The Lowdown on LASIK Eye Surgery

Are you having trouble with your vision? Does it seem like your eyes are not in top shape as they used to? It’s possible that you have a vision problem. Going to the doctor to have your eyes checked is a good thing to do. After that, you and your doctor would go through possible options for treatment and correction. One popular treatment is LASIK.

What is LASIK?
LASIK, which stands for Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis, is a popular eye surgery that is used all over the world to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This works by reshaping the cornea, which is the clear front portion of the eye. This is done so that the light traveling through it is focused onto the retina. The retina is located in the back area of the eye. LASIK is just one of the many vision surgical treatments that reshape the cornea.

What Happens during LASIK?
During this surgery, an instrument called microkeratome will be used by the surgeon to cut a thin flap in the cornea. The cornea will be peeled back. The underneath cornea tissue will be reshaped with the use of an excimer laser. After the reshaping of the cornea, the flap is put back in place. It usually takes about 10 minutes only. The patient is under local anesthesia during the procedure.

What are the Advantages?
The primary advantage of LASIK is that it works. It can effectively correct your vision. In fact, 80 percent of the patients who undergo this surgery attest of having better vision. The result is also immediate. You can notice tremendous improvement in your vision right after or a day after having a LASIK surgery. Because of the improvement in the vision, you no longer have to wear corrective eyewear such as eye glasses or contact lenses, both of which can be a nuisance especially if you’re not used to wearing them. Another advantage of this type of surgery is that it inflicts very little pain. You only have to carefully follow the post-operational precautions in order to ensure that your cornea heals properly.

Are There any Disadvantages?
Looking at the pluses, it’s difficult to imagine that you’ll find a flaw in this surgery. But just like in any surgery, there are disadvantages to LASIK. For one, the changes made to the cornea cannot be reversed. This means that if there were any error in the surgery, this cannot be reversed. Corrections can be made with additional LASIK. The surgery is also very complicated. If the doctor cuts the flap off by mistake, that will affect the vision permanently.

How About Side Effects?
The most common side effect is the discomfort that lasts for 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. Rarely does it occur that a patient would experience glare, seeing halos around images, fluctuating vision, and dry eyes. Some patients also find it a little more difficult to drive at night.

How Should One Prepare for LASIK Surgery?
Before you undergo this surgery, you’ll meet with a coordinator who will talk to you about the things you should expect before and after LASIK. You’ll be discussing your medical history. Your eyes will be tested for corneal thickness, corneal mapping, pupil dilation, refraction, and air pressure. You will meet with the surgeon after the evaluation. If you wear contact lenses, you will be asked not to wear them three days to three weeks prior to surgery, depending on the type of contact lenses. Before the surgery, eat a light meal. Do not wear makeup or jewelry. Have the surgery postponed if you’re not feeling well.

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