Most surgical procedures cause apprehension, which is natural since stress is an innate response to perceived threat. The threat is however only perceived and what may be assumed as dangerous could actually just be something that can be easily accomplished. The same applies to a LASIK procedure where a trained eye surgeon uses a laser underneath a corneal flap to reshape the cornea.
This procedure aims to treat refractive error and improve vision while reducing or completely eliminating the need for spectacles and contact lenses. The technicality of a LASIK procedure may come off as scary to some patients; however, being educated about the procedure helps patients understand that this treatment is in fact widely common and can be done with ease by a skilled eye specialist with little to no side effects.
LASIK or Laser in Situ Keratomileusis employs the use of a highly specialized laser to change the shape of the cornea, the transparent front covering of the eye, for the purpose of treating a variety of refractive errors. First, a qualified eye surgeon creates a precise, thin hinged corneal flap using a microkeratome. They then pull back the flap to expose the underlying corneal tissue and the laser then reshapes the cornea according to the prescribed recommendation for the patient. The surgeon then proceeds to gently reposition the underlying cornea ensuring no sutures are formed.
Before you go through the procedure, it is important that you follow some precautionary measures:
- Ensure that your eye doctor performs a thorough eye exam to determine whether your eyes are healthy for the procedure. They will evaluate the shape and thickness of your cornea, pupil size, refractive errors, and any other existing eye conditions.
- You will also be required to remove your contact lenses for a period of time determined by your eye doctor; however, it is likely to be for a period of two weeks prior to the procedure. This is to be done before both the eye exam and the LASIK procedure. Contact lenses can temporarily alter the shape of the cornea hence lenses are to be removed.
- Your eye doctor is also likely to inspect your suitability for the procedure by asking general questions about your health to ensure that no previous condition can hinder the procedure and also to make sure you do not suffer from any serious side effects.
Types of LASIK
The different types of LASIK are based on the different types of ophthalmological lasers and the different laser ablations that are performed; the LASIK procedure however is eventually the same. Some of the various ophthalmological lasers include:
- Bausch & Lomb
The different kinds of laser ablations include:
- Wavefront-optimized treatments
- Wavefront guided treatments
- A completely different type of laser, namely the femtosecond laser that can be used in place of a mechanical microkeratome to create the LASIK corneal flap
When is LASIK eye surgery a good option
While an eye specialist is best equipped to educate you on what is the best option for you based on an eye exam, it is always advisable to research your options, which can help you approach the right eye specialist to treat your eye concerns. The suggestions and prerequisites below can help you figure out if you require a LASIK surgery but it is not advisable to merely depend on any information without the recommendations of your eye doctor.
- Ideally, laser eye surgery works best for individuals who have a moderate degree of refractive error and do not have any unusual visual problems.
- Having an eye condition that causes progressive deterioration of your vision and thinning of your cornea calls for serious caution to be undertaken before any kind of eye surgery is performed.
- Examining whether you have a diagnosis of keratitis, uveitis, and herpes simplex affecting the eye area or any other eye infections is vital.
- Specialists are to look out for any eye injury or lid disorders.
- Dry eye disease is a side effect of laser surgery. If you already suffer from the same, LASIK surgery could worsen your condition.
- LASIK is not recommended to individuals with large pupils as the surgery may cause severe symptoms such as glare, halos, starbursts, and ghost images.
- Individuals who are diagnosed with Glaucoma are not advised to carry on with LASIK surgery as it can raise eye pressure thereby worsening the pre-existing condition.
- Individuals with Cataract eye disease are also not suggested to undergo laser surgery.
- LASIK may not be necessarily apt for patients with severe myopia or high refractive errors as the risks can overweigh the benefits in this particular situation.
- Having a good vision may not call for LASIK surgery, as the risks are high in such cases.
- Age related eye errors might not be effectively treated by LASIK treatment.
- Athletes participating in contact sports where the individual is likely to come into contact with heavy forces on their eyes and face are recommended not to undergo the procedure, as it is not entirely suitable.
Following are the set of symptoms LASIK can correct
- Refractive errors
- Myopia, commonly known as near-sightedness, which is when you are able to see near but unable to see far off images
- Hyperopia, commonly known as farsightedness, which is when you are able to see far away but unable to see near
- Astigmatism, which typically results in blurred vision at all distances
- Presbyopia, which is the loss of near-focusing ability, which progresses with age
Following are the set of symptoms LASIK cannot correct:
- Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, which is a muscle-related disease. Although LASIK is still an option here, it may not give the expected results as patients will still be required to use corrective glasses.
- Cataract which is a disease causing foggy sight and is commonly observed in aged patients.
- Glaucoma, a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve resulting in vision loss and blindness.
- Keratoconus which occurs when the cornea thins out and bulges like a cone. Bringing the light rays out of focus thereby causing blurry and distorted vision.
Although laser surgery is a relatively safe and an uncomplicated procedure, all procedures come with their set of risks. While choosing any form of evasive treatment, the goal is to study the risks thoroughly and ensure that you consult with your eye specialist beforehand. Following are some of the side effects of a LASIK procedure:
- Dry eyes
- Glare, halos, and double vision
- Under correction may require more tissues to be removed
- Astigmatism can be caused by uneven tissue removal and may require additional surgery, glasses or contact lenses.
- Although vision loss or changes are rare, sometimes a loss of vision may be experienced due to surgical complications
The troubles with the constant use of glasses and contact lenses cannot be easily understood. The fuss and mess of using them often encourages people to opt for an easy fix with minimum complications. Although LASIK surgery may not be for everyone, consulting with your eye doctor can easily help resolve your confusion.
To learn more about LASIK surgery and to book an appointment with an eye specialist, contact us at https://www.spanisheyeclinic.com/contact-us/.