Understanding LASIK Eye Surgery
Nearly everyone has seen and heard about “LASIK eye surgery” in one way or another. They’ve either seen a printed ad, watched or heard a commercial on TV or the radio, or noticed an online ad. Yes, we’ve heard of LASIK eye surgery, but what exactly is this operation?
What is LASIK eye surgery?
To begin with, in the field of eye care, there is an often-use term called “refractive” which applies to any vision-related condition that includes nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, among others. LASIK stands for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis which means to treat the cornea with a laser. It is a highly effective laser procedure used to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism and is suitable for most low, moderate, and high prescriptions. If the cornea of the eye is affected, light does not process properly, which in turn means that a person’s ability to see is impacted. Many people who experience this problem will seek out LASIK eye surgery as a solution.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
LASIK treats the following conditions:
- Nearsightedness- You can see objects better if they’re up close, but those far away are fuzzy or blurred.
- Farsightedness- You can see objects better from far away but struggle with those up close.
- Astigmatism– This is blurred vision when viewing objects at any distance. It’s due to an irregularly shaped cornea and occurs along with myopia or hyperopia.
- Presbyopia- As you get older, the lens of your eye grows less flexible. As a result, it’s harder for you to see things close to your face. LASIK, which targets your cornea, can’t correct presbyopia. But with a technique called monovision (blended vision), LASIK can correct one eye for distance and the other eye for near vision. This improves your close-up vision and helps with tasks like reading.
The Best Candidates for LASIK are:
- 18 years of age or older;
- have a stable prescription for the last year or two;
- have healthy eyes;
- have a sufficiently thick cornea, with normal curve and tear film ;
- have realistic expectations about the surgery’s outcomes and are willing to accept the potential risks, complications and side effects of the procedure;
- if wearing contact lens, discontinue use several days prior to the examination, (time depending on the type of contact lenses.)
What to expect before the LASIK Procedure
At SightMD, we start by scheduling an initial evaluation with one of our board-certified LASIK surgeons to determine your candidacy. If you wear contact lenses we request that you stop wearing contact lenses before the appointment. During your appointment, you will be asked about your medical history, current medications, and allergies. A thorough exam will also be conducted to assess your prescription, corneal thickness, and shape, as well as your overall eye health. The surgeon will discuss the risks, benefits, and expectations for LASIK, as well as answer any questions you may have. If you are approved as a candidate for LASIK, you will be asked to stop using cosmetics the day before surgery. It’s also important to arrange for transportation to and from your surgery, as well as your follow-up visit.
What to expect After the LASIK the Procedure
After you have surgery, an eye shield or patch will be placed over the eye. It will protect the flap and help prevent rubbing or pressure on the eye until it has healed (most often overnight). Right after the surgery, you may have burning, itching, or a feeling that something is in the eye, this most often goes away within 6 hours. Vision is often blurry or hazy on the day of surgery. The blurriness starts to go away by the next day.
At the first doctor visit after surgery:
- The eye shield is removed.
- The doctor examines your eye and tests your vision.
- You will receive eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation.
Do not drive until you have been cleared by your doctor and your vision has improved enough to do so safely.
Considering LASIK? Learn more about this Laser Eye Surgery
To sum it up, LASIK eye surgery corrects any refractive errors in order improve or fully restore a person’s vision. Additionally, once someone undergoes this procedure, he or she may not have to rely on eyeglasses or contact lenses as much as they did before this surgery.
So, now you have a general but more-informed idea of what LASIK eye surgery does. Are you or someone you know having vision problems? Contact us to make an appointment at a SightMD office that’s near you. Whether it turns out that you need an upgrade in your eyeglasses or contact lens prescription, or discover that the problem with your vision is in fact more serious and may require LASIK eye surgery, you can rest assured that the professionals at SightMD will provide the best eye care possible.