LASIK has been a popular procedure in the media for those with eye problems. But is it really as good as the marketers claim? To get more of an understanding of how LASIK works, we asked a LASIK eye surgery Seattle expert about the basics and what people should know prior to surgery. Here’s what we found.
The Meaning of LASIK
What is LASIK? The simplest answer is that this is a type of eye surgery where the surface of the eye is reshaped with the help of a laser. This kind of procedure is quite useful for some people who suffer from certain kinds of vision problems as it basically restores their vision, allowing them to see better without the use of aids like glasses and contacts.
The work ‘LASIK’ is actually an acronym and stands for Laser-Assisted In-situ Keratomileusis. I bet that last word is a mouthful. It’s pronounced KER-uh-toe-muh-LOO-sus.
How is the procedure carried out?
Now that we understand what LASIK is and what it stands for, you’re probably curious about how exactly it works.
The process is fairly simple. A small flap of corneal tissue (the cornea is the tissue that forms the surface of the eye) is cut away from the surface of the eye. The laser itself is used to burn very small amounts of tissue according to a specific pattern. The burning is designed to alter the shape of the cornea itself so that vision improves. Once the burning is done, the small flap of tissue is returned.
The whole process is pretty quick and can take as little as 20 minutes to be done. The patient doesn’t even need to be unconscious during the procedure. They might need a little valium for their nerves, though! The laser is designed in such a way that, if the eye makes any sudden movements during the procedure that may result in inaccuracies or injury, then the laser switches itself off.
Am I Eligible?
This is one of the most important questions you should ask before you elect to have the LASIK procedure. If you’re an adult under 40, have worn eyeglasses or contacts for the past year, and your prescription has not changed during that time, then you may be eligible for LASIK. If you meet any of the criteria below then you are not a good candidate for LASIK surgery:
- You have a slow healing rate because of disease or medicine use
- You naturally have very dry eyes
- Your cornea is unusually shaped or thin
- You get a lot of ulcers, swellings, or infections in the eyes
- You are younger theyeglasses or are pregnant
How effective is LASIK?
Pretty effective! Most people will never need contacts or eye glasses again after the procedure. Some may need to get a second procedure for the perfect vision, but they are a very small minority. People who use reading glasses, however, may still need glasses after LASIK.
How safe is the Procedure?
Serious side effects after the procedure are extremely rare and the loss of vision is rarer still. Some people may experience dryness in the eyes for anything from a few hours to a few months after the procedure, but artificial tears can help. Most of the side effects will be gone well within 6 months.