Understanding Lasik Surgery Clearly

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Are you tired of relying on glasses or contacts to see clearly? If so, then LASIK surgery may be the right choice for you. LASIK is a safe and effective way to correct the vision issues that many people suffer from. Here's what you need to know about this procedure and if it is right for you.

What Is LASIK? 

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis. It is a refractive eye surgery used to correct vision. In other words, your doctor will use a laser to reshape the cornea and improve your vision. LASIK can correct many different types of vision problems.

Why Should You Consider LASIK?

LASIK can greatly improve your vision, allowing you to see clearly without needing glasses or contact lenses. In addition, LASIK can help resolve the following:

  • Myopia. Also called nearsightedness, this vision impairment occurs when you cannot see objects that are far away.
  • Hyperopia. Also called farsightedness, this vision impairment occurs when you cannot focus on close-up objects, like reading text in a book.
  • Astigmatism. This vision impairment occurs when the cornea is shaped incorrectly, causing light to scatter in different directions, resulting in blurry vision.

LASIK surgery is designed to correct the above vision issues.

Who Is Eligible for LASIK?

Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for LASIK. The Mayo Clinic states that "people should be over age 18, and preferably older" to have LASIK. This requirement is because your eyesight changes through young adulthood. Your prescription should be stable for a few years before LASIK. Additionally, your eyes must be healthy and disease-free.

What Are the Benefits of LASIK?

There are many benefits of LASIK, including:

  • Improved vision. Most people who have had the procedure report improved vision almost immediately after the surgery.
  • Greater confidence. With better vision, you will feel more confident about your appearance.
  • Decreased need for glasses or contacts. You won't have to rely on glasses or contacts to see clearly.
  • Increased activities. With better vision, you can participate in more activities without worrying about how your vision will be affected or the need to purchase custom (read: expensive) eyewear, like prescription SCUBA masks or prescription goggles for basketball.
  • No more dry eyes. LASIK can potentially help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, a condition caused by inadequate tearing.

What Are the Risks of LASIK?

Although rare, there are still risks associated with LASIK surgery. These include:

  • Infection. As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection after the procedure.
  • Corneal abrasion. Every time a laser is used to reshape the cornea, there is a slight chance of creating an abrasion that can affect vision and cause pain. It is important to note, however, that LASIK has FDA approval and has been in use for years.
  • Under-correction or over-correction. Laser surgery is not perfect. There is a chance that your vision will not be corrected to the desired level.

LASIK surgery is a safe and effective way to correct vision problems, but it's important to understand all of the risks associated with the procedure. Before deciding if LASIK is right for you, talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.