LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is the most common laser eye surgery that is performed to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. Since its inception, more than 16 million LASIK surgeries have been performed globally .
LASIK surgery is an alternative to glasses or contact lenses. It is a pain-free procedure and the surgery only takes 15 minutes.
In this article, we will explain why LASIK surgery is done, what are its risk factors and how is the procedure carried out.
Why LASIK Surgery Is Performed
LASIK eye surgery is performed when you have the following vision problems:
Myopia - When your eyeball is a little longer than its normal size, myopia occurs It is a common vision condition in which you can see near objects, but the far-away objects are blurry .
Hyperopia - It is another vision problem that occurs when you have a shorter eyeball that is too flat. This makes near vision blurry .
Astigmatism - It occurs when the shape of the cornea is irregular, andcauses blurry vision .
This surgery isn't for people who have very large pupils, severe myopia, and age-related eye diseases and who participate in contact sports.
How LASIK Surgery Is Performed
Before the surgery
Your eye doctor will ask about your medical and surgical history and will perform an eye examination to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery.
The doctor will look out for signs like large pupils, dry eyes, eye infection, inflammation, and high eye pressure. The eye doctor will measure your cornea shape and thickness.
The doctor will then test your eye through a corneal topographer, an automated instrument which creates a highly detailed shape of your cornea. This will help evaluate your eye in detail before LASIK surgery .
During the surgery
You are asked to lie on your back in a reclining chair and numbing eye drops are applied in your eye. The doctor then uses an instrument to hold your eyelids open and a suction ring is placed on your eye. A laser is used to cut a small corneal flap to reshape the part of your cornea. After reshaping the cornea, the surgeon lays the flap back in its place and the flap usually heals without stitches. This surgery takes 15 minutes.
After the surgery
After the surgery is completed, you will experience a temporary burning or itching sensation and you will have a blurry vision.
The doctor will prescribe some pain-relieving medications or eye drops to make you feel better.
Your vision will not be clear right after the surgery and it will take two to three months for the eyes to heal properly.
Risk Factors Of LASIK Surgery
- Dry eyes - LASIK surgery causes dry eyes because the production of the tears is decreased and this can reduce the quality of the vision .
- Overcorrections - There is a possibility that the laser can remove excess tissue from the eye .
- Undercorrections - There is a chance that the laser can remove little tissues from the eye .
- Double vision - You may experience light sensitivity, glare or halos around bright lights. This usually lasts for a few days to a few weeks .
- Flap problems - Removing or folding back the flap during surgery can cause complications like excess tears and infection.
Health Conditions That Increase Risks Related To LASIK Surgery
- Autoimmune disorders
- Persistent dry eyes
- Weak immunity
- Inflammation of the cornea
LASIK eye surgery has many advantages, but there are certain disadvantages too.
Advantages Of LASIK Surgery
- It corrects your vision.
- The surgery causes very little pain.
- No bandages and stitches are used during the surgery.
- After the surgery, patients no longer need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Disadvantages Of Lasik Surgery
- LASIK surgery is complex.
- During the surgery, when the eye surgeon creates a flap, it can permanently affect your vision.
- It is best to get your surgery done from an experienced eye doctor.
LASIK surgery gives you a higher chance of achieving improved vision without the hassle of wearing glasses or contact lenses.