Lasik Eye Surgery
Lasik eye surgery is a kind of laser vision correction that would permanently alter the shape of a person’s cornea – this improves the vision vastly, and brings about a drastic reduction in the need for glasses or contact lenses. Clear vision is defines as the proper refraction of light rays by the cornea and the lens – this makes the images focused on the retina. If there is improper focus and then the images come out blurry – this is called a refractive error, and the cause of it is an imperfectly shaped eyeball, lens or cornea. So what does Lasik eye surgery do, then? It uses an Excimer Laser (a UV laser), which removes the corneal tissue precisely, bringing about a corrected corneal shape which gives better focusing.
Before surgery, the eyes are completely examined to make sure of proper health, and tests are carried out to determine the cornea’s curve, the position and size of the pupils, the eyes’ shape, and the cornea’s thickness. In fact, the last issue is taken into account to make sure that enough cornea tissue is left after surgery.
The patient has to give a signed informed consent form, which states that he/she is aware of the risks involved, the benefits, the alternative options, and the possible complications. The procedure itself is relatively short, and takes about 10 to 15 minutes for each eye, it is a kind of outpatient surgical procedure.
So what kind of anesthetic is used? Only an eye drop is given, this numbs the eye’s surface. The entire procedure is carried out while the person is fully conscious and awake, and the eye surgery can be done either on one eye, or both eyes, in the same session. The microkeratome, which is a kind of special life, cuts a hinged flap of corneal tissue from the outer layer of the eyeball. This is lifted out of the way, and then a special laser is given, which changes or alters the shape of the corneal tissue lying beneath the eye. How much tissue should be removed is calculated before the procedure, and upon completion of the reshaping, the flap is replaced and secured by the surgeon. Stitches are not required, but an eye patch is placed over the patient’s eye, which protects the flap, and prevents any rubbing or pressure on the eye – thus giving it enough opportunity to heal.
Why exactly is Lasik eye surgery carried out? Well, it is needed by those who use contact lenses or glasses, due to nearsightedness, or myopia. However, it is also occasionally used to correct farsightedness. Sometimes, even, it aims to correct astigmatism. Certain factors in patients are preferred before carrying out the procedure – the patient should be at least 18 years old, or even 21 years old, because the vision of people younger than that is still in the process of changing, the patient should not be pregnant or breastfeeding, the patient should not be taking prescription drugs like Accutane or even oral prednisone, the patient’s eyes should be healthy, the prescription stable, and the patient should be in general good health. Also, patients who suffer from herpes infections in the eye, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, glaucoma, or cataracts are usually not recommended for Lasik eye surgery.
A detailed discussion with the surgeon is always required.
Before deciding to get a Lasik eye surgery, it is essential to take certain factors into account – like your expectations and whether they are realistic, and if you are contented with contact lenses or glasses – then perhaps the surgery is not required.Lasik eye surgery is not without its share of risks. Some of the risks are: glare of haloes, decreased distance vision at high altitudes, corneal infection, decrease in contrast sensitivity, dry eyes, corneal scarring, permanent problems with the shape of the cornea (it is impossible to put on contact lenses), scratchiness, patches or red/pink in the eyes’ whites, sensitivity to light, problems while driving at night, reduced vision, or even permanent vision loss.
It is important to note however, that while Lasik eye surgery corrects vision to a large extent, some patients might still need glasses so as to optimize vision. Post-surgery, patients usually experience some itching and burning in the eye, a sense of mild discomfort which can be treated with a mild pain reliever medication prescribed by the doctor. Patients should be informed that rubbing the eyes after a Lasik eye surgery is very harmful, as the flap might move, or get dislodged. Blurry vision is normal on the day of the surgery, but there is an improvement the next day. Follow-up appointments (usually 24-48 hours post-surgery) deal with any severe pain, or worsened symptoms. Sometimes, eye drops are given to prevent the chance of infection. Patients should be told not to drive, till the vision has improved sufficiently.