The information you should know about the difference between Lasik and laser eye surgery and another option worth considering.
Do you know what the difference is between Lasik and laser eye surgery? When it comes to eye procedures, it can be confusing. We’re going to break it down for you and also take a look at another option you might want to consider. Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking for safe vision correction methods.
Lasik or Laser? Types of LASIK Surgery
The most important thing to know about the difference between laser surgery and Lasik surgery is that there is no difference. Lasik surgery is a type of laser surgery. In fact, Lasik is an acronym for the procedure that is formally known as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. While there are other types of laser eye surgeries besides Lasik, such as laser cataract surgery, Lasik is always performed with a laser.
How Does Lasik Surgery Work?
Lasik surgery works by reshaping the cornea. This allows light that enters the eye to focus more clearly onto the retina, improving sight. It can correct vision in people with myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The process includes cutting a thin flap in your cornea using a tool called a microkeratome or a laser. The surgeon then folds back the flap so they can have access to the cornea. They use a laser to remove a small amount of tissue from the cornea. This helps reshape it so light to the retina can focus more accurately. If you’re nearsighted, the cornea needs flattening. If you’re farsighted, the cornea needs a steeper angle. Once the ablation is complete, the corneal flap is replaced so it can heal.
What Are the Risks with Lasik Surgery?
Before you decide whether or not Lasik is for you, it’s important to consider the risks and possible side effects. Even though the procedure only takes about 15 minutes, it is still surgery, and there are risks involved with any surgical procedure. The unique risk potential with Lasik exists because it can affect not only your vision but also the health of your eyes.
Here are some of the risks and side effects associated with the Lasik procedure:
- Dry eyes: This often only lasts for a few weeks or months, but it can last longer and, in some cases, can be a permanent affliction following Lasik. A study conducted by a laser surgery provider found that five years after the surgery, nearly half of the patients in the study suffered from dry eyes at least some of the time.
- Light sensitivity: In the days following the procedure, it is normal to have some light sensitivity. In the same study mentioned above, nearly 40% of patients still had increased sensitivity to light after five years.
- Visual disturbances: Common visual disturbances after surgery include increased glare, halos around objects, and difficulty driving at night.
- Pain: Most doctors claim that Lasik is relatively pain-free, however; some patients can experience eye pain for months or even years after the surgery.
- Diminished vision: Lasik might be successful for some people, but many patients experience deterioration in their vision even after Lasik.
- Lack of adequate counseling: Many doctors fail to disclose potential complications adequately. That leaves patients with a lack of precise and comprehensive information regarding the potential risks and side effects.
If Lasik doesn’t sound like the right option for you, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of glasses and daily contacts. You can still have clear vision without going under the laser. Ortho-K, or orthokeratology, is a safe, painless, non-surgical alternative to Lasik. It involves custom-made contact lenses that you only wear at night. The Ortho-K lenses gently mold your cornea as you sleep. This has a similar effect to Lasik as it changes the way light is refracted in your eye to create clearer vision. Not only is this type of vision correction comfortable and effective, but it’s also not permanent. If you stop wearing the Ortho-K lenses, your vision will return to normal in a few days. This is not the case with Lasik. If laser eye surgery goes wrong, there’s no turning back.
Everyone wants to see the world clearly. Some are willing to take great risks to do so without resorting to glasses or contacts that can impact their lifestyle and affect their ability to do the activities they love. Instead of taking the risks that Lasik involves or going through life with blurry vision, take a look at what Ortho-K can offer.
At Eyes of NM Family Optometry and Contact Lenses, we can provide the vision correction you’ve been waiting for, without the risk. If you’ve been wondering about the difference between Lasik and laser surgery, we can provide you with all of the information you need to make the right choice for you and your eyes. Contact us today for an appointment.