Approximately 14 million Americans experienced some sort of visual impairment. Refractive errors cause some of these impairments, while eye diseases are responsible for other cases.
However, because we are an aging population, this figure is only set to rise. By 2050, estimates show that this number will rise to 24.4 million.
Fortunately, it is possible to correct so of these visual impairments so you no longer have to live day-to-day with poor sight. And this could vastly improve your quality of life. Still wondering “Should I get LASIK eye surgery?”
Then read on to find out everything you need to know about LASIK surgery to help you make your decision.
What is LASIK Eye Surgery?
LASIK eye surgery is just another name for laser eye surgery. It is short of Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis. This procedure targets your eye’s cornea to correct refractive eye problems using a laser.
This might sound like something from a Sci-Fi movie but you’ll be surprised how common these surgeries are. In fact, by 2018 around eight million Americans had undergone this corrective procedure.
How Does LASIK Eye Surgery Work?
LASIK surgery works by targetting the cornea of your eye. This is vital for helping you see properly.
Your cornea helps you see by refracting light into your eye at the correct angle. This light passes through the cornea and onto the retina of your eye. This light is how our eyes process images of the world around us.
If your eye doesn’t take in light properly then this will affect your vision. This can happen if your cornea becomes damaged or is the wrong shape. But laser eye surgery can correct this in some cases by reshaping the cornea.
This means that you can correct your vision impairment without having to wear glasses or contact lenses on a daily basis.
Who Can Get LASIK Eye Surgery?
There are several different types of LASIK surgery and each one can treat different conditions effectively. However, there are three common eye conditions that basic surgery targets.
- Myopia or nearsightedness
- Hyperopia or farsightedness
- Astigmatism, which causes blurry vision
These conditions can vary somewhat in their severity and this might effect if you are eligible for surgery. LASIK is ideal for patients with mild or moderate eye conditions. If the cornea is extremely misshapen you may require more extensive surgery.
There are some other conditions that may mean you don’t qualify for LASIK eye surgery. These include:
- Suffering from an autoimmune system illness, even if you take medication for this
- Suffering from persistent dry eye
- Having thin or irregular corneas
- High pressure within your eye that is not under control
- Being pregnant or breastfeeding
- Having large pupils that dilate easily
If you find that you can get through the days only wearing corrective lenses sometimes then this might not be the procedure for you. And if you regularly play contact sports, such as football or boxing, then you shouldn’t get LASIK. Receiving a blow to the face could damage the results of your surgery.
Finally, when you can get LASIK also depends on your age. You must be over the age of eighteen in order to qualify for the procedure.
There is no upper age limit for LASIK surgery although after forty your eyes start to deteriorate naturally. When this happens, doctors may be more reluctant to advise surgery. So it’s important to keep this in mind if you’re deciding when to get LASIK.
If you meet all these criteria then you’re good to go! So let’s take a look at what happens during a LASIK surgery.
What Happens When You Get LASIK Eye Surgery?
There are several different types of LASIK surgery. Standard LASIK surgery is the most popular type around the world but some other surgeries include:
- Intra-LASIK surgery
- Wavefront LASIK surgery
- Epi-LASIK surgery
- LASEK surgery
- PRK surgery
LASIK eye surgery involves making a small cut at the bottom of the cornea using a blade. This means that the surgeon can lift the cornea up like a flap. After that, they use a laser to carefully remove thin layers from your cornea.
Removing these layers allows them to adjust and reshape it so that you can see better.
A typical LASIK procedure takes between fifteen and thirty minutes, so it’s over very quickly. This is something to keep in mind when considering the answer to one of patient’s most common questions: are you awake during LASIK eye surgery?
The short answer is, yes you are. This might seem daunting but doctors administer numbing eye drops so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. If you want to distract yourself during the surgery, try listening to a podcast or audiobook.
Recovering from LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK is a pretty quick and straightforward surgery and it comes with a speedy recovery.
You will need to take the day off work as your vision will be weak immediately after the surgery. If you are planning to go home then it’s a good idea to get a friend or family member to collect you. But your vision will start to come back after a couple of hours.
This will continue to improve over the days following your procedure. While this happens it’s very important to stick to the eye care routine that doctors layout for you.
You will need to bathe your eyes regularly to avoid any risk of infection. You should also avoid all contact sports, as this could damage the results of your surgery. Some surgeries also require you to wear protective lenses for four days following your surgery.
While you recover from your surgery you may notice some visual disturbances. These include halos, particularly around bright lights, and weaker night vision. These should improve over time, so wait to see if they continue before seeing your doctor about them.
What Are the Benefits of LASIK Eye Surgery?
For anyone who has to wear contact lenses or glasses on a daily basis, the benefits of LASIK eye surgery are clear. But there are actually more than you might realize and you don’t just have to look at LASIK before and after cases to understand them!
As a vision correction solution, LASIK eye surgery boasts quick results. You will find that your vision is corrected on the day of or the day after your surgery. This is remarkable for surgery that takes less than an hour!
You may experience some discomfort during the procedure. However, it is pain-free thanks to the numbing eye drops.
It also is minimally invasive thanks to its short recovery time. Once your vision starts to come back you will be able to go back to work and resume your normal activities.
You may also save huge amounts of money on corrective eyewear by investing in LASIK surgery. The average surgery costs between $3,000 and $6,000 for both eyes.
This might sound like a lot but take a moment to think about how much you spend if you wear contact lenses every day. Standard contact lenses cost around $260 a year but specialist lense could cost you up to $700 a year! And reports show that some Americans spend to up $1,000 on a pair of new glasses!
So within a few years, your spending will quickly balance out. In fact, it could save you a considerable amount of money.
Finally, as we already mentioned, your eyes can deteriorate over time, which might put people off getting LASIK surgery. But the beauty of this procedure is that it isn’t a one-time thing. If your vision deteriorates with time you can revisit LASIK to help correct this.
Does LASIK Surgery Come With Risks?
No guide to LASIK surgery would be complete without outlining some of the risks. Because this surgery involves changing your eye, the most common side effects relate to visual disturbances.
Dry eye, for example, is a possible side effect. This happens when your tear duct doesn’t produce enough moisture to lubricate the surface of your eye. In some cases, this may be temporary but for some, it will become a permanent problem.
LASIK surgery can also have a negative effect on how your eye processes light. This leads to visual disturbances such as halos, starbursts or glare.
These are fairly common immediately after surgery but should go down over time. If they don’t it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible to explore the cause of them.
Unfortunately, some risk factors for LASIK surgery are more serious and can result in long-term problems. These include:
- Chronic pain
- Detached retinas
- Eye infections
- Loss of vision
If you experience any of these problems then you may also find that they are difficult to correct. So it’s worth considering this before you go in for surgery. And if you have any concerns discuss them with your doctor before signing up.
Still Wondering “Should I Get LASIK Eye Surgery?”
If you’re still wondering, “Should I get LASIK surgery?” we’ll leave you with these statistics. One surgeon reported that, out of 85,000 procedures, 96% to 98% of them resulted in 20/20 vision. A further 40% to 50% of patients found that their vision was better than 20/20 after their surgery!
For more amazing news about how medicine from around the world could help you, keep scrolling!