LASIK is a specific type of refractive surgery, and probably the most commonly known. LASIK is an acro- nym for LASer In-situ Keratomileusis, which means: "To shape the cornea using a laser."
LASIK corrects vision by reshaping the cornea-the outer window of the eye-so that light rays can focus more precisely on the retina and improve vision, eliminating the need for corrective contact lenses or glasses.
In the past, LASIK was performed by making an incision on the cornea with a tiny blade, but now a method known as IntraLase makes the incision with a laser.
LASIK procedures may be performed on both myopic (near-sighted) and hyperopic (far-sighted) patients, and patients with an astigmatism.
When considering any type of eye procedure, including LASIK, the best first step is to discuss it with your eye doctor. He or she will help you determine if LASIK is the right solution for correcting your vision.
Laser eye surgery isn't the best option for all people. Here are some example circumstances:
But for many people, LASIK surgery eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses and brings greater freedom and flexibility to everyday life. It is also a good option for people who have trouble wearing con- tacts due to allergies.
Before any vision procedure, arrange for transportation, as your vision may be a little blurry afterward, or you may be given a sedative that could impair your ability to drive.
To begin your procedure, you will relax in a reclining chair and a topical eye drop will be administered as an anesthetic.
The procedure will last about 30 minutes. You may feel faint pressure during the procedure and afterward, you may experience some itching, burning or swelling in your eye. It's a good idea to avoid the use of any topical products, such as makeup or eye creams, around your eyes for a few days. You can return to work and normal activities like driving after 24 to 48 hours, or once your vision is comfortable again. Your doctor will provide more specific pre- and post-surgery guidelines.
Until recently, if you were one of the millions of people with a refractive error (which means that light rays do not focus precisely on the retina, causing you to be nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic), eyeglasses and contact lenses were the only options for correcting vision. But with the development of refractive surgery, some people today can have their vision corrected through refractive surgery.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is one of several refractive surgery procedures used to permanently change the shape of the cornea to improve the way it focuses light on the retina.
PRK is an outpatient procedure performed with topical anesthetic eyedrops. It takes only about 15 minutes. Because no incisions are made, the procedure does not weaken the structure of the cornea.
When LASIK and other refractive procedures are eliminated as an option for correcting a patient's nearsightedness or farsightedness, refractive lens exchange is a great alternative. The surgeon will remove the natural lens of the eye and replace it with a new, pre-calculated lens implant.