Everything you should know before having LASIK Eye Surgery

What is Lasik Eye Surgery?

LASIK is a laser eye surgery used to correct specific vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. During the procedure, a laser is used to reshape the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye, which helps to refocus light entering the eye and improve vision. LASIK is a relatively common and safe procedure, but it does carry some risks, and recovery time can vary. Patients must discuss the potential benefits and risks with their eye doctor before deciding if LASIK is the right option.

Who may it help?

LASIK surgery can bring visual freedom to those struggling with common refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Let's understand these in-depth and know how LASIK surgery can help eliminate these eye conditions.

  1. Farsightedness : Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is a condition where distant objects are seen clearly, but close objects appear blurry. It is caused by a flat curvature of the cornea and can be corrected by reshaping it with laser eye surgery.

  2. Nearsightedness : Myopia, also known as nearsightedness or short-sightedness, is a condition where close objects can be seen clearly, but distant objects appear blurry. This is caused by a steep curvature of the cornea, which can be corrected through laser eye surgery that reshapes the cornea.

  3. Astigmatism : Astigmatism is a condition characterized by a differently shaped eye. In people without this condition, the eye is round like a soccer ball, but in people with astigmatism, the eye may have a more football-like shape. In some cases, this different curvature of the cornea can be corrected with eye treatment by laser.

Who is unsuitable?

People unsuitable for eye treatment by laser include those who:

  • Have a change in their eye prescription in a period of 12 months
  • take medications that may cause vision problems
  • are in their 20s or younger
  • have thin corneas, which can not be treated by laser surgery
  • are pregnant or nursing

Benefits of LASIK Eye Surgery

The main benefit of eye treatment by laser is that most people no longer have to wear glasses to see clearly. Individuals may choose to have LASIK eye surgery because of the following:

  • Improved vision : LASIK surgery can reduce or even eliminate the need for contact lenses.
  • Quick recovery : Eye treatment by laser is a quick procedure that typically takes less than 30 minutes per eye, and most patients can return to work and other normal activities within a day or two.
  • High success rate : Eye treatment by laser is considered a safe procedure with a low risk of serious complications.
  • Long-lasting results : LASIK Surgery can provide long-lasting results, with many patients experiencing stable vision for years or even decades after the procedure.

Risks and complications

Individuals with certain eye conditions may be more susceptible to complications when undergoing LASIK surgery. These conditions include:

  • Eye infections like keratitis or ocular herpes
  • Advanced cataracts, as these may not respond well to laser surgery
  • Glaucoma
  • Large pupils
  • Keratoconus- a condition in which the cornea becomes thinner and weaker over time.

As with all surgeries, a person may experience complications, including:

  • Dry eyes: Up to 95% of people who have laser eye surgery may experience dry eyes after the procedure, where the eyes produce fewer tears. Lubricating eye drops can help with this symptom.
  • Glare: 20% of people undergoing laser eye surgery may experience visual changes such as glare, halo, or sensitivity to light.
  • Blurry vision: As many as 1 in 50 people may report blurriness and feel something in their eyes. Diffuse lamellar keratitis — also called "sands of Sahara" syndrome — may be the cause.

Other complications a person may experience include:

  • eye infection
  • corneal flap complications
  • red or bloodshot whites of the eye

It is normal to experience some mild discomfort, such as dryness, itching, and light sensitivity, in the days following LASIK surgery. These symptoms usually resolve within the first few days. However, if an individual continues to experience symptoms after this time, they should seek the advice of a medical professional, as it may indicate a complication.

What does laser eye surgery recovery involve?

After the LASIK procedure, your surgeon may provide a protective shield or device to wear over your eyes to prevent injury and discourage rubbing or scratching. Discomforts, such as pain, itching or burning, are common after the surgery, and your doctor may provide medication for pain relief. It is best to rest and avoid activities that may cause rubbing or scratching of the eyes. Your doctor will provide instructions on when it is safe to resume normal activities such as driving and returning to work, and you should follow up with your surgeon for regular check-ups.

How much does laser eye surgery cost?

The cost of LASIK eye surgery can vary depending on many factors, including the location of the surgery and the technology used. LASIK surgery can range from $1,500 to $3,500 per eye. However, it is important to note that many insurance plans do not cover the cost of LASIK eye surgery, so it is best to check with your insurance provider and discuss financing options with the clinic performing the surgery.

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