LASIK is a complicated but safe surgery performed to fix or improve your vision. Read on to learn more about it.
LASIK stands for Laser in Situ Keratomileusis. It is a two-step medical procedure for the treatment of your eyes.
In the first step, a micro-thin circular flip is made on the cornea. It does not take much time. The eye surgeon uses a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. Then, they lift the micro-thin flap and expose the cornea located just below the eye’s surface.
In the next step, A computer-guided laser is used to eradicate the pieces of tissue blocking the patient’s vision or causing other vision problems. After this, the thin flap is put back in place to protect the reshaped cornea while it gradually heals.
Throughout the U.S, more than 19 million LASIK operations have been conducted since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995.
Is the Surgery Painful?
LASIK eye surgery is primarily painless because a strong anesthetic drop is applied to your eye before and during the operation. Since you need to keep your eyelids open for a long time, an eyelid holder is used. Patients may suffer some pressure in the eye from these eyelid holders. Some surgeons use numbing drops in the eyelids so that they do not feel the pressure and blink.
After the operation, patients might feel slight discomfort in the eye. But they must not touch the eye under any circumstances. The discomfort will eventually go away in about 5 hours.
How Safe is the Process?
Since the eye is a very sensitive and fragile part of the human body, most people feel insecure about getting a LASIK operation. They worry about whether LASIK is safe. Here are some facts about LASIK that should put your mind at ease-
- There have been over 7,000 clinical studies about LASIK. And almost all of the studies have shown how effective and safe the whole operation is.
- Out of all the medical procedures such as transplant, circumcision, gallbladder removal, LASIK operation has the highest patient satisfaction rate, around 96%.
- Almost all patients gain an improved vision after the surgery, and the operation has a low chance of failure when done by professionals.
- More than 40 million LASIK operations have been performed all around the world. There are no reports of permanent blindness or any other eye-related problems that are caused by LASIK operation.
So, in short, LASIK is a very safe and effective operation. The cost is also reasonable. The lasik eye surgery cost in Orange County can cost about $1,000-$4,000 per eye.
How to Prepare for LASIK?
To prepare for a LASIK operation, you need to meet with a coordinator or an eye surgeon to give you a thorough description of the whole procedure. If you are in Orange County, visit the NVISION eye center or Orange County Lasik Institute to find reputable surgeons.
They will also tell you what you need to do before and after the operation.
They will ask for your medical history and conduct an eye exam to see if you had any previous eye diseases. Some standard exams include measuring the thickness of your cornea, the eye pressure, the refraction, etc.
After doing these exams, the surgeon will give you an appointment date for the surgery.
If you wear rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, you need to stop wearing them for at least three weeks prior to the operation. Also, do not use any other type of lenses for at least three days before the procedure. If you are wearing glasses, then bring them with you so your surgeon can examine them.
Do not eat much on the day of the surgery. If you have any medicines prescribed, take them beforehand and do not wear any eye makeup or accessories that might disrupt the operation.
What to Expect After the Surgery?
After the surgery, your eyes might feel dry. To remove the dryness, the doctors will prescribe you some eye drops. This will prevent any eye infection and inflammation. Only use the eye drops that the doctors prescribe. If you want to use another one, ask your doctor beforehand.
The eyes will heal quickly, and you will feel that your vision has improved within a few days. If you face any side effects or any other problems, go to the doctor as soon as possible.
You will also be asked to refrain from swimming or using a hot tub for at least two weeks after the surgery.
The doctor will also schedule you in for follow-up appointments, and you must go for these routine checkups. The first visit will be after a day or so from the operation day.
Doing a LASIK does not mean your eyes are permanently improved. Your vision can worsen as you grow older. And if that happens, the patient needs to go through a second LASIK operation to restore their vision. But more than 90% of the LASIK patients regain better vision after the LASIK surgery.
Are There Any Side-effects?
Just like most other medical procedures, you can expect some side effects after going through the LASIK operation. You might feel these side effects mostly during the healing phase.
The first side effect that you might face is dryness in the eye. Your eyes will feel itchy, and this may cause irritation. Keep your doctor updated about these side effects when you visit them after the operation.
Some other side effects that patients experience include night vision visual symptoms such as glare, halos, ghosting, and starbursts.
The glare, halos, ghosting issues may heal within a few weeks, a month, or a year. Some people will need additional doses of eye drops to reduce their eye inflammation or dryness.
But in very rare cases, additional LASIK treatments are recommended if the visual problems last a long time.
People Who Can Not Benefit from LASIK
Not everyone gets equal benefit from a LASIK operation. If you fall under any of the following categories, a LASIK operation will not benefit the following:
- People under the age of 18
- People with multiple medical conditions requiring prescription medication
- People who suffer from myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism
- People who have severe dry eyes
- People with a very thin cornea
- People with a cone-shaped cornea or Keratoconus
- People suffering from advanced Glaucoma
- People with a record of previous eye infection
- People with uncontrolled diabetes
- Pregnant women
LASIK has become an extremely popular surgery over the years. Thanks to the advancement of technology, the procedure has become more available and safe. There are still some side effects and speculations, but that happens with every operation. If you want to undergo LASIK, then choose a reputable surgeon and follow their instructions accordingly.