If you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism – which all prevent you from seeing correctly without glasses or contact lenses – LASIK surgery may be right for you. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a type of eye surgery that employs a laser to correct vision problems by modifying the shape of the cornea.
The shape of the cornea tends to eventually adjust to how we frequently focus our eyes, but in so doing it creates vision problems when trying to focus in different ways. If we spend a lot of time reading and focusing on nearby objects, we can develop nearsightedness (easy to see things that are close-up, difficult to see things at a distance); if we spend a lot of time focusing on distant objects, we can develop farsightedness (easy to see far, difficult to see near).
The goal of LASIK is to reduce or eliminate a person’s reliance on eyeglasses or contact lenses. Let’s talk about what’s involved in LASIK surgery, and where you can go in Washington, Missouri, to have an expert eye doctor assess your suitability for this eye surgery and then perform it on one or both of your eyes.
What Happens in LASIK Surgery?
During LASIK, the ophthalmologist reshapes the cornea to put it back into a perfect dome shape.
To improve farsightedness, the doctor makes the cornea a little flatter than it has become. To improve nearsightedness, the ophthalmologist makes the curve of the cornea a little steeper and more curved than it has become. To treat astigmatism, the doctor smooths irregularities on the cornea.
- To start with, the ophthalmologist places anesthetic drops in the eyes to ensure you do not feel any pain throughout the procedure. A lid speculum will be used to keep your eyes open for the procedure; this does not harm the eyes.
- Next, the doctor will use a femtosecond (pulsing infrared) laser to make a thin flap in the cornea.
- The flap will be folded back to expose the cornea and to allow the ophthalmologist to reshape it using an excimer (ultraviolet) laser, to achieve the desired vision correction.
- Afterward, the doctor will put the flap back in place. There is no need for stitches – the cornea will heal naturally.
Normal sensations during LASIK surgery include a feeling of pressure in the eye being operated on. After the procedure, the patient may experience a sensation of grittiness and a slight itching or burning sensation in the eyes. To prevent dry eye and infection, the doctor will prescribe artificial tears and eye drops.
LASIK surgery is an outpatient surgery that takes only 30 minutes or less to complete. Follow-up eye checkups will probably be scheduled for the following day and a week after the surgery.
What Can I Expect After LASIK Eye Surgery?
Patients experience an improvement in their vision after the procedure, despite a slight haziness or blurriness immediately after – which will improve in a few hours. As to how much vision correction LASIK can provide, it depends on your eyesight before the surgery, but it is possible to achieve 20/20 vision.
LASIK Surgery in Washington, MO
If you are interested in LASIK surgery, our board-certified ophthalmologists at Advanced Sight Center are highly experienced in performing this procedure. Since 1983, we have served our community and the surrounding areas of Greater St. Louis, helping people see clearly.