LASIK is the most popular and well-known type of laser refractive surgery. LASIK surgery involves using a type of cutting laser to reshape the dome-shaped tissue at the front of the eye, known as the cornea, to improve vision.
For those with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, the surface of their eyes does not bend or focus light correctly. Reshaping the cornea with LASIK provides the necessary refraction.
Are LASIK Results Permanent?
Once LASIK surgery is done, many patients will not have to wear glasses or contact lenses for decades. In most cases, patients that undergo LASIK surgery experience permanent or near-permanent results. Many patients experience 20/20 vision or better for most of their life. In some cases—usually due to natural changes that can occur in the lens inside the eye as we age—some regression in vision can occur over time. As they reach older age, patients may begin to use glasses for certain instances, such as night driving. Sometimes, patients opt for LASIK a second time, called a LASIK enhancement, which is a touch-up up procedure to restore clear vision.
Is LASIK Eye Surgery Safe?
LASIK surgery has a high success rate. Of course, the procedure has only become more advanced and safer as technology and surgeon experience has improved since then. In 4,400 clinical studies, more than 98 percent of patients are satisfied with the outcome of their procedure.
Can LASIK Fix Cataracts or Astigmatism?
Unfortunately, LASIK surgery does not correct vision loss due to cataracts. Cataracts typically worsen as we age and require cataracts surgery. It is not recommended that patients with cataracts undergo LASIK.
However, patients with astigmatism can usually be treated by LASIK and the results are typically permanent. Astigmatism is caused by the asymmetrical shape of the cornea. LASIK reshapes the cornea to provide the necessary refraction for clear sight.
What Is Aftercare for LASIK?
Your eyes will be in a delicate state for the first 24-48 hours particularly. Patients are strongly encouraged to completely rest their eyes for a full 24-hours after surgery. Expect intermittent changes in your vision for three months.
Your doctor will advise you to use artificial teardrops to aid with discomfort. Avoid touching your eyes in any way for the first week to two weeks. Sports activities, swimming, and cosmetics usage will be advised against for the first few weeks. A sleep mask and shower goggles may also be provided to avoid accidentally injuring your eyes or disrupting the healing process.
After about three days, your eye doctor will schedule a follow-up to ensure there are no complications and to see how your eyes are healing. You may have several more follow-ups within six months of your surgery. Your doctor will provide recommendations along the way about how soon you can resume your normal activities.