Everything you need to now about the LASIK eye surgery
01 September, 2018
The world we live in is very cruel. Many people have not been lucky enough to be born with the capacity of using all their senses, but the others do not seem to care and be willing to help them get by more easily. In addition, every person who cannot use all of his/her eyesight because of vision problems or refractive errors have a hard life.
Unfortunately, many people from all over the world have some eyesight problems and this can put them in embarrassing or even dangerous situations. Of course, they can have an almost normal life if they wear glasses or contact lenses, but many are ready to change this situation, due to aesthetic reasons.
Refractive errors can be corrected by LASIK surgery
If you are one of the persons described above, you now what we are talking about. In case you are curious to find out more, we will mention that by refractive errors we mean myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. If you have one of these and you care about about looks, you most probably hate your glasses and always wear contact lenses.
If only were that easy! As you now, contact lenses can be very uncomfortable and improper or insanitary handling can lead to more serious conditions. Also, both solutions require periodical renewal. What can you do in this case?
Modern science has at least one solution for almost every problem, with a few exceptions. During recent years, more and more people are turning to LASIK surgery for the correction of refractive errors. This treatment refers to a laser eye surgery or laser vision correction performed with the purpose of correcting myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
Only an ophthalmologist can carry out a refractive surgery. The expert will improve the visual acuity by using a laser or microkeratome for reshaping the eye's cornea. After the medical intervention, the patient will be eyeglasses or contact lenses-free for a long time.
In case you are wondering how safe and popular the procedure is, you should know that it has been performed worldwide since 1991. In 2016, over 40 million LASIK surgeries had been performed in the entire world. Narrowing the data down to the USA, we will mention that in 2018, the number of medical interventions carried out in this beautiful country exceeded 10 million.
If you've started wondering how you can find a place to have the LASIK surgery near you, we have a good suggestion. Since there are many medical centers throughout the US, you can start by searching online.
By introducing some simple keywords, you will find a lot of options even if you are living in one of America's largest states, Texas. For example, if you are living in the capital city, you can search by words like Lasik in Austin. After that, all you have to do is choose the option which you consider suitable.
Figures are impressive, but how effective LASIK really is?
When you are thinking about going through a surgery, you should consider all the aspects, every benefit, risk or side effect. LASIK is no exception. It goes without saying that you need to get approval from your doctor before going through it.
Furthermore, make sure that you totally understand the potential risks. FDA and medical institutes advice people who want to have LASIK surgeries to seriously consider the risks and compare them with those of wearing spectacles or contact lenses. Next to the failure in correcting the refractive errors and thus, the failure in improving his/her eyesight, the patients going through LASIK can develop new visual disturbances, various types of eye infections and flap complications.
According to studies conducted by the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the laser (photorefractive) surgery succeeds in correcting refractive errors only when the patients follow all the pre and postoperative procedures. Further research revealed the fact that if these procedures are followed by the book, the success and patient satisfaction rate varies between 92-98 percent.
What happens during LASIK?
Even if the standards for planing and analysis of corneal reshaping techniques have been set by the American National Standards Institute, potential patients receive a warning from the FDA. The Governmental Agency says that, since the procedure can have side effects, people should carefully weigh the risks and benefits before going through it.
Everybody should make a decision based on his/her own value system and not on their friends or relatives' experience. The doctor's advice should definetly matter, but don't do a LASIK unless you are 100 percent sure you want to.
If you are curious about the procedure, you should know that it involves the creation of a thin flap on the eye. After it is created, the flap is folded, enabling the remodeling of the tissue beneath with a laser and repositioning the flap.The whole operation shouldn't take more than 15 minutes.
If you are worried about safety and hygene, don't be! LASIK is a safe and sanitary procedure and it's becoming even safer due to the advanced technique available nowadays. After it is completed, your nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism will be corrected and you'll lose the glasses or contacts.
Who can have LASIK surgery?
In the United States, the FDA approved LASIK surgeries for people over 18, because the vision has to be stabilized. In addition, the glasses prescription should be the same for at least one year. Prior to the procedure, the patient will go through some cornea mapping tests.
If you are wearing soft contact lenses you will be asked to stop wearing them for a period from 5 to 21 days prior to the surgery. In case you have hard contacts, you'll have to stop wearing them for a minimum of 6 weeks and another six weeks for every three years you wore them.
This step is necessary for allowing the cornea to breathe and develop her blood vessels. If the cornea doesn't have enough oxygen, the patient will feel some pain during the surgery and the inflammation appeared after the procedure will take more time to heal. For that matter, if you are considering a LASIK surgery, don't over-wear your contact lenses.
After the cornea mapping tests, the patient will be prescribed an antibiotic for minimizing the risk of postoperative infections. He/she might also be given a drug acting like an oral sedative before the procedure. Prior to the surgery, some anesthetic eye drops will be administrated to the patient.
Remember one important thing. If a patient has large pupils, thin corneas and extremely dry eyes he/she might not be able to have the LASIK surgery.
After the surgery, patients are given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eye drops. Also, they should rest and wear dark eyeglasses which protect their eyes from bright light. The use of protective goggles is recommended for preventing the rubbing of the eyes while sleeping and for reducing the dry eyes feeling.
Last, but not least, patients are adviced to moisturize their eyes with artificial preservative-free tears and follow all directions for prescription drops. Occasionally, a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye after the procedure with the purpose of speding the healing. This bandage is usually removed after 3-4 days.
Additional postoperative measures
If you follow all the doctor's advice, you shouldn't have any problem and no side effects will appear. Also, you'll be safe from any infection or complication. Furthermore, if everything goes as planned, you'll be able to go home immediately after the surgery, with the recommendation to rest for a few hours.
The recovery time won't take long either, because you'll be able to drive your car the next day, go to work within a day or two and go back to all your regular activities in a week. The healing will take even less if you follow some additional advice.
1. Like we mentioned before, if you tak a nap for a few hours after the surgery, your eyes will recover faster than you immagined;
2. It's not safe to drive in the same day you had a LASIK surgery. It's great if you can avoid this operation the following day as well, but it depends on how fast you heal;
3. It's better if you take a bath instead of a shower for a while. In this way you'll keep water and shampoo away from your eyes;
4. Go to all your postoperative appointments with your doctor and tell him/her if you have any pain or discomfort;
5. Take all your prescribed medications;
6. Don't do sports;
7. Wear sunglasses all the time spent outside;
8. Avoid applying your regular beauty treatments;
9. Avoid touching your eyes or face;
10. Try not to watch TV or read.