Laser-assisted in situ stromal keratomileusis, better known as LASIK, is a well-known variety of laser vision correction. It was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999, and it's now one of the most popular elective surgeries, as doctors perform around 600,000 procedures a year. The procedure involves cutting a small flap in the cells on the surface of the cornea to reshape the cornea below it. This reshaping improves vision and can be life-changing for many people.Around 96% of patients will have the desired vision after LASIK.
An improvement can increase this number even more. Because eyes change over time, people may find that their vision begins to decline at age 40, regardless of whether they choose LASIK surgery or not. Most people who undergo LASIK surgery will have good to excellent vision in most situations, for many years or decades.The decision to undergo LASIK surgery requires reflection and evaluation. Here's what you need to know about the potential benefits of LASIK surgery and how it can improve your life.
Pain Relief:LASIK is associated with very little pain due to the anesthetic drops that are used.
The laser used in the procedure is designed to turn off if the patient's eye makes any sudden movement that could cause an error or injury.
Improved Vision:You can practice sports and swim, or even see your watch first thing in the morning, without having to worry about your glasses or contact lenses. However, as you age or in low light conditions, you may still need to wear glasses.
Cost Savings:Although the initial cost of LASIK surgery is higher, in the long run it will be cheaper than glasses and contact lenses.
Safety:For greater protection and peace of mind, the laser is designed to turn off if the patient's eye makes any sudden movement that could cause an error or injury. The flaps that are created during LASIK are not insured, so patients should not rub their eyes while they heal.
Healing Time:The healing time of a LASIK procedure is usually 24 to 36 hours, unless there is a complication due to the placement of the flap.
Sports Performance:Many top athletes have chosen LASIK eye surgery because of the benefits of the procedure in the world of sports.The thought of having eye surgery and staying awake during it can be frightening. However, people with a higher prescription before surgery are more likely to see a slight decline in vision quality over time, a condition known as myopic regression.
Another similar surgery, known as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), may be better for people with high prescriptions or very thin corneas. Certain medical conditions, not related to the eyes, can increase the risks associated with LASIK surgery or make the outcome less predictable.If you're thinking about having laser eye surgery, talk to your doctor and consider these potential benefits of LASIK, some of which go beyond better eyesight. See your eye doctor right away if any trauma occurs to a flap (such as a puncture with a tree branch or a fingernail). Once again, people with a higher prescription before surgery are more likely to see a slight decline in vision quality over time.The decision to undergo LASIK surgery requires reflection and evaluation.
Weighing the risks and benefits is essential before making this life-changing decision. If you're not convinced that LASIK is the right laser vision procedure to correct your refractive problems, you can consider PRK.