A Brief Overview of Lasik

What is LASIK?

Do you ever tire of constantly having to wear corrective lenses, contacts or glasses? Are you afflicted with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, than LASIK may be right for you.

LASIK, which stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a revolutionary procedure which allows eye surgeons to correct most common vision problems without the use of invasive surgery or cutting of the eye tissue.

How Does It Work?

A special laser, called the Eximer, focuses a cool, ultraviolet beam of light onto the retina, allowing the surgeon to reshape the cornea of the eye to sub-micron accuracy without the use of thermal beam lasers which actually will burn the tissue of the eye in an effort to correct it. A very small incision is made into the flap of the eye which allows the laser access to the cornea itself. Please note that, while all surgery involves an element of risk, cutting the flap only and not the cornea poses much less risk than other forms of eye surgery which are much more invasive.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect?

“Perfect” vision of considered by eye care professionals to be 20/20. Ninety percent of LASIK patients can see at 20/30 or better after surgery, with eighty percent of patients able to see 20/20 or, in some cases, better.

Besides LASIK, the eye procedure that most patients are familiar with is called Radial Keratotomy. This procedure, involves cutting the tissue of the cornea itself, causing it to flatten which reduces nearsightedness. Up until ten years ago, Radial Keratotomy was performed quite often, today, the advantages made through LASIK technology have many other forms of eye surgery almost obsolete.

Although LASIK is perfectly safe for almost all ages, it is not traditionally performed on people less than twenty years of age because, until that age, the eyes are constantly changing and most physicians agree that it is best to wait with the procedure until the eyes have reached a higher degree of stability so that the procedure does not become ineffective after a short period of time.

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