Many have experienced the benefits of LASIK eye surgery; however, very few actually know what the procedure is, how it works and the ideal candidate for the procedure. Luckily, we’re here to help. Read on to receive answers to all your questions about LASIK eye surgery.
What Is LASIK?
Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) allows people who wear glasses or contacts to ditch their eyewear forever by reshaping the cornea with a laser. A surgeon will cut a small flap in the cornea (don’t worry, an anesthetic, numbing eye drop makes the process painless) and remove a miniscule amount of tissue to reshape the cornea and perfect a patient’s vision. The surgeon then places the flap back in place to protect the cornea, allowing the eye to naturally heal.
How Does LASIK Restore Vision?
You now know the procedure, but how does LASIK eye surgery actually fix your eyes? The eye is a complex little organ, and it contains a lot of working parts. In order to see, a person’s cornea and lens must bend light rays that are then relayed to the retina. The retina then sends these light rays as impulses to the brain, allowing you to recognize whatever you’re looking at. When the light rays aren’t related to the retina correctly, what you’re looking at appears fuzzy. LASIK works to correct issues in the cornea that are preventing someone from seeing correctly. LASIK does not fix the lens, and some people may need to receive lens replacement surgery rather than LASIK if their eyesight is exceptionally poor.
Who is the Ideal Candidate for LASIK?
While LASIK can fix a wealth of eyesight issues, it’s not right for everyone. The ideal candidate will meet the following criteria:
18-50 Years Old (some lasers are only for 21 and up) – LASIK is not able to fix aging eyes, and surgeons likely will not perform the procedure if you’re over 50. Furthermore, teenage eyes are still developing, so surgeons will want to wait until the patient is 18-21 before performing the procedure.
Not Expecting – Pregnancy and nursing can change the measured refraction of the eye, leading to incorrect readings from the LASIK machine.
No Dry Eye – Dry eye, either from wearing contacts or poor eye health, can impact LASIK. A surgeon will discuss dry eye with you before performing your surgery.
No Cornea Issues – Thin or damaged corneas will make you ineligible for LASIK.
LASIK can provide perfect to near-perfect eyesight for those looking to correct their vision; however, it’s not for everyone. To find whether you qualify for LASIK eye surgery or to further discuss your options with an optometrist, contact us today.