Less than perfect vision can happen to anyone for a myriad of reasons, but many who live with the constant of glasses or contacts want a solution to their eyesight woes. Laser eye surgery is one remedy for lousy vision that has gained immense popularity over the last 25 years. Millions have had laser eye surgery performed in the hope of achieving near to perfect sight after a lifetime of wearing corrective lenses, and the majority of those patients have received exactly what they bargained for.
Laser eye surgery, also known as refractive surgery, comes in several different forms, but the most commonly used procedure is known as LASIK surgery. With this quick and painless procedure, adults who qualify for the surgery have the potential to see clearly without glasses or contacts, permanently. However, the basics of LASIK surgery along with what conditions the procedure can cure and the risks involved should be considered before making the choice to have laser eye surgery.
Curing Vision Problems with LASIK
During a LASIK eye surgery, patients have a portion of the outer layer of the cornea cut back so that the inner tissue is visible. A specialised medical provider sculpts the inner tissue of the cornea with a small, non-painful laser so that vision problems may be corrected. The re-shaping of the cornea helps with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, but for different reasons.
With nearsighted patients, the cornea is flattened to allow light to more easily focus as it usually would. Farsighted patients have the cornea steepened with LASIK surgery, again so light may focus on the retina correctly. Individuals with astigmatism who undergo LASIK have irregular parts of the cornea smoothed out in the same fashion. While LASIK does help with these vision problems, it cannot treat lazy eye.
The LASIK procedure is minimally invasive, as it does not require much if any preparation before the surgery, nor stitches or bandages after the fact. Doctors may recommend LASIK patients take it easy on physical activity for several weeks post-procedure, but that is typically the only downtime required. The laser eye surgery takes no more than 15 minutes per eye, and when performed correctly, many patients have clear vision shortly after their procedure is complete.
Considerations and Risks
While LASIK seems simple on the surface, it does come with risks of which individuals considering the surgery should be aware. A legal team that handles medical negligence claims related to eye surgeries explains that although many people have successful outcomes, there are serious risks involved in the process. Some LASIK patients cite chronic dry eyes after the procedure, which requires the constant use of eye drops to remedy. Others experience ongoing pain in the eyes that may not be corrected quickly after the surgery. In the most cases of problem LASIK procedures, individuals have more trouble seeing than they did prior to going under the laser. These severe risks are rarely shared with patients considering LASIK or other laser eye surgeries.
In addition to more severe side effects of LASIK, there are a handful of lesser issues that can arise. The most pressing is a blurred vision at nighttime, which can make it difficult to drive or work after sunset. Increased sensitivity to light and temporary vision loss may also occur when a LASIK procedure does not go as planned. There may also be problems with healing of the flap moved during surgery, resulting in infections and eyelid pain for some patients. It is crucial for individuals to recognise these rare yet serious risks of LASIK and other laser eye surgeries before making a decision.
High Success Rates
Although there are some scary stories surrounding LASIK eye surgery complications, several million adults have had success after their surgeries. Nearly 96% of LASIK patients feel confident their decision was the right choice for their vision issues, and 70% experience perfect 20/20 vision after they heal from the procedure. To ensure you have all the information on how LASIK may also benefit you and improve your eyesight, speak with your eye doctor or specialist about the potential outcomes, both good and bad, from LASIK or alternative laser eye surgery options.