LASIK Eye Surgery: What You Need to Know
By Linda Moore
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, chances are you have thought or even looked into LASIK eye surgery. This surgery has taken the optical world by storm, it promises to let you leave your glasses or contacts in the past, or at least to lessen your dependence upon them. As the procedure becomes more popular, it is easier to find a doctor or an office that will perform the surgery for you.
Before you decide that LASIK surgery is right for you, make sure that you know all the facts, and how they might affect you. LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a surgery that changes the cornea shape, this is a permanent change that is made using a laser and a special knife. This is what allows you to become fewer dependants upon your glasses or contact lenses as most wearers suffer from a misshaped cornea.
Before the surgery, you will need to consult with an optometrist that specializes in LASIK surgery. The doctor will conduct a number of tests to determine if you are a good candidate for the surgery. If it is determined that you are a good candidate, the doctor should be able to tell you how much of a change in your eyesight can be expected after the surgery.
Several things are taken into consideration when a doctor evaluates you for the surgery. For example, if you have had a change in your eyewear prescription within the last year, LASIK is not for you. The eyes need to be stable for at least a year, preferably longer to ensure that they arenít going to change shape on their own. If you have a history of certain diseases, LASIK may not be the right choice for you either. Having a history of Glaucoma, Herpes, eye injuries or thin corneas, are a few of the reasons that would disqualify you for the surgery.
Now you have been checked out by a doctor and are ready to proceed on your road to a future without glasses. It is important that you know what to expect during the surgery as well.
When you go in for the actual surgery, you will be placed in a reclined position. You will receive a numbing solution in the eye that is being operated on. The doctor will use a special speculum to hold the eyelid open and a large machine with a microscope will be aimed at the eye. A ring will be applied to your eye with hard pressure, this is to create a suction affect on the cornea, the doctor will the use a knife to cut the part of the cornea that needs to be reshaped. Your vision will be blurred during this part of the procedure.
After the cornea has been cut the ring is removed, at this point, you will be able to see, although this will come and go during the rest of the LASIK surgery. This is the part of the operation where the laser is introduced, two actually. The first laser is for your eye to focus on; the second is the working laser.
The machine with the microscope is also attached to a computer. This computer is what controls the amount of strength that is available in the laser. Before the procedure, the surgeon will have programmed how much tissue needs to be removed from the cornea, based on the tests in the first visit. The computer then, stops the laser when the exact amount of tissue has been removed.
Your surgery is essentially done! There are a few rules for after the procedure that your doctor will go over with you, but most people are back to daily life within a couple of days.
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