Have you ever thought about what it would be like to wake up with crisp, clear vision? LASIK is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery in the world. This safe, effective procedure provides freedom from glasses and contacts, saves you money on the cost of frames, lenses, and eye appointments, and improves your overall quality of life.
LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a form of vision correction that uses laser energy to fix nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. LASIK surgery involves reshaping the cornea using a laser. Your cornea is the front part of your eye. With LASIK, refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism can be corrected. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is an irregular shape. Generally, the cornea should be shaped like a basketball, so it is uniformly round. However, with astigmatism, it’s not as round as it should be and looks more like a football. As a result, vision is blurred and distorted. People who undergo LASIK usually do not need to wear glasses or contacts anymore, even if they have astigmatism. Refraction is permanently corrected with LASIK as it fixes refractive errors for good. An estimated 95% of patients walk away with 20/20 vision or better after LASIK.
Custom LASIK, or Wavefront-guided LASIK, is an advanced form of LASIK that employs Wavefront technology to create a 3D map of your eye. The special map functions as a “fingerprint” of your cornea. It features ultra-precise measurements that allow your doctor to customize the LASIK procedure to each eye. Patients can choose between having LASIK with or without Wavefront technology.
During LASIK, a femtosecond laser is used to permanently reshape the cornea. This process allows light to reflect properly onto the retina, the light-sensitive patch of tissue at the back of the eye, which results in clear vision. LASIK is pain-free and takes about 8-10 minutes for most patients.
LASIK is performed after your eye surgeon administers special drops to numb your eyes, so you won’t feel any pain. After the procedure, however, some patients may experience stinging or discomfort as the numbing eye drops wear off. These sensations are temporary and typically disappear the day after surgery.
It’s common to have dry eyes, see glare or halos around lights, or experience double vision after LASIK. These complications usually go away after a few weeks. Long-term complications of LASIK are extremely rare.
Candidacy for LASIK is dependent on a comprehensive eye exam by an ophthalmologist. Your eye doctor will evaluate your eye health and family history to determine whether or not you qualify for the procedure.
There are alternatives to LASIK for patients who may not qualify for the procedure. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), implantable contact lenses, and Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) are all common alternatives to laser eye surgery.