Since the advent of laser eye surgery in the 1990s, 11 million people have benefitted from the correction of myopia (shortsightedness), hypermetropia (longsightedness) and astigmatism. Laser eye surgery remains one of the most popular methods of eye treatment routinely carried out throughout the world.
The most popular method of laser vision correction is through LASIK.
LASIK is one of the most amazing technological breakthroughs in eye care in the past several decades. Using cool, high-precision and a precisely programmed laser beam, the excimer laser, to remove a microscopic layer of the cornea, the curvature of the cornea is altered correcting spectacle or contact lens prescription.
Each laser pulse removes corneal tissue 1/200th of the thickness of a human hair. This precision allows accuracy and reduced complications. The most significant advantage of LASIK is that visual recovery is rapid and it is virtually painless.
LASIK is a virtually painless procedure. Anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eye. There is usually some temporary minor discomfort after the procedure which resolves rapidly.
LASIK offers a number of benefits over other forms of laser vision correction. This includes a reduced risk of corneal haze and scarring, less postoperative discomfort and your vision will return more rapidly, often within a day or so. LASIK can also treat a higher range of vision errors.
Although the vast majority of patients achieve outstanding results without complications, it should not be forgotten that LASIK is however a surgical procedure. As with all surgical procedures there are risks associated with treatment.
The most common risks include:
- Surgical complications relating to the flap. Most flap complications can be corrected without compromising the visual outcome.
- Dryness of the eyes. Most patients require tear drops for a few months after treatment.
- Glare and halos around lights are seen by some patients post-operatively and usually resolve within 6 months.
- Under or over correction occurs when a patient's individual healing response varies from the average for their age and sex.
- Reduction of vision, even with glasses or contact lenses, can result following all forms of laser surgery. This may be due to inflammation or infection of the cornea after treatment, or because of irregular healing or scarring of the cornea. Severe visual loss is rare but in extreme cases patients have required corneal transplants following treatment.
Who is suitable for LASIK?
Generally speaking, LASIK is appropriate in individuals who:
- is over 21 years of age
- has healthy eyes and normal corneas with no significant change in their spectacle prescription in the last 2 to 3 years.
- Certain medical conditions make people unsuitable candidates.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should allow several months after giving birth or ceasing breastfeeding before having treatment.
Should I have both eyes treated at the same time?
Generally, in modern practice both eyes are operated on at the same time. There are advantages and disadvantages. Patients who do opt for one eye surgery need to wait until one eye has fully healed before undergoing surgery on the 2nd eye and in these cases we recommend at least 1 month between treatments. One eye treatment is best suited for patients with low refractive errors. Patients with moderate or high refractive errors who are unable to wear lenses, often find the interval between treatment sessions difficult to tolerate.
After Laser Vision Correction
If you have been affected by any of the symptoms mentioned above, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
We have a team of experts on stand-by who are ready to take your call at our Manchester (0161 907 2685) Clinic or our Blackpool (01253 308 031) Clinic.