For people with eye troubles, LASIK surgery can mean the difference between life with or without glasses, and even the difference between life with or without sight.

To fully understand the concept of LASIK eye surgery, you first need to know what the term stands for.  “LASIK” is actually an acronym of  “Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis”.   It’s a procedure that uses an excimer laser to permanently change the shape of the cornea.  That’s the literal meaning of LASIK.  Understanding the process, however, takes a little more effort.

LASIK eye surgery technology is very complicated.  To understand the technology and the process, it’s necessary to know the different types of refractive errors, or in lay terms, problems with sight.  The most common are myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.  Myopia is a condition more commonly known as nearsightedness. Hyperopia is the term for farsightedness.  Astigmatism is a distortion of the image on the retina caused by irregularities in either the cornea or the lens of the eye.

Determining the effects of this procedure can also be helpful in gaining an understanding of LASIK.  This type of surgery enables the doctor to use a special laser to reshape the cornea with precise and controlled removal of corneal tissues.

Before undergoing LASIK surgery, make sure that you do your part by preparing yourself for the procedure.  This can help to prevent possible negative consequences.  Speak with your LASIK surgeon a few days before the procedure and follow his or her instructions very carefully.  Make proper inquiries pertaining to your treatment, and any follow-up care, before undergoing the procedure.  What you do before and during surgery are as important as what you do after it. Make sure that you follow doctor’s orders to ensure your safety.

Not every patient is a prime candidate for LASIK.  For example, if you’re not able to focus your eyes for 60 seconds, then you may not qualify for a this type of surgery.  Your LASIK procedure should take only about thirty minutes to complete and it’s not a grueling ordeal, however there are some people who will be bothered by it.  If you’re not comfortable taking risks, if your job prohibits refractive procedures, or if cost is an issue, then LASIK surgery may not be the best choice for you.  Know the risks and understand the possible consequences before you sign your pre-surgery waiver.

In addition to LASIK, there are other types of refractive surgery that have benefited those with problem sight.  Radial keratotomy (RK) and photo refractive keratotomy (PRK).  PRK utilizes the same type of laser as is used in LASIK surgery.  The difference is that in PRK, the epithelium or top layer of the cornea is scraped away to expose the stromal layer beneath.  In LASIK surgery, the doctor will cut a flap in the stromal layer and fold the flap back.

The popularity of LASIK eye surgery has exploded in recent years.  The procedure is fast, easy and quite effective for many people with nearsightedness, and is also successfully used to treat farsightedness and astigmatism. Speak with your eye care professional to see if you are the right candidate for LASIK surgery.

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