If you are looking to improve your vision and the present state of the health of your eyes, LASIK surgery is one of the most recommended procedures to undergo. It is a permanent eye correction solution commonly used to correct conditions such as astigmatism (an eye defect caused by an eye’s natural spherical curvature deviation that distorts images in your visual field), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and myopia (short-sightedness). The surgical procedure is low-risk and only takes 10 to 15 minutes for each eye.
Over 20 million people have undergone successful LASIK eye surgeries, and over 700,000 LASIK procedures are done yearly in the US. In the United States alone, there are over 5,000 surgeons who perform this procedure, and there are over 1,000 centers where you can undergo LASIK eye surgery.
Suitable candidates for LASIK Eye Surgery
Before undergoing any surgical procedure, you must determine whether you are suitable for the procedure. And for you to be a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery, here are the conditions you must meet.
• You must be at least 18 years and above.
• You shouldn’t be pregnant or nursing.
• You mustn’t be taking certain prescription drugs that include oral prednisone and Accutane.
• You must be in good general health since LASIK isn’t recommended for people with conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, retinal disease, eye herpes infections, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and disorders of the cornea.
• You must have healthy eyes and a stable prescription. If you are myopic, avoid LASIK until your late 20s.
Preparation for LASIK Eye Surgery
Before the LASIK eye surgery, your doctor will give you a complete eye examination, and you will need to avail your eye prescription records to your doctor. If you wear contact lenses, you will have to stop wearing them at least two weeks before your baseline evaluation. The reason is contacts can alter the shape of your cornea and interfere with the results of the pre operative exams. So, your doctor will:
• Dilate your pupils to adjust your prescription.
• Examine your eyes to ensure they are healthy, and this includes a dry eye assessment, performing a retinal exam, and testing for glaucoma.
• The doctor will also assess the curvature of your cornea and pupils, the thickness of your cornea, and the topography of your eyes to ensure you don’t have a cone-shaped cornea or irregular astigmatism.
The LASIK Eye Surgery Procedure
LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes 10 to 15 minutes for each eye. Your surgeon will apply an anesthetic in the form of an eye drop that is used to numb the eye surface. Often, both eyes are operated on in the same procedure. But, sometimes your surgeon may wait for some few days or weeks to see the results in one eye before operating on the other eye.
During the surgery, the eye is moistened, and a suction ring is positioned in the eye to prevent the eye from moving and to keep the cornea in one position. The surgeon then uses a special instrument to cut the hinged flap of the corneal tissue off the external layer of the cornea. A laser beam is then used to reconstruct the underlying corneal tissue, after which the surgeon replaces the flap, which immediately adheres to the eyeball. A clear plastic or perforated metal shield is then placed on the eye to protect the flap, and no stitches are involved.
Recovery from LASIK Surgery
Healing occurs very fast. However, you may have to take a few days off work after surgery to ensure proper healing. You will need to avoid any form of sports for three days after surgery and contact sports for four weeks after the procedure.
Benefits of LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK eye surgery offers you many advantages that include:
• Dramatic reduction of contact lens and eyeglass use
• Improved vision within 24 hours
• Easy post-care procedures because it does not involve bandages or other post-surgical aids
Potential Risks of LASIK Eye Surgery
As in any surgical procedure, there are several possible risks involved. These include:
• Eye infections, although rare
• Significant overcorrection or under-correction of vision
• Temporary visual disturbances and discomfort
LASIK eye surgery offers more benefits than drawbacks. And, if you have intolerable eye problems that can be corrected by surgery, you may need to consider LASIK.