What is LASIK?
LASIK stands for Laser In-situ Keratomileusis. This is an eye surgery that is used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism through the use of lasers – or refractive laser surgery. The surface of the cornea is cut into and folded back so the inner cornea can be reshaped by a laser. The top layer of the cornea is then placed back into its natural position. Millions of people wishing to correct their vision have successfully undergone LASIK.
Am I a candidate for LASIK?
LASIK is not right for everyone. LASIK patients are those who wish to correct some kind of vision problem, but since no two patients have the same eyes, what may be good for one person is not good for another who may have the exact same problem. Generally, good LASIK candidates are over 18 years of age with stable vision. That is, your vision prescription must not change for at least one year.
If you have received an eye injury or an infection, you may need to wait until the eye becomes stable. Those with a history of herpes eye infections are generally not good candidates. Individuals with dry eyes may not be good candidates for LASIK until their dryness has been treated. You must not be pregnant or nursing for at least three months if you want LASIK. In addition, LASIK is not an option for people who have thin corneas or irregularity in the curvature of the cornea.
How long does LASIK last?
A LASIK vision correction is permanent in that your corneal shape will remain in its corrected curvature. However, as we reach mid-life, near vision starts to become blurry and reading glasses become necessary. This is the condition called presbyopia—it is not a problem with the cornea, but with the lens. Your LASIK surgeon can explain this more fully at the time of your evaluation.
All candidates who qualify for LASIK benefit from dramatic improvement in their acuity and quality of vision. The exact degree of improvement varies according to your individual vision problems.
If I am not a good LASIK candidate, are there alternatives?
Technology for correcting vision has come a very long way, so if you are not a candidate for LASIK, there are several other options. The experienced eye surgeons as Doctors For Visual Freedom offer alternatives that will correct your vision just as well as LASIK. These alternatives include photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and conductive keratoplasy (CK).
PRK reshapes the cornea just as LASIK does, but there is no cutting into the cornea surface to create a flap. With CK, there is no cutting at all. Instead, radio waves are used to correct vision by shrinking the corneal tissue. CK is best for patients who are over 40 years old and are farsighted due to presbyopia.
Are there risks with LASIK?
LASIK risks and complications are very rare with LASIK. However, this is a medical procedure that involves cutting into your cornea, so the procedure is not entirely risk-free. Some of the risks associated with LASIK include over or under correction, eye infections, dry eyes, and problems with the flap.
If you are interested in LASIK or have questions about this procedure in the Chicago, Illinois area, please contact the experienced eye surgeons at the office of Doctors For Visual Freedom today.