The LASIK Process Explained
For centuries, people who have suffered from nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism have depended on corrective lenses to help them see properly. Initially, this meant purchasing eyeglasses, but in the twentieth century, contact lenses were introduced as an alternative. Like eyeglasses, however, contact lenses are not a permanent solution to vision problems because corrective lenses do not actually “cure” wearers of their astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness.
During the past few decades, however, laser eye surgery has become one of the preferred ways to correct vision problems. Unlike eyeglasses and contact lenses, the laser eye procedure, which is also commonly known as LASIK surgery, actually “cures” vision difficulties by reshaping the patient’s eye. As a result, a patient who has undergone such surgery no longer needs to wear glasses or contact lenses.
The LASIK Procedure Explained
The procedure that reshapes the eye begins with the doctor using a surgical device known as a microkeratome to create a small flap in the cornea. This flap is then lifted to allow access to the underlying layers of the cornea, which are reshaped using a precision laser. Depending on the vision problem and the degree of correction needed, this laser is used to remove several tiny layers from the cornea. The result is a properly shaped cornea that gives the patient improved vision. Once the laser eye surgery is completed, the flap that was cut in the cornea is folded back down, and the eye begins to heal immediately.
Pros and Cons of Lasik Procedure
Since laser eye procedures have been used to correct vision for several decades, researchers are gaining an even better understanding of the pros and cons of the surgery. The following represents some of the most significant pros and cons that anyone who is considering such surgery should consider.
- Decreased risk of infection — patients who have had a laser eye procedure are less likely to get an eye infection than those who wear contact lenses.
- Savings on corrective lenses — there is only a one-time cost for the LASIK procedure, which is much less than the total patients spend on contact lenses after many decades.
- Convenience — patients who have completed the LASIK procedure do not need glasses or contacts, and they do not have to worry about leaving these lenses behind or losing them.
- Dry eyes — several LASIK patients report problems with dry eyes even after recovering from surgery, but such problems can often be minimized when the appropriate steps are taken.
- Glare — some LASIK patients experience excessive glare after the procedure.
- Unmet expectations — some patients are disappointed that their vision does not improve after a LASIK procedure to the degree that they hoped for, but listening carefully to the doctor’s predictions can help minimize this problem.
LASIK surgery should continue to grow in popularity for many years to come. Patients who educate themselves on the procedure will be able to make an informed decision as to whether they should undergo the surgery.
Les writes about laser eye surgery for Personal Eyes where you can find out more about eye procedures to suit your lifestyle.