Surgery News & Resources - 10 Things You Need To Know About LASIK Vision Correction

10 Things You Need To Know About LASIK Vision Correction
In Los Angeles area, California

1. LASIK isn’t for everyone

Before undergoing any LASIK procedure, you should have a thorough eye exam. Any good LASIK surgeon will do this to determine whether you’re a good candidate, although some facilities which emphasize profits over quality will do it perfunctorily or even not at all.

Good outcomes are important to a good LASIK surgeon. So it’s in his/her interests as well as yours to test your vision and overall eye conditions carefully before going ahead with any LASIK procedure. If your cornea is too thin, your pupil diameter too large, or the cause of your vision problem is not any refractory error, then you need a solution other than LASIK.

As well, if you’re:
• Pregnant
• Under 18
• Diabetic
• Have any of a variety of diseases
• Are taking certain medications - you will not be a good candidate for LASIK.

2. LASIK treats only certain eye conditions 

If your vision problem is caused by irregularities in the shape of your corneas:
• Nearsightedness
• Farsightedness
• Astigmatism 

You may be a good candidate for LASIK. If your vision problem has any other cause, then other procedures will be needed to correct it.

3. LASIK doesn’t treat presbyopia

Presbyopia is often mixed up with hyperopia, farsightedness. As we age and start needing reading glasses, we can often still see well in far distances, so it might seem that if LASIK can correct farsightedness, why can’t it correct presbyopia too?

It can’t, because presbyopia is caused not by the shape of the corneas, but by two other things:
• The lens becoming more stiff with age
• The tiny eye muscles becoming more weak

So from the combination of those two trends, we have a decreasing ability to focus at different distances. At first we can still see at far distances and just need correction for near distances. But eventually far distances become more of a problem too.

4.The laser used is a cool one

LASIK uses an excimer laser, which is a cool beam of very tightly focused ultraviolet light. There’s no possibility of heat hurting your eyes. All lasers give off heat, but the excimer laser penetrates to only a microscopic depth of the cornea and its action is to vaporize tiny pieces of corneal tissue such that your vision will be corrected. As it does that, its heat is dissipated also. This process is called photoablation.

All lasers are man-made, and for specific different purposes. Excimer lasers are made from a mix of reactive and inert gases, which when electrically stimulated, produce a kind of molecule called a dimer. The name excimer is a combination of excited and dimer. 

5. Excimer lasers are incomprehensibly precise 

The excimer laser beam used for vision correction is 0.25 microns wide. That’s about 0.5% of the width of a typical human hair. This microscopic diameter makes it extraordinarily precise.

We know that tools are only as good as the person using them, and with the excimer laser system, a technician specifically trained in these systems, is in charge, working with your eye surgeon. This technician sets up the laser system, which incorporates a computer, microscope, patient bed, and other controls for the surgeon’s use. Then he operates it in cooperation with the surgeon.

6. Wavefront-guided LASIK is even more accurate than traditional LASIK

Wavefront technology is a recent addition to LASIK procedures. It’s also called Custom LASIK, because by so accurately diagnosing the problem, it customizes the vision correction you receive.

Wavefront diagnostic can, and many feel should, be done on all LASIK candidates. It can be done separately from using Wavefront-guided LASIK to treat the problem. It works by sending special light into the eyes, which reflects back to the Wavefront system, carrying with it detailed information about the irregularities on your corneas.
This information is expressed as a 3-D map of your corneas on the computer monitor, and translated into mathematical formulae that your eye surgeon uses to guide the laser in correcting your problem.

7. LASIK is a quick and painless procedure

Before the procedure is begun, anesthetizing eyedrops are applied. Many of us don’t like to have someone else touching our eyes, and some are alarmed at the idea of a laser shining into their eyes. Some eye surgeons also offer medication such as Valium if you feel very anxious.

The laser itself is used for only seconds. Exactly how long would depend on how much correction was needed but it would be less than about 20 seconds. The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes for both eyes. Afterwards you may feel a slightly scratchy sensation, but most people don’t need any pain medication.

8. There are restrictions on your activity in the recovery period

For the first week or so, you need to wear an eye shield when you sleep. This is to prevent pressure being put on your eyes. For the same reason, don’t touch or rub your eyes.
• You can shower or bathe, but no swimming
• No eye makeup for a week or so
• Normal activity starting the day after surgery, but no contact sports for a few weeks

9.Follow-up is required after a LASIK treatment

A good eye surgeon will give you a series of follow-up visits, starting the day after your procedure, and then approximately:
• A week later
• A month later
• 3 months later
• 6 months later
• 1 year later

These visits are to check on the healing, both short-term and long-term, and on the vision improvement and patient satisfaction.

10. There’s no guarantee of 20/20 vision

Many people do achieve 20/20 vision after a LASIK surgery. But a good eye surgeon does not guarantee it. There can be complications sometimes. LASIK will correct only certain eye problems, so if you have any other problem that affects your vision, it remains after LASIK surgery.

And we all grow older and need reading glasses at some point. There are some ways to treat presbyopia and the future will probably bring us more, but LASIK doesn’t treat it.

Please click here for more information regarding LASIK surgery and other laser vision correction procedures.

Article submitted by: Sara Goldstein,, 17301 W. Colfax, Suite 275, Golden, CO, USA 80401

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