If you meet the qualifications for LASIK, the procedure can greatly improve your life. LASIK, which stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is one of the most common and successful eye surgeries to treat astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness.
The surgery is almost always successful, but patients must meet the right requirements. You may be advised against LASIK surgery if your prescription is too high. If you have any temporary problems with your eyes such as conjunctivitis or an infection, you must wait until your eyes have fully healed. Also, your cornea should be the correct thickness, as performing the surgery on a thin or misshapen cornea can affect the results. If your pupils are too large, your doctor may advise you against LASIK, as the surgery could increase your risk of side effects like halos and glares.
Before your surgery, your doctor will examine your eyes to make sure you are a candidate for LASIK. He or she will examine your cornea with a corneal topographer, an instrument that measures the curvature of your cornea. Your doctor will probably perform a wavefront analysis, a procedure that creates a map of your eye. Your pupil and the moistness of your eyes will also likely be examined.
At the beginning of your surgery, your doctor will apply numbing eye drops to your eyes. A lid speculum keeps your eyelids open and a suction ring is applied to your eye to prevent movement. Then, your surgeon will use either a microkeratome tool or a femtosecond laser to create a small flap in your cornea. The surgeon will fold back the flap to access the part of the eye called the stroma and use an excimer laser to remove some corneal tissue. Removing this tissue allows the cornea to reshape for improved vision. The laser will flatten the cornea for nearsighted people and create a steeper cornea for farsighted people. After the cornea is correctly reshaped, the flap will be placed back over the eye.
LASIK surgery only takes about five minutes on each eye and should be completed within 15 minutes. The procedure is pain-free and does not require stitches or bandages. However, you may feel some burning or itching immediately after the surgery. Your doctor will probably have you rest for a short time before a post-operative exam. You will probably experience blurry or hazy vision temporarily, but your vision should be clear by the next day. Most patients notice improvements in their vision within a day of having the surgery. Over the next few days or weeks, your vision will continue to improve. Doctors usually recommend staying home for a couple days after LASIK surgery to rest and refraining from strenuous exercise for a week.
The results of the procedure vary from patient to patient, but the majority of people achieve 20/20 vision after the surgery. Some people need to continue wearing glasses or contacts but with a much lower prescription. A LASIK enhancement procedure, while uncommon, is sometimes necessary to improve the results of the surgery. Some people also still need to use reading glasses, especially once they enter their 40s. However, LASIK surgery has a high success rate and most people who receive the surgery experience drastically improved vision.
To learn more about LASIK surgery at Eye Center of Texas, contact us today.