LASIK Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide to Vision Correction
LASIK surgery is an eye surgery, short for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. It can treat nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and presbyopia (age-related hyperopia). It’s a laser-assisted procedure that removes microscopic amounts of corneal tissue through a hinged flap to permanently change the shape of the cornea. The change in shape helps the cornea focus light better and correct the error in its refraction.
Mainly, LASIK is a surgery opted for by people who wish to be freed from the need to constantly wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to cover all key considerations revolving around LASIK procedures. For more specific information, such as eligibility and cost, you should consult with a reputable eye clinic such as Discover Vision Center.
Eligibility & Pre-Operative Considerations
Stable vision and a healthy cornea are prerequisites for LASIK candidacy. Discuss the general criteria with an ophthalmologist, eye clinic, or eye surgeon for more details. Your age, refractive errors, eye health, medical history, etc. can affect your eligibility. Discover Vision eye exam cost can vary based on your location and individual needs.
Most notably, LASIK cannot be performed on your eye if the cornea is too thin, too thick, or unnaturally shaped. You’re also not an ideal candidate for LASIK if your condition of nearsightedness or farsightedness is too severe or extreme—In which case going for an implantable lens might be your only option.
Understanding the LASIK Procedure
The basic principles of LASIK are corneal reshaping and vision correction. The procedure uses an excimer laser to remove microscopic amounts of the corneal tissue. This changes the shape of the cornea.
- A flap is created using the primary laser. This is a hinged flap that can fall back into place.
- The flap is kept open while the computer-guided excimer laser removes corneal tissue to reshape the cornea. This hardly takes 10-15 minutes.
- Once the process is over, the flap is repositioned and vision is slowly stabilized. Dry eyes are common here but very short-lived.
- Patients report a clearer vision within 24 hours, though it’s best to wait for at least a couple of days.
- The flap adheres naturally to the rest of the cornea as it heals over time.
LASIK Surgery 101
Here’s how to prepare for the LASIK surgery and what to do during the surgery:
- Follow all pre-operative instructions given to you by the ophthalmologist such as discontinuing contact lens use prior to the surgery.
- Attend all pre-operative appointments and evaluations—Even the optional ones.
- Make sure you religiously follow all lifestyle adjustments. These often include avoiding makeup and certain medications in the days leading up to the surgery.
- The surgical environment will be quiet, sterile, and relaxed. It will have local anesthesia options such as eye drops or numbing medications to ensure comfort during the procedure.
- It’s important to stay relaxed and follow the surgeon’s instructions during the surgery. Most importantly, fixate your eyes on the target or light that you’re directed to.
- During surgery, you might feel mild pressure or a sensation of something touching the eye. The procedure is not painful, however. Your vision might also fluctuate and become blurry intermittently as the cornea is reshaped.
The LASIK procedure is very safe and reliable. There’s no need to be anxious about the results. We cover the potential risks in a later section, so make sure you read that.
Post-Operative Care & Recovery
After the surgery is finished, the cornea will heal on its own and the flap will adhere naturally back into position. Any reputable LASIK Kansas City clinic will give you detailed steps to follow in order to care for your eye(s) after surgery.
Temporary discomfort, blurry vision, and sensitivity to light are all common shortly after the procedure. Your vision will continue to improve and stabilize throughout the healing process and it won’t take too long.
- Allow your eyes to rest and recover. Take it easy for the remainder of the day and avoid strenuous activities that may put stress on the eyes. Avoid makeup, cosmetics, reading, and electronic devices.
- Usually, the surgeon will prescribe eye drops or medication for infection, inflammation, or better healing. Follow all instructions regarding the frequency and duration of these.
- Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes completely. Protective eye shields are an option to be extra safe.
- Protect your eyes from direct sunlight and wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
Potential Risks & Complications
LASIK is a dependable and safe procedure. There are potential risks but complications and side effects are extremely rare.
- Dry eyes are common. This can cause discomfort but it will go away.
- You might experience glare, halos, or starbursts around bright lights.
- Sometimes, LASIK might overcorrect or undercorrect the vision. This has to be fixed with additional procedures.
- Over time, LASIK’s effectiveness diminishes due to the natural aging of the eye. Refractive errors can return.
- The corneal flap, if not cared for, can be dislocated, wrinkled, or ingrown.
- There’s also a small risk of infection. Follow all post-operative care instructions.
LASIK is a dependable and common procedure for correcting refractive errors in eyes to treat conditions like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. LASIK is fairly safe, quick, and reliable—Making it one of the most trustworthy and sought-after surgeries. Though there are alternatives such as PRK, SMILE, LASEK, and implantable lenses, LASIK is by far the most popular, and for good reason.
Hopefully, our guide answered your queries and helped you make a more informed decision about your eye condition.