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What Is Lasik Surgery?

LASIK, which stands for Laser In-Keratomileusis, is a laser eye surgery procedure where the shape of the cornea is permanently changed to eliminate the need for contacts or glasses. This procedure is done through the use of excimer laser. Once the procedure is completed, the patient has 20/20 vision, even after using prescription contact lenses or glasses.

How is Lasik surgery performed?

When it comes to the actual procedure, there are a few different types you can choose from. The cheapest type of Lasik surgery utilizes a microkeratome, or tiny scalpel, to make the initial cut into the cornea of your eye. While this method is effective, better results can be achieved with the IntraLase procedure. In this type of Lasik eye surgery, the initial cut is made with a laser.

Once the initial cut is made into the cornea, your eye surgeon will use a computer guided laser to sculpt the cornea in such a way that it will create changes in the way light moves into your eye. As may be expected, the corrections necessary will vary from eye to eye and patient to patient. The amount of correction that you experience may also change as you continue to age. Because your eyes will continue to change, Lasik surgery cannot guarantee perfect vision for the rest of your life.

What are the benefits of Lasik Surgery?

Lasik surgery continues to gain popularity because it offers several benefits to patients. One of these is that patients experience immediate restoration of uncorrected vision. After the procedure, astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness are reduced. Patients can enjoy activities without having to worry about their glasses or contacts since the correction is permanent. The result is constant once the refractive error has been corrected.

Additionally, the visual recovery time for this surgery is minimal compared to other eye operations. A patient experiences a speedy recovery once the procedure is done. As a result, a patient can soon perform his work and other activities and will not have to rest for a longer period.

What are the risks of Lasik Eye Surgery?

While there are benefits of Lasik surgery, there can also be risks. In some cases, patients can experience improper correction. This means that the desired correction is not achieved and astigmatism is induced. There are some patients who even lose lines of vision which cannot be corrected with glasses or contacts.

Another risk is that patients can develop severe dry eyes and need eye drops to keep from feeling pain. For most patients, this will go away after several months. But for some, this can be permanent, especially if the patient has already had dry eye problems in the past.

Other visual abnormalities that can be experienced by patients are glares and halos. In the first few months, patients can experience problems with glare at night and halos or hazy rings around bright lights at night. And occasionally, double vision can also occur.

How you can prepare yourself for Lasik Surgery

Assuming that you are in good general overall health in order to have this type of surgery and that you don't have a disease that could slow healing such as diabetes or lupus, you can take the right steps to prepare you for eye surgery.

You will need to arrange for some time off from work as there is a recovery period after the operation. In most cases, it is just a couple of days. You'll need to make sure you have a ride to and from the procedure. Discuss with your doctor ahead of time if he'll be giving you a Valium or something to relax you during the surgery. Of course, you're not obligated to take any medication but for some people, it helps them to relax and not be so frightened.

Make sure whoever takes you to the appointment listens to and understands the aftercare instructions, especially if you have had a sedative as you may not remember all the instructions. Ideally, they will be written down and you will be given some post-operational care literature to read. Keep the Lasik surgery information regarding post-operative procedures handy.

Whatever you do, once you've made the decision to have Lasik surgery, don't let anyone scare you into not having it. The pain, if any is minor and the discomfort only lasts for a few days. If you and your doctor have decided that you would make a good candidate for this type of surgery, don't listen to someone else who probably is scared herself. The overwhelming majority of those who have had Lasik eye surgery are happy with the result and you, most likely, will be too.