LASIK Eye Surgery Explained: Detailed Insights into Procedures, Eligibility, Treatable Conditions, and Potential Risks & Complications

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a procedure that reshapes the cornea to improve visual acuity. It is one of the most popular refractive procedures in the world, and it is also considered to be one of the safest. The procedure is performed by an ophthalmologist using laser technology to remove corneal tissue and reshape it into an ideal shape for nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).

LASIK Surgery

LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery can be performed on both eyes at once or separately for each eye. Although LASIK has many benefits, it does not correct astigmatism or presbyopia.

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Which eye conditions and diseases do LASIK treat effectively?

According to Colman R. Kraff, MD. an ophthalmologist at Kraff Eye Institute, LASIK can fix several common eye problems. However, it is not for everyone. A consultation will reveal whether LASIK is right for your condition or not.

Nearsightedness (myopia)

Myopia is typically a common condition among people who have spent their entire lives looking through glasses or contact lenses. It is not caused by refractive error alone — myopic eyes have a curved shape that makes them longer than normal. LASIK can effectively treat myopia in most cases and help prevent future myopic changes from developing over time.

Farsightedness (hyperopia)

A common form of myopia, hyperopia causes distant objects to appear blurry and close objects to appear clearly defined. When someone has hyperopia, their pupils are too long and they focus too far into their vision causing this blurring effect. LASIK surgery can reduce this blurriness by adjusting the curvature of the cornea.

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Presbyopia

Presbyopia is the term used to describe the loss of near vision — that is when you can no longer see things up close. A LASIK procedure called monovision is a safe and effective way to correct presbyopia.

Presbyopia is a common eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs naturally as we age and usually does not require treatment if mild forms do not impair your daily routine.

Astigmatism (irregular corneal curvature)

Astigmatism refers to irregularly shaped corneas, which can cause blurry vision and diminished peripheral vision. The shape of your cornea can be corrected with LASIK surgery, which allows for clear vision throughout all distances without glasses or contacts.

What to know before going for LASIK?

LASIK is used to treat many eye conditions. Mainly, it’s very effective for refractive errors such as nearsightedness and farsightedness.

It doesn’t solve all eye problems

Age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma are three of the most widespread eye diseases. LASIK works for neither of them.

Note that LASIK cannot correct glaucoma symptoms because it doesn’t affect the cornea but the optic nerve, which LASIK has nothing to do with. It’s also ineffective for optic neuropathy and its variations.

Also, the blurriness caused by the clouding in the case of cataracts has nothing to do with LASIK, so its corneal incisions cannot help with that either.

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By extension, dry eyes also cannot be fixed by LASIK treatment. For dry eyes, you’re recommended to go for a LipiFlow treatment instead.

There are alternatives to LASIK

LASIK isn’t suitable for everyone. For example, people with very thin corneas are not eligible for corneal incisions, the core component of LASIK surgery. PRK or ICL is better suited in these cases. However, if you’re eligible for LASIK, then it offers the least discomfort and the fastest time to clear vision or recovery. PRK, however, is significantly cheaper.

LASIK might not be in everyone’s budget

LASIK costs anywhere from $1000 to $4000 depending on where you get it, the problem, medical conditions, age, and other circumstances. On the higher end, it can get pretty expensive whereas other alternative surgeries or glasses and contacts might look like better options.

LASIK is permanent and if it’s in your budget – you should consider the surgery.

Side effects & complications

The rate of complications during LASIK surgeries is below 1%. This makes the surgery very safe. But there are indeed rare cases of complications. Vision loss is extremely rare. Other side effects are the standard stuff also associated with other types of eye surgeries.

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A notable feature of LASIK surgeries is the corneal flap. This flap gets created due to the way the LASIK procedure works and in the case of eye injury, it can cause problems in your life later on. Surgeries that don’t leave behind flaps are thereby considered safer over the long term.

Final thoughts

LASIK is a procedure in which a surgeon uses advanced technology to reshape your cornea using a machine. The laser removes tissue from the center of your cornea, which causes light to focus more clearly on the retina at the back of your eye.

LASIK surgery can be performed on single eyes or both eyes at once. LASIK is typically used for treating myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.

The benefits of LASIK include:

  • Improved vision
  • No longer having to wear contact lenses after LASIK
  • Improved quality of life by not having to wear glasses or contact lenses

All in all, LASIK is one of the most popular surgeries in the United States for a reason. It’s affordable and effective. If you have symptoms that your ophthalmologist says can be fixed or mitigated by LASIK surgery, then you should seriously consider going for it and look at your options.

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References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6130303/

https://kraffeye.com/all-procedures/lasik

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