LASIK eye surgery: The Basics
Most people have a love-hate relationship with their eyeglasses. For instance, it is difficult to play sports while wearing eyeglasses, so many eyeglass-dependent athletes rely on contact lenses. However, wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time can get uncomfortable to the eye. Then of course, there is also that brief moment of panic when you open your eyes in the morning and you couldn’t see a thing—until you finally touch your eyeglasses, and everything became crystal clear again.
most people who would want to have their perfect eyesight back—or at least, as close to perfect as possible—without having to wear eyeglasses OR contact lenses, then you’ve come to the right place. Over the years a popular form of non-invasive surgery promises to do just that.
Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery is defined by Mayo Clinic as “a procedure that corrects certain vision problems, reducing or eliminating the need for eyeglasses or corrective lenses.” It is the most common type of refractive surgery, which is when the surgery aims to permanently change the shape of the cornea to help you see better. It is estimated that there were 21 million LASIK procedures performed in the United States in 2015.
However, the procedure does not guarantee perfect vision. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), “more than 90 percent of people who have LASIK achieve somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 vision without glasses or contact lenses. If sharp, detailed 20/20 vision is essential for your job or leisure activities, consider whether 20/40 vision would be good enough for you.” The organization also warns that patients must be “comfortable with the possibility that you may need a second surgery” or that they may “need to wear glasses for certain activities.” Thankfully, these cases are very manageable (only more than 10% of LASIK patients required a second surgery), and LASIK surgery is a resounding success to majority of its patients.
Yet one thing that is worth pointing out is that LASIK eye surgery may not work for everyone.
Candidates for LASIK eye surgery
For instance, LASIK cannot correct presbyopia. As AAO explains, “Presbyopia is when your eyes gradually lose the ability to see things clearly up close. It is a normal part of aging.” It typically manifests when a person reaches the age of 40.
However, LASIK is used to treat a variety of eye conditions. Among them are myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
- Myopia – Also known as nearsightedness, this condition occurs when the light rays blur distant vision and focus instead on the items inside the retina. Simply put, patients with myopia can see objects that are near them (such as a book), but not those that are far from them, such as a road signage.
- Hyperopia – Also known as farsightedness, this is the opposite of myopia in the sense that the cornea is too flat. This means that patients with hyperopia can see things that are farther from them, instead of seeing things that are near them. However, there are cases of hyperopia where the patient’s vision is blurred in both cases.
- Astigmatism – This is when the cornea flattens or curves unevenly, which affects the way the patient focuses on near and distant vision.
Now that you know the conditions that would benefit the most from LASIK, below is the list of requirements from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – Consumer Information:
- Age requirements – The patient must be at least 18 years old, or 21 for some lasers. The FTC says this is because the vision of people younger than those ages are still changing and developing.
- Healthy – Generally, the patients must be in good health. There are a number of conditions that may render someone as ineligible for LASIK eye surgery. Likewise, they must not be taking prescription drugs like oral prednisone or Accutane.
- Must not be pregnant or nursing – The FTC advises that having LASIK eye surgery during this period may “change the measured refraction of the eye.”
- Vision must be healthy – Finally, the patient’s vision must be healthy to begin with. This means that myopic patients have stable prescriptions. If there is a history of “dry eye,” then the patient must be forthcoming with an ophthalmologist as this could affect the effects of surgery.
Now that you more or less know if you are eligible for LASIK eye surgery, the next question is if you should have it done to you in the first place. Some of the questions you should ask yourself are these:
- Are you comfortable with wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses? If yes, then you should probably forego the surgery.
- Do you actively play sports or does your lifestyle require sharp vision? As the AOO explains, the procedure does not always guarantee perfect vision. Talk to your doctor about this if it is imperative that you have a 20/20 vision.
- What do you expect from the surgery? Again, talk to your doctor as having unrealistic expectations would only set the surgery for failure.
As in most cases, you should be very open with your doctor about your goals and expectations. If you have any questions, you should also talk to them about it as well.
If you’re looking to have LASIK eye surgery, then you’ve come to the right place. One of the owners and doctors of Arizona Retinal Specialists, Dr. Gholam Peyman, invented the LASIK eye surgery. He was the recipient of 2012 National Medal of Technology and Innovation as given by former U.S. President Barack Obama. He is also one of the 13 living ophthalmologists to be inducted in the prestigious Ophthalmology Hall of Fame of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
Aside from these achievements, Dr. Peyman has 124 US Patents that covers a wide array of medical devices, surgical techniques, intra-ocular drug delivery, and new methods of treatment and diagnosis.
Therefore, patients looking for comprehensive LASIK eye surgery are in good hands with Arizona Retinal Specialists, given Dr. Peyman’s legacy and the combined professionalism and expertise of the staff.