You have probably heard people talking about “LASIK” surgery as it is becoming increasingly popular around the world. LASIK is the most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure. LASIK is an acronym for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. You’re probably wondering why it’s so popular. The truth is that LASIK has advantages over other procedures, including a relative lack of post-surgery pain and the fact that perfect, to near-perfect vision is usually achieved almost immediately or at least by the very next day. The immediate results are attractive for many of the people who decide to have LASIK surgery as a means to treat their vision problems.
In LASIK, a tool called a “microkeratome” is used to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea of the eye. Then, the surgeon folds the flap back and out of the way, removing some corneal tissue underneath using an “excimer laser”. The technology applied to this operation has been notable due to its high success rate. The laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove (or "ablate") rather tiny bits of tissue from the cornea, in order to reshape it. Afterwards, when the cornea is reshaped in the right way, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, which in turn, provides clearer vision than before. The flap is then put back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed. Better sight will often lead to a decrease in headaches and other side effects of impaired vision. We often forget that wearing glasses side effects of their own.
You’ll want to know that both the nearsighted and farsighted can benefit from the LASIK procedure. While on one hand with nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the cornea that is too-steep; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. Also, excimer lasers can correct astigmatisms, by smoothing irregular corneas into a more normal shape. The precision of this operation has helped to make it as popular and successful as it is today.
If you’re wondering whether or not you're a good candidate for LASIK, you’ll want to visit your eye doctor. He will examine your eyes in order to determine their health, what kind of vision correction you need and how much laser ablation is required. These examinations are standard. If you’d like, you could ask for a consultation before the examination, so that you know exactly what you can expect.
Just as in a regular eye exam, he or she will use instruments such as: a refractor (to determine your prescription); a slit lamp (to look into the back of the eye for retinal problems); and a tonometer (to determine intraocular pressure — if it's high, this may be an early sign of glaucoma). Your doctor will also look for signs of dry eye disease, which must be treated and cleared up before LASIK can be performed. This eye exam is important, given that it will provide your eye doctor with the information he needs to treat your eyes.
LASIK treatment is a great option for people whose eyes are in danger of serious damage. Because the eyes often acquire problems with age, there is usually a point when eye surgery becomes a serious consideration in your overall health. Take some time and learn more about LASIK procedures, so that you know whether or not this is a procedure that you are interested in.
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