What is LASIK?
For clear vision, the eye's cornea and lens must bend (refract) light rays properly. This allows images to be focused on the retina. Otherwise, the images will be blurry.This blurriness is referred to as a “refractive error.” It is caused by a difference between the shape of the cornea (curvature) and the length of the eye.
LASIK uses an excimer laser (an ultraviolet laser) to remove a small amount of corneal tissue. This gives the cornea a new shape so that light rays are focused clearly on the retina. LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure. It will take 10 to 15 minutes to perform for each eye.
The only anesthetic used is eye drops that numb the surface of the eye. The procedure is done when you are awake, but you will get medicine to help you relax. LASIK may be done on one or both eyes during the same session.
Procedure before surgery
A complete eye exam will be done before surgery to make sure your eyes are healthy. Other tests will be done to measure the curvature of the cornea, the size of the pupils in light and dark, the eyes' refractive error, and the thickness of the cornea (to make sure you will have enough corneal tissue left after surgery).
If using soft contact lens, the patient must revert to using glasses for at least two weeks prior to the baseline evaluation. This is to restore the normal shape of the cornea.Â If using hard contact lens the user should stop using them from 6 weeks prior to the surgery. Usage of creams, lotions or cosmetics on the face and eyes should be avoided a day prior to the surgery.
To do the procedure, a flap of corneal tissue is created. This flap is then peeled back so that the excimer laser can reshape the corneal tissue underneath. A hinge on the flap prevents it from being completely separated from the cornea.
When LASIK was first done, a special automated knife (a microkeratome) was used to cut the flap. Now a more common and safer method is to use a different type of laser (femtosecond) to create the corneal flap.
The amount of tissue the laser will remove is calculated ahead of time. Once the reshaping is done, the surgeon replaces and secures the flap. No stitches are needed. The cornea will naturally hold the flap in place.
Benefits of LASIK for an Active Lifestyle
You work hard, and you play hard. When you're hiking, working out, or going for a swim, vision correction devices are the last thing you want on your mind. With LASIK, you can go about your activities without any interferences.
Benefits of LASIK for Your Profession
Whether you are an athlete, work on a construction site, sit behind a desk, or anything in between, LASIK makes it easier to pursue your profession with confidence. If you've lived with life-long glasses or contact lenses, you'll be surprised by the dramatic difference that clear vision could make in your day-to-day work.
LASIK Cost vs Lifetime Glasses & Contact Lenses
- LASIK eye surgery is a one-time cost while glasses and contact lenses are an ongoing cost over a lifetime.
- Glasses can be expensive, especially if you decide to purchase multiple pairs at a time for your different needs. They need to be replaced fairly often, which can be costly if they break unexpectedly.
- Contact lens wearers have a monthly expense between the contact lenses, solutions, containers, etc. Plus they also must also purchase a pair of glasses to have on hand in case they need them.
- If you purchase prescription sunglasses, they can be more costly than non-prescription sunglasses.
While each individual is unique and different, these are just a sample of reasons why many have chosen LASIK eye surgery. Consult with a skilled LASIK professional today to learn more about laser eye surgery and if it might be right for you.
What are the potential side effects of LASIK laser eye surgery?
Some patients experience discomfort in the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Other side effects, although rare, may include:
- Seeing halos around images
- Difficulty driving at night
- Fluctuating vision
- Dry eyes
Facts about Lasik
There's plenty of information on the Internet and elsewhere about LASIK surgery, but how much of it can you trust? Here are a few common myths about LASIK, and the actual facts:
Myth: LASIK is painful.
Fact: Numbing eye drops are used to keep your eyes comfortable during LASIK, which takes only about 15 minutes for both eyes. You will feel some pressure briefly during creation of the corneal flap, but laser reshaping of the eye is pain-free. If you are anxious before your procedure, your surgeon can give you a mild sedative to help you relax.
Myth: You can go blind from LASIK surgery.
Fact: LASIK affects only the front surface of the eye, serious complications are rare, and no one has ever gone blind from LASIK surgery.
Myth: If you have a poor outcome from LASIK surgery, nothing can be done to fix it.
Fact: More than 95 percent of LASIK patients are satisfied with their outcome. If your results are unsatisfactory, there are a number of treatment options to improve your vision further. Also, possible LASIK side effects such as dry eyes usually are temporary and can be managed successfully.
Myth: LASIK is new, so long-term side effects and complications are unknown.
Fact: Laser vision correction was introduced in the 1980s, and the first treatment performed in the United States occurred in 1987 (more than 25 years ago). Side effects from modern LASIK surgery typically are mild, occur shortly after surgery, and resolve quickly. Significant complications are rare.
Myth: LASIK corrects only nearsightedness; it cannot correct farsightedness or astigmatism.
Fact: LASIK can correct all common refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism). If you have severe refractive errors, other refractive surgery options are available.
Myth: A successful LASIK surgery means you will never need eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Fact: LASIK does not prevent the progression of normal aging changes in the eyes, so at some point after age 40, you likely will need reading glasses, like anyone else. Also, it's possible you might still need to wear glasses on a part-time basis for specific tasks, such as driving at night.