Our bodies become more susceptible to wear and tear as we get older – our joints become frailer, memory isn’t as sharp, and vision becomes blurry. For these issues, there are various solutions to focus on them. One of the more pioneering procedures to ever appear in the last few decades is laser eye surgery.
What is a Laser Eye Procedure?
Many people ask about laser eye surgery costs because it is a very sought-after procedure since it is quick, safe, and painless. During a LASIK procedure, the LASIK surgeon creates a flap of tissue over the cornea and peels it back to have access to the cornea. Afterward, the laser will beam right into the eye to reshape the cornea, which is how the vision improves.
The whole procedure doesn’t take more than a minute. Once it is completed, the patient is given eye drops to ensure that their eyes don’t go dry.
Typically, LASIK surgery patients recover within 24 to 48 hours. This all depends on a person’s healing capabilities, but you can have peace of mind that you won’t have to wait a long time until you can see the world clearly again.
Who Should Get LASIK Surgery?
People who are sick and tired of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses may want to go through LASIK surgery. This is a type of refractive eye surgery.
For the most part, many people who get laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery attain 20/20 vision or better, which is sufficient for most activities. However, most people will still require glasses for driving at night or reading as they age.
LASIK has an excellent performance record. If there are ever complications that result in a loss of vision, they are rare, and many people are happy with their results. Specific side effects, especially dry eyes and temporary visual disturbances (such as glare), are fairly common. However, these usually clear up after a couple of weeks or months, and a minority of people think of them as long-term issues.
A person’s results rely on their refractive error and other factors. Those with mild nearsightedness usually have the most success with refractive surgery. Individuals with a high level of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism have less predictable results.
Keep on reading about what to think about as you decide whether this surgery is suitable for you.
What Happens During LASIK?
There are quite a few variations of laser refractive surgery. LASIK is the most sought-after and most commonly performed eye surgery. Most of the time, the term “LASIK” is used to indicate all types of laser eye surgery.
Normally, images are focused on the retina that’s in the back of the eye. When it comes to nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, they finish up being focused either in front of or behind the retina, ending in blurred vision.
- Nearsightedness (myopia) is a condition that lets you see objects nearby clearly, but objects that are far away appear blurry. When your eyeball is a little bit longer than normal or when the cornea curves too sharply, light rays focus in front of the retina and blur distant vision. A person can see objects that are close more clearly, but not those that are far away.
- Farsightedness (hyperopia) is a condition that lets you see objects far away clearly, but nearby objects are blurry. When you have a shorter than average eyeball or a cornea that is too flat, light focuses behind the retina rather than on it. This blurs near vision and occasionally distant vision.
- Astigmatism results in overall blurry vision. When the cornea curves or flattens unevenly, the outcome is astigmatism, which interrupts the focus of near and distant vision.
Normally, blurry vision is corrected by bending (refracting) light rays with glasses or contact lenses. Nevertheless, reshaping the cornea (the dome-shaped transparent tissue at the front of your eye) itself can provide the necessary refraction and vision correction
Prior to a LASIK procedure, your LASIK eye surgeon will determine the detailed measurements of your eye and assess the eye’s overall health. Your eye surgeon may ask you to take a mild sedative medication just before the procedure.
Eye-numbing drops will be administered once you are lying comfortably on an operating table. Then he or she will use a unique type of cutting laser to alter the curvature of your cornea accurately.
Whenever the laser beam sends a pulse, a very small amount of corneal tissue is taken off, allowing your eye surgeon to flatten the curve of your cornea or make it steeper.
Typically, an eye surgeon creates a flap in the cornea and then lifts it before reshaping it. Also, there are variations that involve a thin flap to be raised or no flap is used at all. Nonetheless, each technique has its pros and cons.
What are the Kinds of Laser Eye Procedures?
Every LASIK eye surgeon may specialize in specific types of laser eye procedures. Their differences are usually small, and none are clearly better than any others. Depending on your individual situation and preferences, you may consider:
- 1. Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK): It’s the most commonly performed eye laser surgery, LASIK involves making a partial-thickness corneal flap and utilizing an excimer laser to ablate the bed of the cornea. The flap is then put back into its original position. Discomfort after surgery is very little, and vision recovery usually takes place in 1 to 2 days.
- 2. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK): With PRK, instead of creating a flap, the top surface (epithelium) is scraped away. This corneal abrasion takes three or four days to heal, and the outcome is moderate pain and blurred vision in the short term.
It was considered that these disadvantages were canceled out by the theoretical advantage that PRK was safer for those who are more likely to be stuck in the eye — for instance, those involved in law enforcement, military, or contact sports. However, even with standard LASIK, the risk of eyeball rupture is still very low, so there is probably no significant advantage with PRK. Additionally, LASIK is a better option than PRK for correcting more severe nearsightedness (myopia).
3. Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy (LASEK): LASEK is no different from LASIK surgery, but the flap is made by using a special cutting device (microkeratome) and exposing the cornea to ethanol. The procedure lets the surgeon remove less of the cornea, making it a good option for those who have thin corneas. LASEK does not have any considerable advantages over LASIK for individuals at greater risk of eye injuries.
4. Epithelial Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (epi-LASIK): In an epi-LASIK procedure, your laser eye surgeon separates the epithelium from the middle part of the cornea called the stroma) using a mechanized blunt blade device known as an epikeratome and reshapes the cornea with a laser. This procedure is similar to LASEK.
5. Small-Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE): This is a more contemporary type of refractive surgery that allows the eye surgeon to reshape the cornea. To do this, the surgeon uses a laser to make a lens-shaped bit of tissue known as the lenticule which is located below the cornea surface. When the lenticule has been used to reshape the cornea, it is then removed through a very small incision.
6. Intraocular Lenses: A laser eye surgeon can use surgically inserted corrective lenses in the eye, which are also known as intraocular lenses) to enhance vision. It’s normally carried out as part of cataract surgery, which involves removing the old, cloudy natural lens. Additionally, it may be an alternative to LASIK for older adults who may require cataract surgery in the future.
Younger people with high levels of nearsightedness that cannot be properly treated with corrective lenses may be offered intraocular lenses. However, these are not a typical options for most people.
7. Bioptics: Bioptics uses one or more techniques, such as intraocular lenses and LASIK, to treat nearsightedness or farsightedness.
If you want to discover more about LASIK procedures, contact Excel Laser Vision Institute at (310) 905-8622. A member from our dedicated team will be happy to answer all your questions about the type of refractive surgery that is best suited for you!
Dr. Ferzaad Moosa, a LASIK Orange County eye surgeon explains to us that LASIK eye surgery can help you deal with various visual issues, such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, and other conditions. For the most part, patients who do not have any serious eye or health issues are eligible for LASIK eye surgery. Nonetheless, you should always check with your LASIK eye surgeon before booking your LASIK procedure.
Once you find out you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery, there are things you have to do and stop doing. So, before you start to make plans for the life you’re going to have after your LASIK vision correction surgery, you have to take a look at this way to prepare before your procedure.
Drink a Lot of Water Before the Procedure
Prior to any procedure, you should drink more water unless you were told otherwise by your physician. However, with LASIK you are doing good when you increase your water intake. Boosting your water intake will help you keep hydrated and encourage the healing process after your procedure.
A typical side effect of LASIK eye surgery is temporary dry eye. Therefore, drinking more water is an easy way to help keep your eyes lubricated. If you have already booked your LASIK procedure, it’s time to start getting hydrated. Set your sights on at least 8 eight-ounce glasses per day. It sounds like a lot but that is the ideal minimum amount you should be drinking to keep hydrated.
Stop Wearing Contact Lenses
Before you have your LASIK procedure, your eye surgeon will instruct you to stop wearing contact lenses for at least a week for soft contacts and one month for hard contacts. The reason being is that wearing contacts can change the shape of your cornea and influence the results of your LASIK procedure.
It’s imperative that you give your eyes a break and switch over to eyeglasses for a while before your procedure.
Your eye doctor will be the person to let you know when to stop wearing contact lenses. It will be based on an evaluation of your eyes, and from there he or she will let you know exactly how long before your eye laser procedure to stop contact lens use.
Get a Comfortable Outfit Ready in Advance
It’s important to decide in advance what you wear to the LASIK procedure. Keep in mind that you will be awake during the surgery, so it’s important to feel comfortable in the clothes you’re in. Go with loose clothes that you can easily remove once you get back home.
For instance, this could be athletic shorts, leggings, a zipper hoodie, or a soft t-shirt. After a LASIK procedure, the first thing you will do when you get home is sleep. It’s a lot easier to get to bed if you’re wearing clothes that you can rest in or that you can easily change out of.
Furthermore, try not to wear clothes that produce lint. So, avoid faux fur or wearing any type of clothing that may be shed. This is important since it helps to keep contaminants away from the operating suite. LASIK is a safe and sterile procedure, but it’s a good idea to make that additional effort to avoid lint when you can as well.
Get a Person to Be Your Designated Driver
When you are doing a LASIK procedure, you are not put to sleep. Instead, your eye surgeon will put numbing drops in your eyes. If you are feeling nervous about the procedure, you may be given medication to help you relax.
The numbing drops ensure you never feel any pain when you’re undergoing LASIK. Eventually, these drops wear off after a few hours once the procedure is completed.
Even though no anesthesia is involved in a LASIK procedure, you are not supposed to drive home yourself afterward. Get a friend or a family member that can drive you to your procedure and then drive you back home.
Many LASIK patients can drive during their follow-up appointment the next day. When you get confirmation from your eye doctor, you can return behind the wheel.
Go Through Your Paperwork
Your eye clinic will hand over a LASIK consent form before your procedure. Once you have read through your paperwork, the team will help you answer any further questions you may have regarding the LASIK procedure.
It’s important that patients make an informed decision about the procedure. Therefore, your questions can be about LASIK safety, financing, aftercare, or anything else. Your eye doctor should be happy to discuss them with you!
Don’t Wear Makeup, Perfume, or Lotions
When the day of your LASIK procedure arrives, don’t wear any makeup, perfumes, or lotions. You should take a shower and make sure your face is squeaky clean with absolutely no contaminates the morning of the big day! Don’t forget to skip on any perfumes as well.
Also, don’t put on any hand or face lotions, since this can make your skin oily. You will want to enter your LASIK procedure clean and prepared, and wearing greasy lotions can get into your eyes. Having a successful LASIK procedure is also about being safe.
After your LASIK eye surgery, you will need a day to rest before getting back to your regular activities. Then, you’ll be over the moon to wake up the next day following your procedure with sharp, clear vision.
There is only one factor you will regret about LASIK and that is you will wish you had gotten the procedure done sooner. So, get ready for a life free from eyeglasses and contacts.
Do you live in the Los Angeles or Orange County areas? Contact the professional and dedicated team at Excel Laser Vision Institute as soon as possible to book your free LASIK consultation today!