What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK stands for Laser in Situ Keratomileusis, which implies reshaping the cornea with a laser behind a corneal flap (in situ) (keratomileusis). This process uses an excimer laser, which is a highly specialized laser for treating refractive problems, improving vision, and reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses. 

The cornea, which is the clear front covering of the eye, is altered by this laser surgery. Though the excimer laser had been utilized for many years prior, Ioannis Pallikaris of Greece is credited with inventing LASIK in 1991.

How Does LASIK Work?

A very educated eye surgeon uses a microkeratome to create a precise, thin hinged corneal flap during the LASIK surgery. After pulling back the flap to reveal the underlying corneal tissue, the excimer laser ablates (reshapes) the cornea in a unique pre-specified pattern for each patient. After that, the flap is gently repositioned onto the underlying cornea without sutures. Without sutures, the flap is gently placed onto the underlying cornea.

How Do Glasses Or Contacts Improve Vision In People With Refractive Errors?

By bending light rays in a way that complements the eye’s individual refractive error, glasses or contact lenses are used to compensate for the eye’s refractive error. LASIK and other forms of refractive surgery, on the other hand, are designed to correct the refractive error of the eye and eliminate the need for further visual aids.

What Is A Refractive Error?

The “focusing system” of the human eye is made up of the front surface (cornea) and the lens inside the eye, which are principally responsible for concentrating incoming light rays onto the retina’s surface, similar to how the lenses of a camera concentrate light onto the film. 

The power of the cornea and lens are exactly aligned with the length of the eye in a perfect optical system, and images are in focus; any mismatch in this system is called a refractive error, and the outcome is a refractive error.

Will You Still Need To Wear Glasses or Contacts After LASIK?

The goal of laser vision correction is to lessen or eliminate the need for spectacles and contact lenses. Although many patients are able to operate without the use of glasses or contact lenses, some tasks still necessitate optical correction. 

Furthermore, laser vision correction has no effect on presbyopia, which is the problem with close work that occurs as people reach the age of 40 or older. Monovision laser operations, in which one eye is corrected for distant vision while the other is corrected for close vision, are an option for reducing the consequences of presbyopia.

What Are The Primary Types of Refractive Error?

Refractive errors can be divided into three categories:

  1. Myopia (nearsightedness): When a person’s concentrating strength and eye length are out of sync, distant items appear hazy while close objects appear clear.
  2. Hyperopia (farsightedness): People with hyperopia have a mismatch in focusing capacity and eye length, resulting in fuzzy near objects and rather clear distant ones.
  3. Astigmatism occurs when the corneal or lens shapes are deformed, resulting in numerous pictures on the retina. This causes objects to appear fuzzy at all distances. Many people have both myopia and hyperopia, as well as astigmatism.

What Happens To Vision When We Age?

In the process of lens power shift known as accommodation, we can focus on close objects. The natural lens stiffens with age and loses its capacity to shift shape. This is known as presbyopia, or the loss of accommodation, which necessitates the use of reading glasses, bifocals, or other visual aids to support close work.

Although LASIK cannot directly “fix” accommodation, a range of methods, such as blended vision or monovision, in which one eye is corrected for better distance vision and the other eye is treated for better near vision, can be effective.

Are There Different Types Of Lasik?

In ophthalmology, lasers come in a range of shapes and sizes. Because all LASIK procedures use the same type of laser (excimer laser), all LASIK procedures are identical in several ways. However, there are a number of laser manufacturers to choose from, including

  • Visx,
  • Wavelight,
  • Alcon,
  • Bausch & Lomb, as well as
  • Specific excimer lasers have been designed by Nidek and others.

There are also numerous types of laser ablations that can be done (see below), such as traditional laser treatments, wavefront-optimized treatments, and wavefront-guided therapies. Finally, instead of using a mechanical microkeratome to generate the LASIK (corneal) flap, a different type of laser (femtosecond laser) can be employed.

What Is Conventional LASIK?

Most lasers use a conventional LASIK ablation pattern that treats directly depending on the patient’s glasses prescription, with predetermined treatment parameters for each patient. 

Although this type of laser eye surgery is helpful for the majority of patients, it can cause more visual aberrations including glare, halos, and night vision impairments than other laser treatments.

What Is Wavefront-Optimized Lasik?

On the Wavelight laser, wavefront-optimized LASIK is a type of laser eye surgery. This treatment is based on the patient’s glasses prescription, but it also considers corneal curvature and thickness, and it uniquely uses laser energy in the cornea’s perimeter. 

The aforementioned problems, such as glare, halos, and other evening visual distortions, have been proven to be reduced with this laser.

What Should I Expect Before Surgery?

What to expect before surgery varies slightly from patient to patient and physician to surgeon; nonetheless, the information provided below serves as a broad overview of the LASIK procedure. Each patient may have slightly different expectations, so it’s vital to discuss them with your eye doctor before surgery.

A comprehensive eye examination by your eye specialist is required before any surgery. This procedure will assess if you are a good surgical candidate and if you have any of the risk factors indicated above. If you wear contact lenses, you should remove them for several days before many numerous types of laser ablations our initial test and replace them with glasses. 

This is critical because contact lenses alter the shape of your cornea, and if your cornea has not had enough time without them, the measurements performed before surgery may be erroneous.

The length of time you must remain without contact lenses should be discussed with the surgical centre doing your evaluation.   

Interesting Related Article: “Before Seeking Lasik Eye Surgery, Here Is What You Should Know