Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK eye surgery as it’s typically known, is a commonplace surgical procedure done to correct vision. If you require glasses or contacts to see, your optometrist has probably mentioned LASIK to you before. So, what is it actually? Let’s look at what LASIK eye surgery is, and some pros and cons to the procedure.
What is LASIK Eye Surgery?
To put it simply, LASIK is a pain-free surgical procedure done on your eyes to correct vision impairment. LASIK is used to correct refractive errors in the eyes. This can include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
LASIK, or refractive surgery is done by using a laser to reshape the cornea to correct these refractive issues. During the procedure, a flap of the top thin layer of the eye is pulled back, and the cornea is reshaped to fix the vision issues so that the retina can focus light better, then the flap is put back into place. Don’t worry, the flap reattaches itself, so no stitches are needed in the eye.
The procedure was approved by the FDA in 1999, and according to the American Family Physician, around 600,000 people in the US have Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis done each year. Overall, it’s a safe procedure done frequently. A study done by the FDA showed 95% of patients were happy with their LASIK surgery results.
As a routine and popular procedure, there are many pros to having LASIK surgery done.
- No more glasses or contacts
- Since LASIK is meant to improve your vision, you’ll be able to say goodbye to your glasses and contact lenses. More than 90% of people who have gotten LASIK have returned to 20/20 vision.
- Short recovery period
- Typically, patients can return to work within a few days of the procedure. You will be in an out of the office the same day of the procedure.
While Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis looks all well and good on paper, there are a few cons to consider. It’s all about what is most important to you and doing your research before agreeing to a procedure is a great way to figure out if it is right for you.
Many LASIK side effects are mild, such as:
- Dry Eye
- Burning/Itching Eyes
- Glares and Halos in vision after surgery
Typically, these issues will clear up within 6 months of the procedure. However, it is important to consult with your optometrist if issues persist. Another con of Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis is that it may not fix your vision completely, and you may need additional surgeries to correct it.
As you age, your eyes will continue to change shape, and your vision may change again. It is not uncommon for those who have Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis done to need a pair of readers or glasses for driving at night years after the procedure.
To sum it up, if you’re looking into LASIK, you should be asking a lot of questions to make sure it is the right procedure for you.