For persons that use spectacles and eye contacts to correct their eyesight, laser eye surgery is an increasingly attractive alternative. Laser eye surgery is used to treat myopia (nearsightedness) or sometimes hyperopia (farsightedness). There are two main types of laser eye surgery – LASIK and LASEK. LASIK stands for Laser-assisted In situ Keratomileusis while LASEK is Laser-assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis. LASIK is the more widely used laser surgery technique – LASEK is mainly applied where one does not meet the health or age requirements necessary to undergo a LASIK procedure. Eyes of Texas offers excellent info on this.
Within the human eye, the cornea and lens play an important part in the directing of light towards the retina. When the cornea and the eye lens is unable to do this, images will not be clear. We call the resulting blurriness refractive error. LASIK eye surgery uses a laser beam to correct the anomaly on the cornea and lens. The ophthalmologist assesses each patient and determines the amount of corneal tissue that will need to be cut to correct his or her eyesight.
A LASIK procedure takes approximately 15minutes to perform on each eye. First, the surgeon numbs the eye by using anesthetic eye drops. A microkeratome is used to cut and make a thin corneal flap, which is then pulled back to expose the corneal tissue. After this, an excimer laser is used to adjust the shape of the cornea after which the flap is gently returned. No stitches are necessary – the body’s natural healing processes are relied upon to restore the eye.
Once the LASIK procedure is complete, one will be required to wear an eye patch to serve as a physical barrier for the itchy feeling experienced after the surgery. The patch must not be removed until at least 8 to 10 hours after the surgery.
Not everyone is eligible for LASIK eye surgery. Expectant or lactating women should not go through a LASIK procedure because their current eye measurements are not in their normal state. In such instances, the LASIK procedure may seem effective immediately, but might in fact damage the mother’s eyesight in the long run.
LASIK is also not advisable for persons on certain prescription drugs such as oral prednisone and accutane. It can however be done after they are off the drugs (that is if their use of such drugs is temporary). For those suffering from diseases such as diabetes and lupus that can affect eyesight should also avoid LASIK eye surgery. Age too is a determining factor – it is advisable for older people to go for LASEK surgery. Overall, the patient’s overall health must be considered.
While LASIK is a viable alternative with a high success rate, there are potential complications even though this is rare. Some of the complications include an infection of the cornea, distortion of the cornea that makes it difficult to wear contact lenses, dry eyes, light sensitivity and itchiness. One must weigh the advantages versus the risks before undergoing the procedure. If you’re okay with wearing contact lenses or glasses, then you can do without LASIK.