What is LASIK?
About 150 million or more Americans rely on eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct their vision. If you are part of this number, you may be frustrated with the limitations, inconveniences and expenses that your sight problems place on your day to day life.
LASIK is the most popular variety of laser vision correction in the U.S. with more than 600,000 procedures performed here every year. LASIK can correct a range of vision problems, reducing or completely eliminating your dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses.
What vision problems can LASIK correct?
LASIK is designed to be able to correct refractive vision problems by improving the way that the eye focuses light rays into the retina at the back of the eye.
Refractive conditions include myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness) and astigmatism (irregular shaped cornea), all of which usually require correction using glasses or contacts.
Preparing for LASIK
Although LASIK is suitable for many patients with refractive conditions, you will still need to schedule a consultation. This is to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for the procedure, and so you are fully aware of what the surgery involves.
As well as discussing your general health, we will perform an examination to ensure that your eyes are healthy, as well as performing an evaluation of the shape and thickness of your cornea and the size of your pupils.
We will also have to take into account the severity of your refractive condition. Using this information, it will be possible to create a topography chart of your eyes, which will be used as a guide during your LASIK surgery.
Dry eye is a common side effect of LASIK surgery, and so we may also evaluate how moist your eyes are naturally. Drier eyes do not mean that surgery is not possible, but it may indicate that you will need special drops following your LASIK procedure to help prevent dry eye from occurring.
What happens during a LASIK procedure?
LASIK is performed after the application of anesthetic eye drops, and it may be possible for you to have some sedation, if you are particularly anxious about the procedure.
Once your eyes are numb, your surgeon will cut a small, precise flap in the outer layer of the cornea known as the epithelium. This will allow him to access the underlying corneal tissue, called the stroma. The laser, which uses a cool beam of ultraviolet light, then removes small areas of the cornea, reshaping it so that it can focus light on the retina in the right way to improve your vision.
The topography of your cornea will be used to reshape the retina, but typically people who are near-sighted will need their cornea to be flattened out, while patients who wear glasses for far-sightedness will need their cornea to be made steeper. In the case of astigmatism, the laser can be used to create a more regular shape.
Once the corneal tissue has been sufficiently reshaped, the epithelium flap is closed and left to heal naturally. There is no need for stitches or even bandages.
How long does LASIK eye surgery take?
Although you may be in the vision correction suite longer than this time while preparation and recovery are taking place, the actual procedure itself usually takes around 10 minutes per eye.
Immediately after your procedure, you will be monitored for a short while before you are allowed home.
You will not be allowed to drive until you have been given the all-clear by your surgeon in your post-op appointment, so ensure that you have someone available to drive you home.
Your eyes may feel sore, warm or scratchy for the first 24 hours or so after your LASIK surgery, but this is totally normal.
Your vision may also be blurred for a couple of days, but this will soon subside. Although you will be asked to refrain from moderate to intense physical activity for at least a week, your eyes should be healed and your vision settled within 5 days.
You should always ensure that you follow any aftercare advice and administer any medications as directed after surgery.
If you are interested in finding out more about LASIK and would like to discuss your candidacy, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable team at 970-999-1700.
Laser Vision of Fort Collins
Fax : 970-797-1955