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LASIK eye surgery is a type of refractive surgery that corrects common eye conditions such as hyperopia (farsightedness) and myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. The procedure ultimately changes the characteristics of the eye that provide focus, thus achieving a clearer image. LASIK surgery changes the shape of the cornea to achieve this.   LASIK and other forms of refractive surgery offers millions of eyeglass and contact lens wearers new alternatives for improving their vision. While most people realize the benefits of corrections offered by wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses, few understand the technology, benefits, and risks associated with LASIK and other forms of refractive surgery. Anyone considering refractive surgery should consider all options and speak with a Vision Associates eye doctor.  

Am I a good candidate for LASIK?

LASIK might be a good option for you if you:

  • Want to decrease your dependence on glasses or contact lenses
  • Are free of eye disease
  • Accept the inherent risks and potential side effects of the procedure
  • Understand that you could still need glasses or contacts after the procedure to achieve your best vision
  • Have an appropriate eyeglass/contact prescription

There is no universally accepted, best method for correcting refractive errors. The best option for you should be decided after a thorough examination and discussion with your Vision Associates ophthalmologist. If you are considering refractive surgery, you and your ophthalmologist can discuss your lifestyle and vision needs to determine the most appropriate procedure for you.   Dr. Harooni is a fellowship trained refractive surgery specialist at Vision Associates and upholds the highest standard of care for his patients. If you have refractive vision challenges, such as farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), presbyopia, or astigmatism, refractive surgery can be a suitable method for improving or correcting your vision. The most widely known and frequently performed types of refractive surgery is LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), where the cornea is reshaped by using a laser. There are various surgical procedures for correcting focus, or adjusting the eye’s ability to focus, by reshaping the cornea. If LASIK is not an option for you other procedures may be offered to help you achieve your goals and may involve implanting a lens inside your eye.  

Why is it done?

LASIK surgery may be an option for the correction of one of these vision problems:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia). This makes objects that are close fairly clear, but not those that are far away.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia). This makes near vision, and sometimes distant vision, blurry.
  • Astigmatism. When the cornea curves or flattens unevenly, the result is astigmatism, which effects the focus of near and distant vision.

If you’re considering LASIK surgery, you probably already wear glasses or contact lenses. Your eye doctor will talk with you about whether LASIK surgery or another similar refractive procedure is an option that will work for you.

Risks

Complications that result in a loss of vision are very rare. But certain side effects of LASIK eye surgery, particularly dry eyes, and temporary visual disturbances, are fairly common. These usually clear up after a few weeks or months, and very few people consider them to be a long-term problem.  If you are considering LASIK surgery, talk to your Vision Associates doctor about your questions and concerns. They can explain how the surgery might benefit you and help put the risks in perspective. Your doctor will discuss with you whether you’re a candidate for the procedure. 

What can you expect?

Before the procedure. Your Vision Associates doctor will carefully evaluate you and your eyes to ensure you are an ideal candidate for the LASIK procedure. We will ask about your medical and surgical history and give you a comprehensive eye examination.  In the eye examination, your Vision Associates doctor will evaluate your vision and look for signs of any abnormalities or health conditions in the eyes that would effect the results of the surgery to ensure the procedure can be done safely.  Before surgery, your doctor at Vision Associates will discuss the risks and benefits of LASIK, what to expect before and after surgery, and any questions you may have.  During the procedure. LASIK surgery is usually a short procedure, completed in 30 minutes or less. During the procedure, you lie on your back in a reclining chair. After numbing drops are placed in your eye, your doctor uses an instrument to hold your eyelids open. A suction ring placed on your eye just before making the corneal flap may cause a feeling of pressure, and your vision may dim a little. Your eye surgeon uses a laser to cut a small hinged flap away from the front of your eye. Folding back the flap allows your doctor to access the part of your cornea to be reshaped. Using a programmed laser, your eye surgeon reshapes parts of your cornea. With each pulse of the laser beam, a tiny amount of corneal tissue is removed. After reshaping the cornea, the surgeon lays the flap back into place. The flap usually heals without stitches.  If you need LASIK surgery in both eyes, doctors will generally conduct the procedure on the same day.  After the procedure. Immediately after surgery, your eye might be watery, burn some or itch. You could possibly have blurred vision. And generally you will experience little pain. Complete vision is typically restored quickly.  Your doctor will discuss after surgery care with you where they could provide eye drops, ask you to wear a shield over your eye at night during the healing process, etc. For your eye to completely heal it takes about two to three months after the surgery.  You will have a follow-up appointment with your Vision Associates eye doctor where they will see how your eye is healing and check for any complications. Follow your doctor’s recommendations about how soon you can resume your normal activities. 

Results

LASIK often offers improved vision without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses. In general, you have a very good chance of achieving 20/25 vision or better after refractive surgery. Your results depend on different factors as your eyes are as unique as you.  Rarely, some people’s eyes slowly return to the level of vision they had before surgery. This might happen due to certain conditions, such as abnormal wound healing, hormonal imbalances or pregnancy. Sometimes this change in vision is due to another eye problem, such as a cataract. Talk with your Vision Associates doctor about any vision changes.