One of the most common eye surgeries, LASIK is a refractive surgery that aims to correct conditions like astigmatism, hyperopia, and myopia. Often referred to as laser vision correction or laser eye surgery, LASIK, or Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, is a way that patients try to permanently correct their vision so that they won’t need to rely on glasses or contact lenses.
An ophthalmologist performs the surgery using a laser or microkeratome to structure the cornea.LASIK is a fast and painless surgery that typically has a very little discomfort after the procedure.
Many patients report that their vision is 20/20 within a day as the surgery can correct nearsightedness and farsightedness as well as astigmatism. However, keep in mind that LASIK is not for everyone.
Some patients require an alternative similar to LASIK called PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, which is more commonly needed for patients with moderate to high myopia or thin corneas.
What LASIK Surgery Entails
The LASIK procedure typically requires about an hour, although the entire surgery event is only about 15 minutes. With this process, the surgeon creates a hinged flap of tissue on your cornea with a laser, or microkeratome.
Then, the flap is folded back so your cornea can be reshaped, a laser treatment that lasts about a minute. Finally, the flap is repositioned, and the surgeon repeats the process for your other eye.
One version of LASIK is Wavefront LASIK, or custom LASIK, uses laser treatment mapped out by an analysis by the computer. These procedures are more precise than the LASIK the relies on prescriptions. Wavefront LASIK, which has a similar procedure, often provides sharper vision than traditional LASIK procedures, and they can improve night vision by reducing glare.
Ideal Candidates for Optimal LASIK
Patients who could benefit from LASIK must have healthy eyes with enough corneal thickness because the reshaping procedure removes tissue from the cornea. And they must be over age 18. Ideal LASIK patients also should not have chronic dry eye, corneal disease or any other abnormality in their eye, so all candidates need to undergo an initial eye screening.
APEX Eyecare can provide LASIK pre-operative exams and consultations. Patients must also be willing to accept the risks involved with this procedure and should be aware that while the surgery is often successful, there is a chance your vision still may not be perfect.
While rare, there are cases where the vision was permanently changed to less clear than it was with glasses before the surgery. Of course, in most cases, LASIK does reduce a need for wearing glasses and contacts, so patients with that goal are good candidates for this surgery.
What to Expect After LASIK
After a LASIK procedure, you may not drive yourself home. You will be able to see well enough to walk, but you will need to cover your eyes with protective wear. You’ll also need to use medicated eye drops several times a day for about a week to help with healing and preventing infection. Over-the-counter artificial tears can also help keep your eye moist.
Your eyesight should be back on par enough to drive the day after your surgery. Still, following your surgery, you should rest your eyes as much as you can, and perhaps leave the house lights on a dim setting. And try to avoid rubbing your eyes.
Your doctor may ask that you return the following day for an eye exam to check your vision and to ensure your eyes are healing properly. You may visit your optometrist for this check-up. Take that time to ask any questions you may have about post-surgery practices.
What to Do If Your Vision is Blurry After LASIK
For most patients, vision is improved very soon after surgery. For others, it can take longer for their eyes to completely stabilize, up to several months in some cases. If you experience blurriness after your LASIK, either sustained or off-and-on, be sure to contact your surgeon.
You may need to have a second LASIK surgery to complete your vision improvement. Otherwise, you may need to wear glasses or contacts until your vision stabilizes.
APEX Eyecare optometrists can provide more guidance on your best solution to blurry vision after LASIK. If you’re over 40, you may still require reading glasses after LASIK. In addition, many patients find they still need prescription glasses for driving at night.
Caring for Your Eyes After LASIK – APEX Eyecare
Even after corrective surgery, you’ll still need regular eye exams to screen for diseases like glaucoma or other problems. Contact APEX Eyecare at (803) 741-7177 to schedule your annual appointment.