LASIK is an incredibly popular surgery due its high success rate. It is completely elective, yet approximately two million people choose the procedure each year in order to cut down or even eliminate their use of eyeglasses or contacts. That accounts for nearly 95% of all vision correction procedures. It can be used to address some of the most common issues, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
LASIK surgery is a quick procedure that generally requires little recovery. It is performed by an ophthalmologist, or a doctor who specializes in the eyes. First, the surgeon will apply anesthetic eye drops. A protective flap is created, which allows access to the inner corneal tissue. A cool laser light targets the cornea, carefully reshaping it to improve the vision. After the tissue has been successfully reshaped, the surgeon repositions the flap. The eye is covered for a period of approximately several hours while the flap naturally heals itself. Most patients are back to their normal activities and enjoying better vision before day's end. Any mild discomfort or irritation should cease within hours.
A custom procedure may be recommended based on each individual patient's vision needs. Bladeless LASIK is one popular option that utilizes a laser to create the corneal flap as opposed to a blade. It is sometimes recommended for patients who are 18 years or older, have had stable vision for at least a year, and who have healthy eyes with no corneal diseases or autoimmune disorders.
Another option uses wavefront technology to create a customized map of the patient's eye, resulting in an even more targeted laser surgery. As a general rule, ideal candidates for a custom procedure using wavefront technology are at least 21 years old, have had stable vision for a year or more, have thin corneas, and have poor night vision or high order aberrations.
Every patient's vision needs are unique, so it's important to consult with an ophthalmologist to determine which option is right for you.
Read more about lasik surgery by checking out our lasik resource guide.