LASIK Surgery – A Closer Look

LASIK surgery has become common enough that most people have not only heard of it; most people know someone who has had a LASIK surgery procedure performed. But, in spite of its growing acceptance, three are not a lot of people outside the medical profession who understand what LASIK surgery is.

LASIK surgery has often been promoted as an instant fix for eye defects. While it is a very fast procedure, usually taking less than a minute for each eye, LASIK surgery can sometimes require half an hour to properly correct the defects in an eye. As with all medical procedures, the length of LASIK surgery will depend on the visual problem being treated and the variety of LASIK surgery being done.

LASIK Surgery Is Still Surgery

Perhaps because of the short duration of most LASIK surgery, some people tend to regard LASIK surgery as a minor medical procedure, like having stitches removed. But that is a very misguided perception; LASIK surgery is real surgery, and it is being done on your eyes. You probably value your eyes tremendously, and if you are considering any sort of optical procedure will be giving it a long hard look.

What does LASIK surgery really do?

The cornea of your eye, although it is only half a millimeter thick, has five distinct layers. They are, from the outside in, the epithelium; Bowman’ membrane; the stroma; Descernet’s membrane; and the endothelium. LASIK surgery will clean the cornea, which is responsible for light refraction. Poor light refraction results in poor vision.

LASIK surgery cleans the cornea by cutting into its different layers. The overwhelming majority of LASIK procedures will cut no deeper than the stroma; but the type of LASIK surgery appropriate for you, and the depth of the incision, will depend on the nature of your corneal defects

Over time, extra tissue will accumulate in or beneath the cornea. This extra tissue may be referred to as anything from wrinkles, fissures .and bump to, simply, thickening of tissue. The presence of this tissue, whatever its name, will alter the shape of the cornea, impeding its ability to refract light. But you experience the extra tissue as near or far sightedness, or astigmatism. LASIK surgery is designed to “ablate,” or clean, the extra tissue from the cornea, allowing it to revert to its natural healthy state.

Everyone who has near or farsightedness knows what it means. But not many people can accurately describe astigmatism. Astigmatisms also affect the corneal light refraction, but they cause visuals symptoms like starbursts, haloes, decreased night vision, and ghost images.

During LASIK surgery the doctor will focus on the area of the cornea which needs ablating, and vaporize the extra tissue with a laser, broad beam lasers are preferred for the procedure because they can apply a strong light beam over an area of between six and eight millimeters, and can be used very close to corneal tissue.

It’s A Medical Procedure, Not A Miracle

The entire point of LASIK surgery is to return the cornea to as close to a normal shape as possible, improving its light refraction and therefore, your vision. Although LASIK surgery is certainly [] capable of producing what seem to be instant cures, bordering on the miraculous, it is also capable of causing complications, and not completely getting the job done.

Those past the age of forty who undergo LASIK surgery may still find that they require eyeglasses for reading. If you are thinking about LASIK surgery as the solution for your bad eyesight, be sure to do your homework and get a solid understanding of what it entails before committing to a procedure.