What is LASIK?
LASIK - Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis - is the most common refractive eye surgery today.
Often referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, LASIK is used to treat myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. LASIK surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist that uses a laser or small blades to reshape your cornea. Once done, this result is clear, sharp vision close up and far away.
For most patients, LASIK provides a permanent alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Who Is An Ideal LASIK Candidate?
- Age: At least 18 years old.
- General health: candidates must be in good physical health, and should not have specific health problems, such as uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune or collagen vascular diseases.
- Ocular health: LASIK patients should have no eye diseases, such as keratoconus, glaucoma, cataracts, corneal disease as well as retinal and optic nerve diseases.
- Eye problems: candidates should let their eye doctor know about ocular problems, like amblyopia, strabismus, or any other conditions that may affect healing. Patients should be free of eye infections or injury.
- Stable vision: the patients’ vision must be stable for at least one year prior to the procedure date. Because hormones may affect the stability of eye prescription, pregnant or nursing women are not eligible for LASIK surgery until three menstrual cycles have passed.
- Corneal thickness: due to the nature of the procedure, patients must have a minimum corneal thickness of 0.5 mm.
LASIK candidacy is determined on a case-by-case basis that takes into consideration one's eye prescription, medical history and other health factors.
Specifics of The LASIK Procedure
LASIK takes about 10 to 20 minutes to perform per eye. The healing is quick and you will generally experience results within 24 hours.
LASIK is not a painful procedure, though you might feel some tugging or pressure on the eye.
Here's what to expect during the procedure.
- Your eyes will be numbed using anaesthetic eye drops
- The eye surgeon will place an eyelid holder on your eye to prevent you from blinking and a suction ring to prevent it from moving. You will then feel pressure on your eyelid and your vision will be dim or black.
- Using either a microkeratome or a laser, your ophthalmologist makes a paper-thin flap in the cornea tissue, lifts and then folds the flap back.
- You will then have to stare at a light to prevent your eyes from moving, at which point the ophthalmologist will reshape your cornea using a laser.
- Once the cornea has been reshaped, the eye surgeon folds the flap back down into its original position, where it heals naturally without stitches.
Immediately following the procedure your eye may itch and burn. Your vision will be blurry at first, but it should become clearer by the following day.
After The Surgery
Following the LASIK procedure, you may be prescribed some eye drops to help your eyes heal and stay moist. You may also be given an eye shield to cover and protect your eye.
While you'll be able to see well enough to walk without glasses, you must not drive yourself home.
You should rest your eyes as much as possible on the day of your surgery. You may find it more comfortable to keep the lighting at home dim.
The next day, you should see well enough to drive and resume normal activities. Make sure not to rub your eyes until it is safe to do so. If you are currently using Latisse, discuss with your eye doctor how long after surgery to wait before re-starting.
You’ll have a follow-up visit with your doctor a few days after the procedure to make sure your eye is healing well and there aren’t any complications.
We provide pre- and post-operative care at our practice through a co-management agreement with your surgeon. Ask us for further details.
If My Vision Is Blurry After LASIK
Even though most patients see clearly within a day or so after LASIK, it can take several months before your eyes completely stabilize. Until then, improvements in your vision can still occur in fits and jumps. If several months pass and your vision is still blurred, be sure to communicate and visit with your LASIK surgeon. It may be appropriate to have a second LASIK surgery to sharpen your eyesight further.
If an enhancement is not required, eyeglasses or contact lenses can help. We will be happy to examine your eyes and discuss the options available to you.
Post- LASIK Eye Care
Remember to get your routine eye exams post-LASIK. Even with perfect vision, you still need to have your eyes examined for glaucoma and other potential problems on a regular basis. Contact Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in Albuquerque to learn more and to book your eye exam.
Even if your vision seems perfect after LASIK, you may still require eyewear.
When outdoors, it’s critical to protect your eyes from the sun’s strong and harmful rays with sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.
It's important to note that LASIK cannot correct presbyopia, the normal age-related loss of near vision. Almost everyone with excellent distance vision will need reading glasses after around age 40.
One solution is to have our optometric team perform a monovision contact lens fitting. Monovision with contacts can reduce your need for reading glasses.
To learn more and achieve excellent vision, contact Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in Albuquerque today.