Laser eye surgery is a very common procedure these days. However, not all people in the world have clear vision or can see properly, especially senior citizens. The concept of vision correction has existed for years. Laser eye surgery is a recent advancement that has transformed the lives of many people by giving them the gift of better vision. The article highlights more details about this procedure and how it helps people achieve clear vision while removing any kind of visual impediments they face in everyday lives.
Are you nearsighted, farsighted or presbyopic? Have you heard of LASIK?
If you need vision correction, you probably already know about the option of glasses and contact lenses. Another possibility is refractive surgery, which involves reshaping the cornea to correct focusing errors. The most common form of refractive surgery is called LASIK, which stands for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. It’s a quick outpatient procedure that can be completed in 10 minutes or less, usually with no pain and minimal discomfort.
In order to have LASIK, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old and have a steady prescription that hasn’t changed in a year. Other requirements include healthy eyes (meaning you don’t have any eye diseases or other conditions that might interfere with the healing process), and adequate tear production.
The effectiveness of LASIK depends on your prescription; most people see well enough to drive without glasses after having the procedure. However, it doesn’t always give perfect 20/20 vision, and some people may need glasses for driving at night or for reading after having LASIK. People who are over 40 and presbyopic may need reading glasses even if they had the procedure earlier in life, because presbyopia can’t be corrected this way. People with extreme prescriptions may also not get perfect results
LASIK is the most popular, but PRK may be a better option if you have certain risk factors. It’s important to understand the differences between the two procedures so you can make an informed decision about which is right for you.
The biggest difference between these procedures is what happens to the surface layer of your eye (cornea) during the procedure. In LASIK, a hinged flap is created in your cornea, which is folded back before surgery and replaced after. In PRK, no flap is created. This makes PRK a better option for people with thin corneas or other risk factors that would prevent them from having LASIK.
Both LASIK and PRK reshape your cornea, which helps correct vision problems such as nearsightedness (difficulty seeing distant objects), farsightedness (difficulty seeing close objects) and astigmatism (distorted vision).
Who is a good candidate for laser eye surgery?
Laser eye surgery is used to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. It can also be used to treat presbyopia, which is a gradual loss of the ability to see close objects, usually due to ageing.
You should be over 18 years of age, not pregnant or nursing and have had stable vision for at least one year prior to your consultation. You should have healthy eyes with no diseases or injuries and should not wear contact lenses during the month before your consultation.
Laser eye surgery is one of the fastest-growing types of eye care in the U.S., and it’s becoming more popular among celebrities as well. It’s also one of the few non-invasive procedures that can reduce or eliminate sight-threatening macular degeneration, which occurs when a person gradually loses central vision.
But not all laser eye surgery is created equal, and some doctors are better than others. So how do you decide which laser to have done?
What can you expect before the surgery?
The first step is an evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for laser vision correction. The preoperative evaluation and testing will include a complete medical and eye health history, as well as a complete eye examination.
This evaluation will include:
Review of your medical history. If there is any condition that could affect the success of your surgery, such as autoimmune diseases or diabetes, it is important to tell us about them.
Measurement of your visual acuity (how well you see).
Measurement of the curvature of your cornea (using a computerized instrument called corneal topography) to determine its shape and how light focuses on it. The laser reshapes the cornea based on these measurements.
Evaluation of the size and shape of your eye (using an instrument called an anterior segment camera).
Measurement of your intraocular pressure (to rule out glaucoma). In some patients, intraocular pressure must be reduced prior to surgery in order to have a successful outcome.
Evaluation of the thickness of your cornea (using a computerized instrument called pachymetry). This measurement helps determine if you have sufficient corneal tissue for the laser procedure you need.
What happens during the surgery and how long does it take?
The laser eye surgery procedure is quick, painless and can be performed on an outpatient basis. The surgeon first uses a special instrument to measure the shape of your cornea, as well as its thickness. Next, you’ll be guided into the laser room where you’ll be positioned under a computer-controlled laser.
The laser works by using pulses of cool light that gently reshape the cornea so that light rays will focus properly on the retina at the back of your eye. The duration of this procedure depends on your prescription and other factors, but it typically takes about 15 minutes per eye.
How will you feel during the procedure and after?
Laser eye surgery is one of the most popular and widely known elective procedures around, yet many people have misconceptions about it.
I’m here to help answer some of the most common questions and clear up some of these misconceptions.
What do you know about laser eye surgery? Try this quiz:
- What’s the name of the procedure? Is it LASIK or LASEK or something else?
- How long will you be out of work after the procedure? How long will your eyes hurt?
- Do you wear a patch over your eyes after the operation?
- What could go wrong during surgery?
- Can you go blind from laser eye surgery?
- Do insurance companies cover laser eye surgery?
Do I need to prepare for anything to get ready for my surgery?
Preparation for laser eye surgery is quite straightforward. This will include things like a medical history review, a check on your prescription and measurements of the cornea’s shape.
You’ll also be asked to stop wearing contact lenses for a certain period before the operation, so that your cornea returns to its natural shape.
Your surgeon will advise you on all that is needed, so there’s no need to worry about any unexpected surprises.
What are some of the most common risks and complications associated with laser eye surgery?
The risks and complications associated with laser eye surgery vary from person to person.
The most common are:
Loss of vision
Glare, halos or double vision
Under-corrections or over-corrections
Risks can be reduced when the operation is carried out by an experienced surgeon.
Are there any lifestyle changes I must make after laser eye surgery?
There are certain precautions you should take for about a week after laser eye surgery.
For example, you shouldn’t go swimming or use a hot tub for at least a week after surgery so that you don’t get bacteria in your eye. You also should not rub your eyes for several weeks after surgery.
You also should be careful about wearing contact lenses for about a month after surgery. In some cases, your doctor will allow you to wear disposable soft lenses right away, but other types of lenses can increase the risk of infection and should be avoided.
If you are considering laser eye surgery to correct your vision, it is recommended that you take a moment and educate yourself on what laser eye surgery is. Do some research so you will better understand the procedure and learn for yourself if it is the right choice for your situation. Knowledge is power, after all!
To find out if laser eye surgery might be right for you, see your ophthalmologist or optometrist.