Laser eye surgery, generally called Lasik surgery, is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. It’s tempting to just join the bandwagon and ditch the contacts and eyeglasses for the surgery. But with its permanent results, it’s something that you should consider more seriously. That said, here are some things you should know about laser eye surgery:
Lasik Surgery: Are You a Good Candidate?
Generally, laser eye surgery is most beneficial for people who have no rare eye diseases or those who have a moderate degree of eye refractive error. If you’re in New York, click here to contact an eye surgeon for an initial consultation. The surgeon should examine your eye health to help evaluate if you don’t have conditions that may lead to complications or poor results of the surgery. Check the following eye conditions for which you may not be recommended to have Lasik surgery:
- If you are suffering from an eye disease characterized by continuous decline of vision and keratoconus or thinning of the cornea. Even if you don’t have keratoconus but the disease runs in the family, you should be careful about eye surgery.
- If you have Herpes simplex in the eyes and eye infections, including uveitis and keratitis.
- If the doctor finds that you have lid disorders or eye injuries.
- If you have dry eyes, you shouldn’t undergo Lasik surgery as it can make your condition worse.
- For people with large pupils, particularly in dim light, the surgery may not be helpful as it can result in incapacitating conditions such as halos, glare, ghost images, and starbursts.
- If you have a cataract.
- If you have glaucoma, you can’t have Lasik surgery as it can increase the eye pressure and make your condition worse.
- If a patient has high refractive error or severe nearsightedness, the benefits may outweigh the risks.
- If you generally have healthy eyes and good vision without the need to use glasses or contacts, the effects of surgery are not worth the risks.
- If a patient has age-related changes that lead to presbyopia, or a reduction in clarity of vision.
- If a person is always active in contact sports that may result in receiving blows to the face, the surgery may not be a good idea. These sports include boxing or martial arts.
What to Expect before the Procedure
Find a licensed doctor to make a careful evaluation of your eyes to ensure its health before the procedure. They should consider the thickness and shape of the cornea, refractive errors, pupil size, and other eye conditions.
- The tear film on your eyes’ surface will be checked and given protective treatment to reduce the risk of dry eyes after the eye procedure.
- The doctor will use a corneal topographer to measure the eye’s curvature. This step allows the doctor to make a map of your cornea.
- The eye specialist may also use what they call wavefront technology to make a wavefront analysis on your eyes. This technology sends light waves through your eyes to create a more detailed map of abnormalities affecting your vision.
- Expect the doctor to ask about your overall health history and any medications you are currently taking to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure.
- You will be advised to stop wearing your contact lenses usually for two weeks prior to the procedure since contacts are found to temporarily modify the cornea’s natural form.
What Happens during the Procedure
Before the Lasik eye procedure starts, the medical staff should administer numbing eye drops to the eyes. This will ensure that you won’t feel any discomfort while undergoing the surgery. You should be in a relaxed state before the procedure and the doctor may give you medication for this.
- The eye will be placed under the laser and kept wide open using a special instrument.
- The doctor will create a corneal flap and adjust the laser according to your prescription using a computer.
- Your doctor will ask that you focus on a target light for some time while they look at the eye through a microscope as the laser sends light pulses to the cornea, which will reshape the cornea. Expect to feel some pressure on your eyes.
- The procedure is done on each eye, with each one lasting just around five minutes.
What Happens after Surgery
The doctor won’t allow you to drive home so you should have someone do that for you. After the procedure, you will be given time to rest. Note that you may feel a burning sensation during this time. The surgeon will check your vision before allowing you to go home. Expect that you will be asked to return for follow up check-ups in the following days. You’ll be allowed to drive again when the doctor checks that your vision conforms to legal standards. Generally, your eyesight should be completely improved after several weeks to six months.
People who have been wearing prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses to improve their eyesight may find a more liberating option with laser eye surgery. Learning more about laser eye surgery should help you decide if the procedure is right for you. Contact a licensed eye surgeon for more information.