LASIK, commonly referred to as “laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses,” is a laser eye surgery used to treat a variety of vision-related problems. It’s one of the several vision correction procedures that involve reshaping the cornea, the transparent front section of your eye, in order to direct light towards your retina in the back of your eye.It typically takes 15 to 20 minutes for the LASIK procedure to be completed.
When the light doesn’t focus on the retina the way it should, it blurs the vision. Doctors refer to this as refractive error, and it is divided into the following types:
- Nearsightedness (myopia):When something is close, it can be clearly seen but when it is far, it becomes hazy.
- Farsightedness (hyperopia):A closer object appears hazy, while a farther object appears clearer.
- Astigmatism:Everything may appear fuzzy because of the shape of the eye.
Light rays must pass through the cornea and lens for a person to see clearly. Lens and corneas bend light so that it settles on the retina.The retina converts light into signals that are sent to the brain where they are processed into images.Having refractive errors means that light cannot bend properly due to the shape of the cornea or lens. A hazy vision occurs when light does not focus as it should on the retina.
Courtesy: All About Vision
LASIK involves using a laser to alter the cornea’s shape. This laser eye surgery enhances the focus of light on the retina. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism can all be treated with LASIK.
The purpose of LASIK is to improve vision by correcting the refractive defect. The need for contact lenses or spectacles may be reduced after LASIK eye surgery. In fact, individual vision is improved without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses, and the treatment is painless.
Benefits of LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK eye surgery serves several benefits such as:
- It’s a low-risk procedure where complications are very few.
- It corrects vision as 96% of patients reach their vision goals after LASIK surgery.
- There’s minimal pain as numbing drops are employed in this procedure.
- No bandages or stitches are necessary after LASIK.
- The day following LASIK, vision is almost instantly repaired.
- One or both eyes can undergo LASIK laser surgery in the same session.
- If vision deteriorates due to aging, adjustments can be made years after LASIK to further correct eyesight.
- Simple postoperative care and visits enable the patient to immediately resume everyday activities.
- After LASIK, the majority of patients have a significant decrease in their need for eyeglasses or contact lenses, and many no longer require them at all.
Types of LASIK Surgery
The following are some common LASIK surgery options:
- LASIK:The most famous type of laser eye surgery that involves using a sterile blade to create a hinged flap in the cornea of the eye.The cornea is then scraped clean by your surgeon using a laser to remove extremely thin layers.
- Intra-LASIK:In an intra-LASIK operation, the cornea is cut and reshaped using a laser rather than a blade.
- Wavefront LASIK: It is one of the most cutting-edge and sophisticated procedures. A 3-dimensional scan is used to create a map of the cornea during this surgery. This surgery is more accurateand the odds of achieving 20/20 vision following this procedure increase.
Courtesy: The Eye Foundation
Before LASIK Surgery
An individual’s eye surgeon will perform a complete eye examination prior to the procedure to make sure that the personis a good candidate and that the patient’s eyes are in good enough condition for this procedure. The following things will be assessed by the eye doctor:
- Pupil Size, cornea’s shape, and corneal thickness.
- Myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and other refractive errors.
- Moisture in the eyes.
- Retina condition
- Other eye-related issues.
Before the procedure, the surgeon will provide instructions that must be followed. To evaluate if the patient is a good candidate for LASIK, the doctor will ask about the patient’s general medical history and any medications the patient is currently taking.Before the eye test and LASIK treatment, one should stop wearing contact lenses for a period of time recommended by their doctor (usually two weeks). This is due to the fact that wearing contact lenses can momentarily change the cornea’s natural shape.
Important topics including what to expect during and after the procedure will be covered by the surgeon.Along with a thorough eye exam, the surgeon will assess the medical history of the patient. Refraction, measurements of corneal thickness, eye pressure, corneal mapping, and pupil dilation with retinal evaluation are some of the preliminary exams performed prior to surgery.
DURING LASIK PROCEDURE
The surgeon will administer local anesthesia or may prescribe medication prior to the procedure to minimize any discomfort. The patient’s eyes will be precisely positioned beneath the laser after being numbed, and the lids will be maintained open with the use of a lid speculum instrument.
Before creating a little flap, your surgeon may mark the cornea of the eye using an ink marker. Then, a tiny flap is made in the cornea with the aid of a different tool called a microkeratome. A suction ring can be employed to stop eye movement that might degrade the flap’s quality.
The eye surgeon will use a computer to adjust the laser once the flap has been made and gently pulled back, depending on the refractive need. When the laser pulses light into the cornea, the patient will be asked to briefly look at the light while the surgeon views the eye under a microscope. In this stage, the flap is reinserted after the corneal tissue has been laser-reshaped. Each eye only has to be operated on for 5–10 minutes.
AFTER LASIK SURGERY
The surgeon will ask the patient to take some time to recover after the procedure is finished. The post-operative examination is performed after some time. Despite the fact that it might not feel like it, the patient’s eyes will be dry. The doctor will prescribe eye drops to keep the patient’s eyes moist and to stop infection and irritation.When applying the eye drops, the patient may experience a transient, mild burning sensation or blurry vision.
LASIK SURGERY OUTCOME
After LASIK surgery, the eyes quickly recover. On the first day, a patient’s vision can be a little bit fuzzy or blurry. Within a few days of this procedure, the majority of patients notice improved and sharper vision. The majority of patients who get LASIK surgery do not use glasses or contact lenses afterward. The results of LASIK surgery often rely on precise refractive errors and some other factors.The most successful patients are those with low levels of nearsightedness, while those with high levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism have less predictable results.