Did you know that according to the statistics from the Vision Council of America nearly two-thirds of the adult population wears prescription eyewear? And that 20% of the population uses contact lenses? But prescription glasses and contact lenses have their own limitations, which can be tackled by performing a simple LASIK surgery. Here is what you need to know about the LASIK procedure before undergoing the treatment:
1. What is LASIK?
LASIK (Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is a popular type of laser corrective surgery that is used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This is done by reshaping the inner layers of the cornea with a highly specialized excimer laser. The cornea will be treated depending on the type of vision problem, to have either a steeper, flatter or more rounded curvature.
2. Who can Get LASIK Treatment?
Anyone who wishes to minimize their dependency on prescription glasses and lenses can opt for LASIK. However to be eligible, the following criteria must be met:
- The patient must be at least 21 years of age,
- The patient’s vision must be stable without a significant increase or -decrease in the past year,
- The patient’s eyes must be free of any injuries or damage,
- The patient must not be pregnant or nursing
Apart from these, people opting for LASIK surgeries are gauged on their general health as well as other medical requirements such as strong tear production and thick corneas. All of which can be assessed during a quick consultation with a LASIK specialist.
3. How to Prepare for LASIK?
The preparation process starts with a thorough examination of the eyes to ensure that they are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. During this examination, various aspects such as the shape of the cornea, the moisture content, pupil size as well as the presence of any refractive errors will be evaluated. Many-a-times, patients are even required to undergo a wave front analysis to ascertain a precise map of the aberrations that affect vision.
Once the various analytical procedures are carried out, the patient must then refrain from wearing lenses as they can distort the shape of your cornea thereby affecting the measurements and surgical outcome.
To minimize the risk of infections, the use of eye make-up, lotions and cream are prohibited.
And lastly, patients will need to arrange a ride to and from the clinic as numbing drops are put before the surgery which can lead to blurry vision post the LASIK treatment.
4. What is the Procedure for LASIK?
First, numbing eye-drops are administered which help make the procedure painless. Then, a thin flap is created in the cornea and gently folded back in order to expose the inner layers of the cornea. After which, the laser is aligned and locked on to the pupil to carry out the corrective procedure. Individualized patterns are then used for each patient in order to allow the cornea to focus light on the retina in a proper manner. After which, the corneal flap is repositioned in its previous function on the cornea once it has been reshaped and eye drops are put to assist the healing process and to prevent infections.
5. What are the Benefits of LASIK?
Getting the LASIK procedure done has multiple benefits, listed as follows:
- It helps correct vision and reduces dependence on prescription glasses and lenses through a minimally invasive procedure
- It reduces the chances of developing vision related problems, allergies and infections in the future
- It increases your ability to part take in various activities and perform job functions such as working in defense, acting, athletics to name a few.
- It is a long term solution to vision problems and turns out to be cost effective in the long run.
- It boosts your self confidence and makes you feel better about yourself
So, if you are considering undergoing the LASIK procedure, be sure to speak to a professional to understand what exactly you are required to do pre and post surgery to maximize the benefits of LASIK. Also, take the time out to understand the procedure, the risks as well as the potential outcomes so you can make a well-informed decision. After all, these are your eyes we are talking about!
By Aaron Barriga