LASIK Eye Surgery also referred to as laser eye surgery, is a type of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia (nearsightedness), hypermetropia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
The surgery is performed by an experienced ophthalmologist who uses a laser to reshape the cornea of eyes in order to improve vision.
LASIK makes you get rid of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
How is LASIK eye surgery performed?
- LASIK surgeon will first create a very thin, exterior flap in your cornea with a small surgical tool called microkeratome.
- The surgeon then raises the flap and fold it back to access the cornea from the inside.
- Then an excimer laser reshapes the cornea so that light entering the eye focuses more accurately on the retina for improved vision.
- In the case of nearsightedness, lasers flatten the cornea and in the case of farsightedness, laser beams steepen the cornea. Astigmatism is also corrected by smoothing an uneven cornea.
- After the reshaping of cornea, the flap is then put back in place which automatically attaches to the cornea during the healing period of one week after the surgery.
Am I eligible for LASIK? What tests are needed for checking LASIK eligibility?
- Eye Tests – To know whether your eyes are eligible and healthy enough for LASIK, the eye doctor will perform a series of eye tests. They will check for the shape of cornea, the thickness of cornea, the size of pupil, the magnitude of refractive errors, tear film and many other eye conditions.
- Wavefront Analysis – A corneal topographer is also used to measure the curvature of the eyes by creating a map of your cornea. A wavefront analysis sends light waves through the eyes to provide an even more accurate map of irregularities in the eyes.
- Health History – The eye doctor will also ask about your general health condition, history of diseases and any ongoing medications you are taking to determine whether you are eligible for LASIK or not.
What if I am not a good LASIK candidate?
If you’re not a good LASIK candidate, a number of other vision correction surgeries are also available. These are PRK, ReLEx Smile, LASEK laser eye surgery, and phakic IOL surgery. However, these must be decided based on the advice of an experienced doctor.
What are the precautions before going for LASIK eye surgery?
- Eye Drops – Some eye drops are recommended by doctors to use them for one week before the date of surgery. These eye drops serve as a precautionary treatment to reduce the risk of dry eyes after LASIK.
- Stop Wearing Contacts – Your doctor will also advise you to stop wearing any contact lenses typically around two weeks before the LASIK procedure because it can affect the natural shape of your cornea.
What happen at the time of LASIK surgery?
- First, numbing eye drops are applied to your eyes.
- Then, the eyes are positioned under a laser machine.
- A suction ring is fixed in your eyes to prevent any possible eye movements.
- The cornea is marked by the surgeon carefully before creating a flap.
- After the flap is created, the surgeon uses a computer to adjust the eye’s prescription for the excimer laser.
- Then, the patient will be asked to look at a light beam for some minutes while the surgeon observes the eyes carefully through a microscope.
- After the surgery, you can walk on your own legs to another room where you can rest for another 1 or 2 hours.
Is LASIK pain-free?
LASIK surgery is completely pain-free. The laser light painlessly reshapes the cornea. However, you may feel a temporary burning or itching sensation immediately after the procedure.
Is there any cut or stitches during LASIK?
No bandages or stitches are required during LASIK. The surgery only requires anesthetic drops which makes the eyes numb (painless).
How much is the time for LASIK eye surgery?
LASIK surgery takes only about 15 minutes for both eyes. It is performed separately on each eye, with each eye taking only about five minutes.
What happens right after LASIK eye surgery?
Rest in the Hospital – After completion of the LASIK procedure, your surgeon will suggest you to rest for some time. You can walk on your own legs to another room where you can rest for another 1 or 2 hours. You might feel some itching feeling in your eyes after the procedure but it will reduce in 1 or 2 hours.
Heading Home – After some rest and a brief consultation with the doctor, you may head to your home. But, you should not, in any case, drive after LASIK. Someone else has to drive you home.
Next-Day After Surgery – Generally, your eye doctor will call you again one day after the surgery. At this post-op check-up, your visual acuity will be measured. After surgery, your eyes should have visual acuity of 20/40 or better.
When the vision gets improved after LASIK surgery?
You will get blurry vision, difficulty in opening eyes and haziness immediately after surgery. Vision clarity starts improving by the very next morning.
Your eyesight will continue to improve within a few days. Sometimes, in rare cases, it may take several weeks. For most people, vision improves immediately on the next morning after the surgery.
What are the precautions to be taken after LASIK eye surgery?
Avoid rubbing your eyes – Do not rub your eyes in any case especially while sleeping at night. You might displace the corneal flap if you rub your eyes hardily.
Avoid Hit on Eyes – This precaution is really important. You should be very careful of any accidental hit in your eyes by an elbow or hands of another person.
Do not exercise – It is usually recommended not to perform any kind of exercise for at least a week since this can give pressure to your eyes.
Prevent Dust, Smoke and Direct Sunlight – Your ophthalmologist will suggest you to prevent going in dusty and smoky places for at least a week. You should also avoid watching directly towards the sun since this can give stress on your eyes.
How long does Lasik take to heal?
After the surgery, you should take complete bed rest on that day. For at least one week, you should avoid going outdoors. However, you may be able to go to work one week after the surgery but only after proper consultation with the doctor.
It is also very important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions and precautions. One should also not be careless about any medication prescribed.
Can I watch TV after Lasik eye surgery?
It is recommended not to watch TV for at least 24 hours after the surgery since your eyes are very sensitive in the first 24 hours after LASIK. It can cause your eyes to strain.
Is LASIK always successful?
LASIK surgery has a high success rate. Still, it is important that you discuss everything with your eye doctor first. You can note down all the concerns you are having and discuss them with the doctor before giving your consent for the surgery.
Is LASIK surgery permanent? How long do the results of Lasik eye surgery last?
In normal cases, LASIK results are permanent. When you reach your 40s, you might need reading glasses. But this is because of a normal age-related loss of vision called presbyopia.
In rare cases, you might feel the need to wear glasses or contacts even after LASIK. However, your prescription level will be much lower than before.
What is LASIK enhancement or “Touch up?”
When people don’t get the expected vision results after LASIK surgery, the eye doctor will suggest “Touch Up” procedure for them. Only a very small percentage of people may face the need for LASIK enhancement.
It can be done a few weeks after the first LASIK surgery and normally, it is free of any cost. You only have to give the money for the first LASIK surgery.
Is it bad to cry after LASIK?
When we cry, our eyes tend to produce more tears. It is not at all harmful after LASIK. Instead, it is considered a good thing to keep the eye lubricated to prevent the complication of any dry eye.
Is laser eye surgery dangerous?
LASIK is said to be an extremely safe procedure. But, there can be certain side effects of LASIK surgery in rare cases. These include dry eyes, night glare, infection, and temporary visual disturbances. However, they usually go within few weeks or months.
Can Lasik make you go blind?
There has never been a single case of eye blindness as a result of LASIK eye surgery reported in the United States.
What is the best age to do Lasik?
People between 21–40 years old are the best candidates for LASIK eye surgery because after reaching the age of 21, our eyes stop changing. Having a stable prescription for at least two years is also another general guideline that someone is a good LASIK candidate.
How much does Lasik cost?
LASIK eye surgery cost can vary between Rs. 45,000 to Rs. 1,00,000. Generally, this price includes LASIK procedure, pre and post-operative care, and a touch-up procedure, if needed.
Schedule a consultation with an experienced eye doctor (or two to get the second opinion) to determine which vision correction surgery is right for you and what is the success rate.
Also, don’t forget to note down all of your queries and doubts for the doctor.
Help Me, Help You
This article is written by me (umm…yeah… Megha Agrawal) who have already undergone LASIK surgery. So, if you have any doubts or queries about LASIK, subscribe and feel free to ask me.
I would love to help anyone who is tired of wearing those 1 kg spectacles ’cause I know the feeling.