Learn About LASIK
Regarded as one of the safest of all medical procedures, LASIK has eliminated the need for contacts and glasses for more than 12 million Americans since the technique was granted FDA approval in the late 1990s.
LASIK has the ability to restore vision to 20/20 or even better for people suffering from nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This procedure provides a significant improvement in lifestyle and freedom from the hassles and irritations of lenses. Specific results depend upon your eyesight – each result is unique to the patient.
Common Vision Problems LASIK Can Correct
[image showing the parts of eye]
There are three main parts to the human eye:
- The cornea
- The lens
- The retina
The retina is like the film in a camera. In normal vision, the cornea refracts (bends) light so it can be directed through the lens and focused onto the retina. Vision problems requiring glasses are usually the result of irregularities of the shape of the cornea. This causes an error in the refraction of the image and results in blurred or distorted vision. LASIK solves these issues by using a laser to reshape the curvature of the cornea and correct this refractive error so that normal, clear sight is obtained.
Nearsightedness – Myopia
Nearsighted people see close objects clearly, but not distant objects. In nearsightedness, the curve of the cornea is too steep or the eye itself is somewhat elongated. This results in images being focused in front of the retina. LASIK corrects this condition by flattening the curvature of the cornea so that images are focused exactly on the retina.
Farsightedness – Hyperopia
Farsighted people see distant objects better, but objects midway and close up are blurred. In farsightedness, the shape of the cornea is too flat or the eye is too short. This causes light rays to focus behind the retina. LASIK corrects this condition by shaping the outer area of the cornea so that it focuses images correctly.
Astigmatism is the inability to focus clearly at any distance due to an irregular or misshapen cornea. With astigmatism, light rays focus at different points on the retina causing images to overlap and blur vision. LASIK corrects these irregularities and achieves clear vision.
LASIK vs. Lenses
Glasses can scratch, break, fog up, fall off, and sometimes interfere with side vision. Contacts may irritate the eyes. LASIK has none of these drawbacks. LASIK is the ideal solution for eyes that cannot tolerate glasses or contacts, or for patients who simply want to be free from the burden of wearing and caring for corrective lenses. After LASIK, most patients can pass their driver’s test, swim and participate in other sports without corrective lenses. Myopic patients often find that their night vision improves after LASIK. Because they no longer have to depend on lenses, LASIK patients even enjoy a broader choice of careers and athletic activities after they have the surgery.
Athletes, Parents and Travelers
LASIK especially benefits sports enthusiasts, parents and frequent travelers. Athletes enjoy greater safety and better performance when they can play their sports unencumbered by glasses or contacts. Moms and dads also benefit from LASIK; they can swim lens-free with their kids or respond to nighttime emergencies without having to grope for glasses or contacts. Frequent travelers can enjoy the convenience and safety (in case of emergency) of life on the road without corrective lenses.
LASIK vs. Other Refractive Surgeries
Many patients choose LASIK over other types of refractive surgery because LASIK entails fewer side effects and faster recovery than other procedures. LASIK’s results also tend to last longer.
Time and Money
LASIK can even save time and money. LASIK patients no longer have to buy new glasses, contacts or cleaning supplies, and they don’t have to spend time looking for their glasses or cleaning their contacts.