Refractive errors are a condition where the shape of the eye keeps light from focusing correctly on the retina. They are the most common type of vision problem and can make it hard for individuals suffering from them to see clearly. Most refractive errors can be identified during an eye exam, and corrected with glasses, or contact lenses, or fixed with LASIK surgery.
In this article we will discuss everything you need to know about LASIK surgery and why it’s the best option for you if you are affected by refractive errors.
What Is LASIK Surgery?
For those who don’t know, LASIK stands for Laser in-situ keratomileusis. It is also commonly referred to as laser vision correction or laser eye surgery.
LASIK is a type of surgery that is used to correct refractive errors in the eye such as near or far-sightedness, and astigmatism. It is a safe, fast, and extraordinarily effective procedure that helps patients restore their vision and eliminate the need for most eyeglass prescriptions.
How Is LASIK Surgery Performed?
LASIK is a quick and painless procedure that is usually completed in just 15-20 minutes for both eyes. The surgery is often done on an outpatient basis, which means that you will be able to go home the same day. Most people experience very little discomfort, if any, during LASIK surgery.
During the procedure, your eye surgeon creates a thin flap in the cornea by using a femtosecond laser, then folds it back to access inner corneal tissues. Next, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea to ablate the inner corneal tissues. Then, the flap over the cornea gets replaced, to promote healing.
While one eye is being worked on, the other eye is covered with a protective shield.
Refractive stabilization may take up to three months, depending on the extent of the surgery, but patients usually experience improvement in their vision the very same day.
What Are The Most Common Side Effects After LASIK Surgery?
Although LASIK surgery recovery is easy and fast, immediately after the intervention patients may experience mild irritation, grainy vision, or a foreign body sensation. The discomfort should subside within a few hours.
Some other common LASIK side effects may include dry eyes, redness, and dark spots on the whites of the eyes during the first few days after surgery. All these are normal, but if symptoms do not improve or get worse, contact your doctor.
What You Should Avoid After LASIK Surgery
While LASIK is an extremely safe procedure, there are a few things that you should avoid after surgery that can help to maximize the results and reduce the risk of complications.
- Avoid swimming, sauna, or submerging the eyes – Stay out of the water for at least two weeks after surgery.
- Avoid high impact activities for at least 21 days after LASIK surgery.
- Avoid wearing make-up for a minimum of 48 hours after the intervention to minimize the risk of infection.
- Don’t rub your eyes for at least a month.
- Avoid exposing your eyes to the sun without wearing sunglasses.
Use all eye drops, including artificial tears, that are prescribed by your doctor and don’t forget to wear eye goggles while you sleep for the first week.
If you are interested in learning more about LASIK surgery and whether you are the right candidate for this procedure, don’t hesitate to get in contact with a reputable Surgical Ophthalmologist.