LASIK eye surgery is a medical procedure using a laser on the eye of a patient who has eyesight problems. LASIK is an acronym for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileuses. LASIK can be used to improve the eyesight of patients who are far-sighted, near-sighted or have an astigmatism. After LASIK surgery has been performed, patients with these types of eyesight problems should not have to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
LASIK is one of the most common surgical procedures performed by an eye surgeon nowadays. It has become very popular because of it’s pain-free operation and because of its more or less instantaneous results. This is the major advantage that LASIK has over other surgical procedures to correct imperfect vision. After a couple of days rest you will soon see a definite improvement in your eyesight.
The surgical procedure itself is quick and virtually painless, and is performed under local anaesthetic. It consists of the eye surgeon cutting a hinged flap in the cornea which is then folded back to expose the lens of the eye. A laser from an instrument called a ‘microkeratome’ is used to vaporize aberrations and reshape the cornea so that the image focuses on the correct part of the retina, therefore improving the vision. The hinged flap in the cornea is then folded back into place for healing.
You will see two main types of LASIK surgery being advertised. Traditional LASIK surgery and Wavefront LASIK. Conventional LASIK surgery corrects the focusing power of the eye by remodelling the shape of the lens with the aid of laser. Wavefront LASIK is a variation of the traditional procedure and produces a spatially varying correction based on readings from a wavefront sensor. A wavefront sensor measures the eye itself by detecting any aberrations on the cornea. It achieves this by sending a weak laser source into the eye, and by measuring and processing the reflection off the retina. The Wavefront laser procedure is carried out using computer aided equipment and doctors have reported improved eyesight results from Wavefront over traditional LASIK surgery.
Although beneficial to thousands of patients, as is usually the case there can also be some disadvantages to LASIK eye surgery. Firstly, it can be an expensive treatment and prices can vary from area to area and from doctor to doctor. Secondly, as in all surgical procedures, there can be post-surgery complications. Common complications include patients developing glare and halos and possibly double vision which can affect night time vision capability. Others develop severe dry eye syndrome which may need to be treated with drops or cream for the rest of your life. However, complications in LASIK surgery are rare and the vast majority of patients benefit from almost perfect vision without eyeglasses or contacts after surgery.
If you decide to proceed with LASIK surgery you should carefully research the subject to find out as much as possible about the procedure. You should also research the eye surgeons that perform the surgery and if possible act on personal referral. Keep in mind that when pricing the surgery that not all advertisements for LASIK quote the full and final price and many have add-on costs. Finally, before proceeding with the surgery, make sure to have a thorough conversation with your eye surgeon so that you are fully aware of all the benefits and risks.