Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, commonly abbreviated as LASIK eye surgery, is the most common surgery used to correct refraction deficiencies in the eye. It is a procedure that uses a laser to reshape the cornea to improve its shape and hence focus light on the retina.
Your cornea is the clear tissue in front of your eyes (the window) and is responsible for refracting light onto your retina for good vision. When there is improper refraction of light due to an inappropriate shape of the cornea, people either have to wear glasses or contact lenses. Or they can have their vision corrected permanently.
If you have myopia or short-sightedness, it means your eyeball is relatively longer than average, and your cornea is curved more than normal. Consequently, your cornea focuses incoming light rays in front of your retina, causing far objects to appear blurred.
Hyperopia or farsightedness causes light rays to focus behind your retina because your eyeball is relatively short, or your cornea is too flat. Astigmatism, an uneven flattening or curving of the cornea, also affects vision by distorting the refraction of light rays in the eyes.
In most cases, these eye conditions can be corrected by using prescribed lenses and glasses, but LASIK treatment corrects the anomaly in the shape of the cornea, thereby improving vision.
LASIK is increasingly becoming a popular option for those looking to improve their vision as it offers a more permanent solution to those who wear glasses.
Before the Surgery
Before your doctor carries our LASIK surgery on your eyes, your eyes will need to be assessed a few weeks before the procedure. Upon completing a very thorough advanced visual analysis and examination of your eyes, your doctor will then be able to determine the most appropriate procedure for you.
You may also be required to discontinue the use of contact lens and any eye makeup before the examination so that the results can be as accurate as possible.
Before explaining what you should and should not expect from the surgery, your doctor will also consider your medical background (including eye dryness, infections, and inflammation).
On your end, you can also arrange for your ride from the clinic as we suggest you do not drive yourself home after the surgery.
During the Surgery
LASIK eye treatment is a relatively quick procedure and in most cases takes less than half an hour for both eyes to be completed. Your surgeon will anaesthetise your eyes during the treatment before holding your lids open with a sterile instrument.
You'll need to fix your gaze on a small light during the procedure. Upon focusing your gaze, the surgeon will place a suction ring on your eyes to stabilise your cornea. The eye tracker will be engaged - this device tracks your eyes at more than 1000 times per second while the laser pulses at 500 times per second. That means that the eye tracker twice checks the position of your eye before releasing a laser pulse. The laser will then be used to gently reshape your corneal tissue until it is appropriately shaped.
This procedure is painless (you may feel gentle pressure for a few seconds at most) and minimally invasive meaning that you won’t require any bandages or stitches after the procedure.
After the Surgery
Immediately after LASIK eye treatment, your vision may be quite blurred, and you may experience slight discomfort in the operated eye. Eye drops or prescription medications should bring you relief from the symptoms.
Vision usually recovers very quickly with the huge majority of patients already passing a driving test without the use of glasses by the very next morning. The quality of vision continues to improve and the final decision on whether an enhancement is required or not (a refinement procedure to further improve the vision with typical odds of around 1%) is made at the 6-months postoperative visit.
LASIK Surgery may not be best for you if:
- You suffer with autoimmune diseases,
- Your eyes are dry (although we can usually improve this well enough to get you suitable for LASIK within 4-6 weeks),
- Your cornea is too thin
- Your vision is affected due to other conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma or macular generation
- You participate in athletic activities that expose your eye to impact e.g. boxing (here procedures like PRK or LASEK may be more suitable)
- You have severe near-sightedness /farsightedness (ICL may be more suitable in nearsightedness or CLR (Custom Lens Replacement) in farsighted patients.
In a nutshell, your doctor, upon examining you and reviewing all your scans and findings, will let you know whether or not you are eligible to receive LASIK eye surgery.
Get in touch today to learn more about our LASIK eye surgery solutions and say goodbye to your dependence on glasses.