Life after LASIK surgery means freedom from prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses, but is it the right decision for you? LASIK, or laser assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a refractive eye surgery that can help patients potentially achieve 20/20 (or better) vision. However, patients may still rely on glasses for night driving or reading as they get older.
Refractive Errors Effects On Results
Those with mild nearsightedness, also known as myopia are more likely to have the most success with LASIK surgery. Those with severe nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism, can have success, but the results may be less predictable.
How LASIK Surgery Corrects Refractive Errors
With normal vision, the images we see are focused on the retina, which is located in the back of the eye. Refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism cause the image to be focused elsewhere, which leaves the patient with blurry vision. To see, patients need glasses or contacts to see clearly and properly refract light for images to appear normally. LASIK works by reshaping the cornea to provide vision correction, rather than depending on another source like glasses or contacts to bend and focus light correctly.
During the elective procedure, your LASIK eye surgeon will first assess and take detailed measurements of your eyes. Your LASIK surgeon will then give you anesthetic eye drops before they create a tiny flap in the cornea. By creating a flap in the cornea and removing a small amount of corneal tissue, the curvature of the cornea will be altered. When the curvature is altered, your vision becomes improved. Your LASIK surgeon will either flatten the curvature of your cornea or steepen it, depending on your specific needs and the refractive error being corrected.
Are You A Good LASIK Candidate?
LASIK is not for everyone and has very strict requirements in order to minimize risk to patients. Generally speaking, LASIK candidates must have a stable prescription for at least one year prior to the procedure date and have minimal to moderate refractive errors that need correcting. Those with mild nearsightedness have the highest success rates and the most predictable results. Don’t worry if you have severe nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. If your LASIK eye surgeon approved you for the procedure, your vision will improve after the procedure has been completed!
Factors That Mean LASIK Is Not For You
- You are 18 or younger. Most surgeons will not allow LASIK surgery until about age 25, as prescriptions often stabilize around this time.
- If you have dry eyes, large pupils, or eye infections.
- If you have glaucoma, as LASIK can raise your eye pressure, thereby making glaucoma worse.
- You have cataracts
- Your corneal tissue is too thin
- You only need glasses part of the time.
- You participate in contact sports that result in regular blows to the head such as hockey or boxing.
If you think that LASIK could be right for you, the only way to know for sure is to schedule your free consultation with South Texas Eye Institute!