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a graphic depicting LASIK eye surgery mapping on an eye

LASIK Eye Surgery 101

What Is LASIK Eye Surgery?

Medical and technological advances have moved forward in leaps and bounds and this extends into correcting eyesight issues. Here, we will answer the question: what is LASIK eye surgery?

The first LASIK eye surgery took place in 1991. Precise and fine instruments with various medical advancements made this all possible.

Today, LASIK eye surgery is relatively common. In fact, it is probably the most well known corrective eye surgery.

In this article, we examine what LASIK eye surgery is, what the procedure is like, who can benefit from it and much more.

LASIK Eye Surgery Defined

LASIK eye surgery is a more invasive way to correct eyesight issues. LASIK stands for laser assisted in situ keratomileusis. It’s a type of laser eye surgery that uses a laser to change the shape of the cornea, which is the eye’s natural lens. While eyeglasses or contacts can temporarily correct eyesight issues, LASIK eye surgery is a permanent correction.

Why Is LASIK Surgery Performed?

In the most basic sense, LASIK eye surgery is performed to correct issues with eyesight. More specifically, LASIK is an option available to the following vision problems.

Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness happens when the cornea is curved too much or from a long eyeball. The light rays end up focusing in front of the retina, as opposed to on it, creating a blurred visual field. This means that the individuals are able to see objects and people close to them, yet they are unable to make out objects or people from farther away.

Farsightedness

Farsightedness is the opposite of nearsightedness. The eyeball may be too short, or the cornea does not curve enough to allow proper light to focus on the retina. Again, this results in blurred vision. Individuals with farsightedness struggle to see items clearly that are right in front of them. They sometimes can see objects far away, but sometimes cannot as well.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism refers to an irregularly shaped cornea. Similar to the above conditions, it disrupts a person’s ability to see a focused visual field.

LASIK Benefits vs Risks

LASIK eye surgery comes with many benefits. Yet, there are risks as well. Review the following sections to weigh the pros and cons of this procedure.

The Advantages

The benefits of LASIK include:

  • 96% of individuals experience better and improved vision after surgery
  • There is little to no pain, since numbing drops are used on the area before surgery
  • It works instantly with no bandages or stitching necessary
  • Further adjustments can be made after your initial surgery, such as if your vision were to change more down the road
  • You may no longer need your contacts or eyeglasses, potentially saving you on money in the future

Potential Risks

Like anything, there are risks involved. Potential risks of LASIK include:

  • Dry eyes during the first few days, weeks, or months after the surgery.
  • Your doctor may recommend eye drops to help with this.Problems seeing for up to a couple of weeks after surgery. Glares, double vision and halos may increase after surgery.
  • Needing another procedure if the surgery did not correct the problem
  • Regressing vision
  • Rare issues occurring within the area cut by the laser, which could result in vision loss

Further, certain individuals cannot have LASIK eye surgery performed. These include individuals with autoimmune disorders, dry eyes prior to surgery, recent vision changes and inflammation of the eye.

LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery

Following your surgery, you may experience some discomfort in the eyes, such as itching, burning and watering. However, most people experience very little pain. Eye drops or pain medication may be recommended for the hours following your surgery. You may also be advised to wear a protector over your eyes while you sleep until they have had adequate time to heal.

Often, your vision will not magically be fixed right away. It may take two to three months to notice full improvements. You will also attend a follow up appointment in the days after surgery, as well as throughout the six months following surgery.

Overall, more than eight out of every 10 people notice vast improvements in their vision. Always make sure you listen to your doctor on postoperative care and instructions.

Choosing Your Clinic or Surgeon

When selecting where to get your LASIK eye surgery done, you will want to do as much research as possible. Check reviews. Look into the surgeon’s qualifications. This will ensure you find someone with a ton of experience and a stellar track record. It will also reduce your risks, ensuring a smooth procedure and recovery.

Overall, starting with this article has given you a baseline to determine whether or not LASIK is right for you and your life. Weigh the pros and cons. Is it worth it for you?

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