There are many different issues that can affect your eyesight, but among the most common are simple refractive errors, like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These conditions, which result when minor irregularities in the shape of the eye cause blurriness or distortion in vision, affect millions of men and women and are usually treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, more and more patients have been turning to LASIK vision correction surgery as a way to get clearer eyesight without the need for prescription eyewear. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we are asked about this potentially life altering procedure.
LASIK, which is short for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, uses a cool (non-thermal) laser to remove microscopic bits of tissue from the cornea, subtly changing its shape and/or smoothing out irregularities so that light passing through the lens at the front of the eye focuses clearly on the photosensitive cells at the back of the eye. These tiny changes can correct refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.
Does LASIK Eye Surgery Hurt?
Immediately prior to your LASIK surgery, eye drops are applied to your eyes to thoroughly numb them, so patients will likely only feel some mild pressure on their eye during the procedure. This sensation lasts for less than a minute. When you return home that same day and the anesthesia (numbing) eye drops wear off, it is common to experience some sensitivity to light, watery eyes, and mild to moderate eye discomfort for a few hours. Over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient to ease these symptoms, but every patient is unique so we will discuss this, along with other recommendations for your care after the procedure, during your consultation. Most patients find that if they take a nap when they return home from LASIK surgery, they have little or no eye pain after their nap.
How Long Does LASIK Surgery Take?
Because 0we thoroughly map the contours of the eye during a comprehensive medical eye examination and use advanced computerized scanning and targeting to plan the procedure, the laser treatment itself usually takes less than a minute. The entre procedure can usually be completed in less than fifteen minutes per eye, and we can usually complete both eyes during the same visit. Afterwards, patients are provided with an eye shield to protect the treated area from rubbing or pressure, and we recommend that they rest their eyes after LASIK by refraining from driving or having to focus intently on electronics or a computer for several days to allow for the cornea to heal.
Is LASIK Vision Correction Safe?
Although there are risks associated with any surgical procedure, LASIK vision correction has been recognized by the FDA as proven, safe, and extremely effective when it is performed by an experienced, board-certified ophthalmologist. More than 700,000 LASIK procedures are performed in the US each year and patients report a 95.4% satisfaction rate, but LASIK surgery is not recommended for patients under eighteen or for patients with cataracts or irregular astigmatism. Even in the rare event that complications do occur, they are usually mild and temporary or easily corrected. More than 90% of LASIK patients enjoy vision somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 after their surgery without the need for corrective eyewear.
If you have any other questions about LASIK vision correction surgery, or would like to schedule a comprehensive medical eye examination, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons today to make an appointment. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more to keep your vision healthy.