to traditional cataract procedure, ORA-guided cataract surgery is proven to significantly improve your visual outcome.

How will the ORA System enhance my cataract procedure?

ORA is a revolutionary new technology that provides detailed measurements of your eye. These detailed measurements enable your surgeon to better predict which implant power is appropriate for your eye.

Structure of the cornea

How does the Cornea respond to injury?

The cornea copes very well with minor injuries or abrasions. If the highly sensitive cornea is scratched, healthy cells slide over quickly and patch the injury before infection occurs and vision is affected. If the scratch penetrates the cornea more deeply, however, the healing process will take longer, at times resulting in greater pain, blurred vision, tearing, redness, and extreme sensitivity to light. These symptoms require professional treatment. Deeper scratches can also cause corneal scarring, resulting in a haze on the cornea that can greatly impair vision. In this case, a corneal transplant may be needed.

What is the function of the Cornea?

Because the cornea is as smooth and clear as glass, but is strong and durable, it helps the eye in two ways:

  1. It helps to shield the rest of the eye from germs, dust, and other harmful matter. The cornea shares this protective task with the eyelids, the eye socket, tears, and the white part of the eye (sclera).
  2. The cornea acts as the eye’s outermost lens. It functions like a window that controls and focuses the entry of light into the eye. The cornea contributes between 65-75 percent of the eye’s total focusing power.

When light strikes the cornea, it bends–or refracts–the incoming light onto the lens. The lens further refocuses that light onto the retina, a layer of light sensing cells lining the back of the eye that starts the translation of light into vision. For you to see clearly, light rays must be focused by the cornea and lens to fall precisely on the retina. The retina converts the light rays into impulses that are sent through the optic nerve to the brain, which interprets them as images.

The refractive process is similar to the way a camera takes a picture. The cornea and lens in the eye act as the camera lens. The retina is similar to the film or digital sensor. If the image is not focused properly, the film (or retina) receives a blurry image.



How do I apply my drops correctly?

Be compliant with your medications and use as prescribed. When applying your drops, wait ten minutes in between medications to allow time for absorption. Apply light pressure to the inside of your eye at the tear duct for a full minute after inserting a drop. This will prevent the medication from draining into your nasal cavity and increases it’s effectiveness by up to 50%. Use the index finger of your non-dominant hand to open the lower lid and the thumb of your dominant hand as a guide and to rest on your index finger.

How often will I see my physician for testing?

The goal of frequent testing is to detect and treat vision loss or optic nerve damage before it becomes permanent. Patients who are treated for glaucoma should be seen every 3-6 months to monitor the intraocular pressure, optic nerve damage, and peripheral vision.


How is Glaucoma treated?

Glaucoma medications are used to treat elevated pressure inside the eye and can be effective in delaying the onset of glaucoma. In some cases, we may recommend surgery and likely, you will continue to use glaucoma medications even after surgery.


What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?

At first, glaucoma has no symptoms but as it remains untreated, people may notice that although they see things clearly in front of them, they miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eye.


What is Glaucoma?

It is a complex eye disease where circulation of the fluid in the eye is disrupted.


Pediatrics and Strabismus

Will my child’s eyes be dilated at our first appointment?

Yes, dilation of the eyes is part of the complete eye examination in children. The pupils will remain large for several hours after the exam, and sometimes until the next day.


How painful is strabismus surgery?

Discomfort after eye muscle surgery is usually not severe. A feeling of nausea can occur due to some of the medications used for anesthesia or from the surgery itself. Headache, a pulling sensation with eye movement and foreign body sensation in the eye are the most common complaints. The eyes are often red following surgery as the muscle heals. There may be mild swelling of the eyelids. These symptoms typically last only several days. Over-the-counter pain medication often reduces discomfort, although stronger medication is sometimes prescribed. Ice compresses can also be helpful. Most patients return to full activity in several days.

Will insurance cover strabismus surgery?

Eye muscle surgery is reconstructive (not cosmetic). In most cases, insurance will cover strabismus surgery in adults, however, you will need to check with your medical insurance carrier to determine coverage.

How effective is strabismus surgery?

Most individuals see significant improvement in eye alignment following their procedure. Occasionally the surgery is only partially successful, or changes in ocular alignment may occur over time after initially successful surgery. Additional surgery may be indicated. Correction of residual double vision may be improved with the use of prism glasses.

Is hospitalization required for strabismus surgery?

Eye alignment surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure at a surgical facility like Wilmington Eye Surgery Center, although the need for hospitalization varies depending upon your general health and will be determined by your surgeon.

Can anything be done for adults with strabismus?

Yes. Strabismus for adults, in many cases, is treatable. Adults can benefit from some of the same treatment options that are available to children for treating strabismus. Treatment options may include prismatic glasses, specialized exercises to regain the coordination of both eyes (fusional exercises) and surgery. Most adults with misaligned eyes are able to have successful realignment with surgery.

Where can I find more information on Strabismus?

The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus website is a great resource for learning more about Strabismus and other conditions diagnosed and treated by pediatric ophthalmologists.

I think my child’s eyes are crossed or drifting, but I am not sure. Should he/she be checked?

Yes.  Sometimes it is difficult to tell if the eyes are truly deviating, particularly if your child’s eyes do not deviate all of the time.  If you have any question about your child’s eyes, it is important to have a full evaluation by a pediatric ophthalmologist.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

What precautions must be taken after treatment?

Thanks to the fractional DOT technology, post-treatment erythema lasts only a few days and can easily be concealed with make-up. The only recommended precaution is to use an adequate sunscreen for several weeks after treatment.

How many treatments are necessary?

Results will be visible immediately after the first session. A special program will be drawn up for each patient with treatment tailored to his or her skin condition and requirements.

How long does the treatment last?

Treatment lasts about half an hour.

Who is it designed for?

The treatment with SmartXide DOT is suitable for all skin types. Special care is recommended for those who tan frequently.

Is it safe?

The rapid re-epithelisation restores the epidermal barrier, protecting it from the risk of infection. The wavelength and advanced technology of the SmartXide DOT system make it a safe, accurate instrument for Skin Resurfacing treatments offering delicate and superficial ablation of numerous dermatological lesions.

How does it work?

Thanks to the DOT emission, the system generates micro-areas of thermal damage alternating with untreated tissue. The healing is much more rapid (only a few days), reducing clinical recovery time and the secondary effects typical of more invasive treatments (post-op pain, swelling and prolonged erythema).

What is SmartXide DOT?

SmartXide DOT is DEKA’s new CO2 laser system that allows you to work in either a “traditional or “fractional” manner. Thanks to the exclusive fractional DOT technology, skin rejuvenation can now be stimulated by acting efficaciously and safely on the most evident signs of time, with a significant reduction in recovery times (minimum down-time) and elevated treatment tolerance.


What is Photoaging?

Prolonged exposure to the sun, pollution, and a lifestyle that is not always healthy, aggravate the natural, gradual physiological ageing process, leading to deterioration of the skin structure. This phenomenon is most evident at the level of the epidermis and upper papillary dermis. Clinical aspects include skin thinning, transparency, laxity, wrinkles, uneven colouring, pigmentary marks, vascular marks, and irregular texture.


Will I need a follow-up procedure?

It is very common for patients who have undergone one floater treatment to need additional treatments. Please consult with your ophthalmologist on the number of procedures required.

Can I drive myself to and from the treatment?

Yes, this is an in-office procedure that does not require anesthesia.

How long are eye floater treatments?

Eye floater treatments typically lasts 2-60 minutes (per eye).

Are eye floaters normal?

Yes, eye floaters are normal and a common part of the aging process. There are some rare instances in which floaters are a sign of a serious condition such as retinal detachment. Regular eye exams by your optometrist can rule out any underlying ocular issues.

Does floater treatment hurt?

Floater treatments do not hurt; however, some patients report minor scratching and foreign body sensations.

What do eye floaters look like?

Each person has their own unique description of what floaters look like. The most common descriptions include spider-like shapes, medusas, clouds, squiggly lines, black or dark spots, thread-like strands or shadowy shapes.

Will floaters eventually go away?

Floaters may become less noticeable over time, but they are permanent and stay in the eye.

Preventive Eye Care

Regular eye exams can make a huge difference in the detection and treatment of vision problems.