LASIK eye surgery

Nobody is perfect. Our eyes may also not be perfect. Those who have to wear glasses or contact lenses all the time have probably dreamt at least once of not having to wear them. And actually your dream may come true with the help of LASIK eye surgery.

What is LASIK?

LASIK is an abbreviation for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. It is a type of surgery during which refractive errors are corrected in order to reduce a person’s dependency on contact lenses and/or glasses. The cornea — a very clear cover of the front part of an eye — is flattened permanently during the procedure with the use of excimer laser.

Understanding your eyes

The cornea and lens work together to bend, refract, the light rays so that they are focused on the retina, the inner layer of an eye, to create a clear image. Frequently the cornea has an imperfect shape and therefore refraction — bending and focusing of the light rays — is not sufficient resulting in a blurred vision and distorted image of the picture. This is called refractive errors. There are three basic types of such errors — myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. A person, who has myopia, nearsightedness, has problems in seeing distant objects as clearly as nearby ones. A person, who has hyperopia, farsightedness, has trouble in seeing nearby objects as clearly as distant ones. Astigmatism is a type of refractive error when an eye has different focal points in different planes due to the not perfectly spherical cornea or lens. All of these errors can be and are corrected with the help of spherical and cylindrical glasses or contact lenses. Refractive errors may also be corrected during laser eye surgery, the type of which is LASIK procedure.

Lasik eye surgery

LASIK eye surgery is an outpatient procedure. It usually takes less than 30 minutes for each eye. Local anesthesia is given with the help of local anesthetic eyedrops that numb the eye so that it becomes insensitive to the surgery.
A surgeon will place a special instrument, called a lid speculum, to keep your eyelids wide open during the procedure. After this is done, the ophthalmologist will put a ring on your cornea and use high pressures to form suction to the cornea. This will result in a cloudy vision for you at that time and is normal.

A special knife, professionally called a microkeratome, attached to the suction ring will be used to cut the outer layer of the cornea to form a flap. Then the flap will be bent back uncovering the middle layer of the cornea, also called the stroma. It is the thickest section of the cornea of an eye. The suction ring and the cutting instrument will then be removed.

You will be asked to look into the red light of the laser to create a stable position of your eye so that a doctor will be able to work on it. An ophthalmologist will then use an excimer laser in order to flatten the stroma. Pulses from the laser will be released to vaporize a certain portion of the stroma. After this has been completed, the flap will be restored to its primary position and will attach to the eyeball immediately. No stitches are needed and the procedure is over after placing a special shield over the eye in order to protect the flap. Be aware that it is very important to wear the shield all the time to avoid rubbing the eye or pressing it during sleep.

Healing is basically short but you may experience a blurred vision on the day of the laser eye surgery. Your vision should improve on the day after the procedure, however, you may still want to take a few days off after surgery.
You will not have to wear glasses or contact lenses after surgery. According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), seven out of 10 patients achieve 20/20 vision, but 20/20 does not always mean perfect vision. And if you had LASIK performed in order to correct your distant vision you will still have to wear reading glasses from the age of about 45 due to presbyopia, the process during which the lens looses elasticity while aging resulting in a decreased ability to see nearby objects clearly.

Advantages:

  • Keep the anatomy of cornea;
  • Good vision is achieved very fast;
  • The procedure is painless;
  • Effective;
  • Stability of results;
  • There are no scars and seams;
  • It’s possible to correct both eyes at the same time.

Recommended e-book about laser eye surgery alternative:

  1. Secrets to perfect eyesight

Alternatives to laser eye surgery

Laser eye surgery become more and more popular, because it gives a possibility to put away glasses or contact lenses. However, there are people who don’t want to choose such alternatives. They rather prefer to use another ways to improve their seeing.

Sooner or later comes the time, when people feel that their seeing is not as perfect as before. What to do? – Laser eye surgery isn’t the only mean to improve seeing. The majority of people choose to wear glasses or contact lenses. It is affordable and convenient. It depends on a person. Some people prefer glasses some not. Others say that contact lenses are a better choice. Beside if there are some doubts which way to choose the best solution would be to contact with oculist and discuss other alternatives? Usually such possibilities are offered: lensectomy with intraocular lens implant – the natural lens is removed and is replaced with an intraocular lens implant; phakic IOL (intraocular lens) or ICL (intraocular contact lens) – insertion of an artificial lens without removing the crystalline lens; intracorneal rings – intracorneal rings are plastic inserts placed in the cornea. The rings flatten the central cornea in purpose to correct the nearsightedness (myopia). Intracorneal rings can be removed.If intracorneal rings are removed the cornea returns to its preoperative shape and nearsighted come backs; radial keratotomy – radial keratotomy is a surgical procedure. Its’ purpose is to remove or reduce ametropia (eyes with vision defects such as myopia, hyperopic or astigmatism are unable properly focus on light rays into a clear image. If ametropia occurs it requires corrective lenses or eye surgery).

 

With a help of RK the central corneal curvature is reduced; myopic or hyperopic keratomileusis or automated lamellar keratoplasty is used to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness – microkeratome is used to remove a thin slice of the cornea from the eye to reshape it for corrected vision; astigmatic keratotomy is a modification of radial keratotomy is used to correct astigmatism; myopic or hyperopic epikeratophakia – during this procedure the refractive error of the lens is modified by the transplantation of a donor cornea to the anterior surface of the patient’s cornea. All these procedures are related technically, the main difference is that every procedure is specialized on a different vision correction (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism).

Recommended e-book about laser eye surgery alternative:

  1. Secrets to perfect eyesight

Refractive eye surgery

People have been wearing eye-glasses since as early as 13th c. They started from thick and heavy glasses, moved on to a great variety of ugly frames that finally established their status, became fashionable and started competing with contact lenses. Neither of those is really comfortable: eyeglasses keep falling from your nose and cloud over whenever temperature changes from cold to warm. And contact lenses make your eyes sore, tired and irritated after a long time wearing them. Maybe it’s time to change it?

What is refractive eye surgery?

Refractive eye surgery is a type of eye surgery that helps to correct the refractive errors of the eye. With the help of laser and other methods it has become possible to be no longer dependant on corrective lenses – eyeglasses and contact lenses. Successful refractive operations can help to reduce such common vision disorders as myopia or nearsightedness, hyperopia or farsightedness, and astigmatism (distorted vision).

How does it work?

There are a number of ways how the vision can be rectified, namely, flap and photoablation operations; thermal procedures; corneal incision procedures; and implanting. However, the most popular surgical procedure to reach the goal of perfect vision is laser refractive correction of cornea.

Refractive errors occur due to the light rays focusing in front or behind the retina – a light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of an eye – instead of falling directly on it. By the use of laser, the cornea – the transparent tissue covering the colored part of the eye called iris — is reshaped to the extent that it again bends and refracts light rays by making them focus on the retina or very close to it. Doctors claim that the laser operations usually are done with the incredible precision and extraordinary predictability, therefore the greatest majority of cases are extremely successful.

Is it painful?

Eye surgeons recognize that LASIK (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) are safe and do not cause pain during operation. The operation is done with a cool (non-thermal) beam of light which is controlled by computer. The surgeon is able to turn it off in case of possible damage; however, there is a slight chance of failure as in any other surgical operation.

Your eyes may feel sore, watery and irritated for a couple of days after the operation but medical help to reduce the pain is almost never necessary.

Risks of eye surgery

Knowing that almost every medical procedure may cause complications, refracted eyes surgery is not an exception. Therefore everyone who is interested in this kind of vision correction should consult with his/her ophthalmologist.

Practice of refracted eyes surgery being very young, nobody knows the exact number of complications that might appear later on. However, studies show the instances of minor disorders after the procedure such as the feeling of dry eyes of glare during the night is from 3% to 5%. The risk of severe incidents though is considered to be less than 1% since there are know cases of blindness caused by LASIK or PRK registered. So are you ready to see a clear picture of the world not through the window of eyeglasses or contact lenses but your own eyes?

Recommended e-book about laser eye surgery alternative:

  1. Secrets to perfect eyesight

Laser eye surgery results

As it was mentioned, the fisrt step would be to find a doctor. Then schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist who specializes in laser vision correction. Many doctors take a fee for it, but there doctors who don’t. The surgeon will examine your eyes to make sure they are healthy and stable. The surgeon also will recommend you the best procedure for your vision condition also what you can expect after the operation. After the consultation doctor will give all the information you need to decide whether take a risk or not for doing the vision correction procedure. If you decide to go forward, the next step would be to schedule a date for the procedure.

The results

First, do not worry – laser eye surgery procedure itself doesn’t hurt and there is no pain during LASIK or PRK eye surgery. But some discomfort is typical for the first 2-3 days. But it really is only trivial thing. Just try to image that you will never again be wearing glasses or contact lens to see one hundred percent – your vision will be improved dramatically! Your expenses will be reduced. It’s time to forget about buying glasses or contact lens for perfect eyesight. The laser eye surgery will help to see the world in new colors!

Recommended e-book about laser eye surgery alternative:

  1. Secrets to perfect eyesight

PRK eye surgery

PRK is an abbreviation for photorefractive keratectomy, a procedure, during which the surface of the cornea (the outer surface of the eye) is flattened by the ophthalmologist with the help of a special excimer laser. This procedure is used to correct refraction errors, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. This type of laser eye surgery helps people to reduce their dependency on glasses and/or contact lenses.

PRK surgery

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). This method is performed with an excimer laser, which uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove ("ablate") very tiny bits of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it. When you reshape the cornea in the right way, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before.This laser will remove only a small piese of the thickness of cornea tissue. PRK also is often used to correct light nearsightedness. While the procedure is perfomed the outer part of the cornea (epithelium) is removed. Patient may feel a little more discomfort after the procedure also a longer healing time compare to a Lasik procedure.

The best candidates for PRK

Even though the PRK procedure is very convenient, since the person does not have to wear external devices to correct their vision, not everyone is eligible for this type of surgery. People should fulfill these requirements in order to be able to undergo this type of laser eye procedure:

  • Should have healthy eyes
  • Be 21 years old or older
  • Stable refraction error
  • Myopia should be from -1.5 to -7.0 diameters
  • Should be physically healthy
  • Have realistic expectations about the surgery

PRK eye surgery

PRK eye surgery is performed under local anesthesia. Anesthetic drops are applied on the eyes prior to the procedure, so that the surface of the eyes is numb and insensitive to the intervention. The computer then drives the laser automatically, according to the patient’s refraction error. The laser beam burns off (ablates) a certain amount of the central part of corneal stroma, just below the epithelium. This changes the shape of the cornea and, hence, the refraction error is corrected meaning that a patient has no longer to wear glasses or contact lenses. A surgeon places a bandage lens in order for the eye to heal safely.

The recovery period takes up to six months, during which a patient requires to use eye drops to help the healing of the eye.

Advantages:

  • The procedure is painless;

  • Short-time surgery;

  • Effective;

  • The stability of results.

  • PRK laser eye surgery cost less than LASIK

Possible complications

Although photorefractive keratectomy is considered to be a safe laser eye surgery and complications are rare, like any surgery it may have certain complications. The healing period after this type of surgical procedure is very long and longer, compared to LASIK. Some patients may experience pain, glare, halos, or starburst aberrations. Nearsightedness may reoccur after the PRK procedure. There is a risk of increased intraocular pressure. Corneal haze and scarring may occur following photorefractive keratectomy. Some patients complain that their best corrected visual acuity is lower after the procedure.

Recommended e-book about laser eye surgery alternative:

  1. Secrets to perfect eyesight

Laser eye surgery cost

The laser eye surgery is not cheap. Generally the price of laser eye surgery is at least 1,500 $ for each eye and will probably set you back around $6,000 (for both eyes). But price can be higher or lower, it depends on what method you will choose.

Lasik cost

Cost for LASIK is from $1,500 per eye to $2,500 per eye, while price for PRK is $1,200 per eye. Also there are doctors who charge less and who charge more. Every candidate wishes to find the best price – it’s important, but take in mind quality and service. Be careful, if a doctor tries to reach the quantity of operations, but not quality – don’t choose this doctor. He is not competent enough to deal with your eyes. The cost of vision correction depends on what procedure fits you the most ( for eg. LASIK  or PRK). The cost also varies on the doctor’s experience, it means that more experienced doctor may ask for a high price. Besides it’s important what is included in the vision correction package. Many doctors include pre-operative and post-operative care as well.

Recommended e-book about laser eye surgery alternative:

  1. Secrets to perfect eyesight

Laser eye surgery complications

Laser vision correction can change people’s life. However, as with any surgical procedure, there can be some possible side effects. There are temporary irritants. You may feel scratch in your eyes after procedure. It’s like an contact lens in your eye.

Laser eye surgery complications

This unpleasant feeling can be eliminated with eye drops, which you will need to use after the operation. Also you may feel some watering in the eyes and the eyesight maybe a little bit foggy after laser eye surgery procedure . Don’t worry these irritants will soon disappear. One possible side effect is over-correction, it means that during the operation vision can be changed from nearsighted to farsighted or vice versa.

 

It can be fixed by an appropriate procedure. Another one is under-correction, it happens when one procedure is not enough. In that case the doctor will appoint you one more treatment.

Telling the truth serious complications are rare. The most worrisome side effect is an infection. It is eliminated with antibiotic eye drops which, if necessary, you will use after the operation. As you see almost all possible side effects can be eliminated with an appropriate medicine.

Recommended e-book about laser eye surgery alternative:

  1. Secrets to perfect eyesight

Laser eye surgery

The eye’s correction method, which could be used in cornea surgery, was developed by two ophthalmologists- Pollikaris (Greece) and Burrato (Italy), in the middle of 80’s. They used excimer laser, whose ultraviolet light cut the cornea tissue by breaking the molecular bonds within the cells. This allows removal of tissue with great accuracy and with minimal damage to surrounding tissue.

Laser eye surgery

Eye laser surgery is the exact and controlled removal of the eye corneal tissue by a special laser to reshape the cornea for changing it’s focusing power. It’s natural for people to have some doubts before making a desicion to prepare for such operation , in this case for laser eye  procedure , of possible side effects after the operation. The matter of fact such cases are really rare if the operation is performed by the doctor who is a specialist in this field. Many people have selected the laser eye surgery to improve their vision.

Well, it’s good to know that procedure takes at least 20 minutes! First, the surgeon instills an anesthetic drops in your eyes. Then he installs a retractor to keep your eyes open and lifts a thin layer of the cornea with the help of microkeratome. After that, the surgeon guides the laser down the cornea and burns away the cells to correct your eyesight. Finally, the surgeon cleans the eye and puts the layer of cornea back in place. That’s it! Be ready to  repeat this treatment with other eye and in a few days come back to work!

Am I a good candidate for laser eye surgery?

People who made a desicion to do an laser eye operation, ask themselves are they a good candidates to proceed the value of eye laser procedure. You are a good candidate if:

  • you are at least 18 year old;

  • your vision is stable for at least one year;

  • you should have healthy regina, cornea and eye pressure;

  • you don’t have any major eye deseases;

  • you shouldn’t be expecting a baby;

  • you must be willing to accepts the potiential risk and side effects, the cornea must be thick enough.

Besides an eye examination with your ophthalmologist without any question will ensure your candidacy. Usually you won’t be considered candidates if: you have uncontrolled diabetes, you are pregnant, you have active eye infection or deseases of cornea also heavily dry eyes.

Recommended e-book about laser eye surgery alternative:

  1. Secrets to perfect eyesight