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Laser Vision FAQs

Commonly Asked Questions about Laser Vision Correction in Western Massachusetts

We have compiled a list of our patients most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not on our list, please contact our office and we will do our best to provide you with the answer.

What is Laser Vision Corrective Eye Surgery?

Laser Vision Correction is a surgical procedure to reshape the cornea to treat:

  • nearsightedness,
  • farsightedness and
  • astigmatism.

These vision disorders are caused by irregularities in the shape of the cornea and length of the eye. Corrective eye surgery is performed in our state-of-the-art laser suite in Northampton, Massachusetts.

What types of vision disorders can corrective eye surgery treat?

Nancy Balin, MD, FACS, performs laser vision correction in Western Massachusetts to treat myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

An elongated eye causes light rays to be focused in front of the retina resulting in blurred distance vision.



The shape of the eye is uneven like a football as opposed to a sphere. The uneven shape causes light rays to be focused unequally to different points in the retina causing distorted vision.


Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

The eye is too short, causing light rays to be focused in back of the retina and making it difficult to focus on near objects.


How Do I Know If Laser Vision Correction Is For Me?

In order to know if you are a candidate for corrective eye surgery, you will need a pre op exam with Dr. Balin. Dr. Balin will perform a thorough eye exam and run a series of specialized tests to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedures.  The pre op exam is scheduled in the Northampton office.

Does Laser Vision Correction Really Work?

Yes. For more than a decade laser vision correction has been performed throughout the world. It is estimated that over 5 million people have undergone laser vision corrective eye surgery. Most of the patients treated by LASIK eye surgeon Nancy Balin, MD, FACS, for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism no longer need corrective lens.

Does Corrective Eye Surgery Cause Any Pain?

Because numbing drops are used during the vision correction procedure, the surgery itself is painless. Immediately following the surgery, some patients report mild to moderate discomfort usually described as a slight stinging sensation. This discomfort is temporary and usually disappears within 24-48 hours. To find out if you would be a good candidate for vision correction, contact LASIK eye surgeon Nancy Balin, MD, FACS, in Western Massachusetts to schedule an appointment today.

Is there any financing?

Because insurance rarely covers the cost of a vision correction procedure, financing options are available with approved credit.

How much vision correction experience does LASIK eye surgeon Nancy Balin, MD, FACS, have?

Dr. Balin is a leader in the field of laser vision correction. She was the first LASIK eye surgeon to perform these vision correction procedures in Western Massachusetts. Dr. Balin is considered an expert in LASIK, CustomVue™, PRK and iLASIK™ and she has performed thousands of corrective eye surgery procedures. She has been featured in the Springfield Union News, Hampshire Gazette, Business West, and on Channel 22 News and on WRNX Radio.

What Are Some Of The Risks/Complications Of Lasik Surgery?

Millions of people throughout the United States have been treated by Lasik surgery. Even though the procedure is considered to be very safe and effective with a high success rate, there are still risks. It is important to be properly evaluated before having the procedure in order to minimize the risk of side effects/complications. Some of the possible risks/complications of lasik surgery include but are not limited to the following:

  • There is a low risk of being overcorrected or undercorrected after the procedure. If this occurs you may still need to wear glasses/contacts or a second procedure may be necessary.
  • Some people experience glare/halos around lights at night following their treatment. In most cases this will subside over time.
  • Dry eye may occur and is usually temporary.
  • A complete or partial loss of vision from Lasik is extremely rare.
  • Eye infections following Lasik are rare and can usually be treated with antibiotic drops or anti inflammatory drops.
  • There is also a low risk of having a flap complication during a lasik treatment. Using the Femtosecond laser to create the flap instead of a blade has been shown in studies to have an even lower flap complication rate.

Remember that being properly evaluated for the surgery is important in reducing the risks to you and optimizing your chance of your best possible outcome.

How Long Until My Vision Improves After Corrective Eye Surgery?

With LASIK, most patients experience improved vision immediately following the surgery. However, for some individuals it may take until the next day. Patients who undergo PRK usually experience improvement within the first several weeks following the surgery. However, some PRK patients may experience minor changes up to six months following corrective eye surgery.

Where Is The Corrective Eye Surgery Performed?

All laser vision correction surgeries are performed by LASIK eye surgeon Nancy Balin, MD, FACS, in Western Massachusetts at our state-of-the-art laser suite located in Northampton. Dr. Balin uses the latest generation of VISX Star S4 Excimer laser, which is an FDA approved laser for the treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The VISX Star S4 laser is equipped with a 3 -D eye tracker for greater accuracy.

How long does the vision correction procedure take?

The entire corrective eye surgery procedure takes approximately 20 minutes, with only 30 to 60 seconds of actual lasering. The day of surgery, patients should be accompanied by an adult that can drive you home.

Can I Talk With Someone Who Has Undergone Laser Vision Correction?

Yes. Many of our patients are happy to share their experience with others. You are also welcome to flip through our patient testimonial book. Here you will find several personal testimonials from people who had the vision correction procedures from LASIK eye surgeon Nancy Balin, MD, FACS, in Western Massachusetts at the Balin Eye & Laser Center.

To learn more about our laser vision correction procedures, please contact our office 413-584-6666 or 800-436-EYES (3937) to schedule a free LASIK consultation in Northampton, Springfield or Ware. LASIK eye surgery financing is here and available with approved credit at Balin Eye & Laser Center located in Northampton, MA. Our LASIK vision counselors are happy to discuss payment options that allow you to correct your vision now, while paying over time.

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