LASIK is an alternative to wearing glasses or contact lenses for myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. People with myopia have nearsightedness and difficulty seeing detail at a distance. People with hyperopia have farsightedness and difficulty seeing nearby objects. Astigmatism is a focusing problem that can make nearby, distant, or both nearby and distant vision appear blurry. Such conditions may result because of the way the cornea is shaped. Imperfections in the cornea that affect the way images are reflected on the retina are called refractive errors. LASIK is used to precisely shape the cornea to correct refraction.
Your doctor can let you know if you are a candidate for LASIK. LASIK is not appropriate for people with certain medical or eye conditions. Your doctor will explain the risks associated with the procedure. LASIK is only performed on people that are 18 years and older.
Prior to surgery, your doctor will perform a thorough eye examination. If you wear contact lenses, your doctor will let you know how long you should stop wearing them before your surgery. You should not wear makeup, creams, lotions, or perfume the day before and the day of your surgery.
LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure. It is a short surgery, usually less than 30 minutes.
You should arrange to have another person drive you home from the procedure.
You will sit in a reclining chair for the procedure. Eye drops will be used to numb your eye. The area around your eye will be cleaned. A speculum device will be placed to keep your eye open.
A ring will be placed on your eye. High pressure will create a suction on your cornea. You may feel some discomfort or blurred vision during this part of the procedure. Your doctor will make an incision to create a flap on your cornea.
The laser will be positioned directly over your eye. You will be asked to stare at a light. Your doctor will use the laser’s high-energy light to vaporize cornea tissue to reshape it.
When the laser treatment is complete, the flap is replaced over your cornea. A protective shield will cover your eye to protect it while it heals. You should not rub or put pressure on your eye while it heals.
Immediately after surgery, your eye may burn, itch, or feel like there is something in it. You may experience mild pain, watery eyes, or blurred vision. Your eyes may be sensitive to light. You may see starbursts or halos around lights. These symptoms may last for a few days. You should contact your doctor if you experience severe pain or if your symptoms get worse instead of better.
Your doctor will monitor your healing progression with regular appointments. Your doctor will inform you about temporary activity restrictions and when you may resume wearing contact lenses. It may take three to six months for your vision to stabilize.