As the saying goes “The eyes are the windows to the soul”.This expression conveys that eyes reflect what a person really is inside. However, I think it can be perceived in a different sense.The eyes provide vision which soothes the soul.Feels inappropriate?Anyways,you would agree with me on that ‘one should have clear vision to connect with the world around us’.Here comes the importance of correcting eye treatments. LASIK is a surgical procedure intended to correct a person’s vision and to reduce his dependency on glasses or contact lenses.
The cornea is a part of the eye that helps focus light to create an image on the retina.When the shape of the cornea and the eye are not perfect,the image on the retina is out-of-focus or distorted. These imperfections in the focusing power of the eye are called refractive errors. There are three primary types of refractive errors: myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Myopia is nearsightedness, hyperopia is farsightedness and astigmatism is a distortion of the image on the retina caused by irregularities in the cornea or lens of the eye. LASIK is performed to treat myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
Surgical procedures aimed at improving the focusing power of the eye are called refractive surgery. Like other types of refractive surgery, the LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea to enable light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina for clearer vision. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and the procedure permanently changes the shape of the cornea.In LASIK surgery, precise and controlled removal of corneal tissue is done by a special laser reshaping the cornea and changing its focusing power.
The procedure starts with numbing of the eye with a few drops of topical anesthetic. An eyelid holder is placed between the eyelids to keep them open and prevent the patient from blinking. A suction ring placed on the eye lifts and flattens the cornea and helps keep the eye from moving.
Eye surgeon cuts a flap in the cornea,the clear covering of the front of the eye,using a mechanical surgical tool called microkeratome or a laser device called femtosecond laser. A hinge is left at one end of this flap using which the flap is folded back revealing the stroma, the middle section of the cornea. Excimer laser ,preprogrammed with the patient’s unique eye measurements, is positioned above the patient’s eye .As patient looks at fixation light,excimer laser vaporize a portion of the stroma. This highly specialized laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to remove microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea to reshape it so that it focuses light on the retina more accurately.The flap is then replaced, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed and edges are smoothed.
For myopia, the cornea is flattened; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. Excimer lasers correct astigmatism by shaping an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.The flap sticks to the underlying corneal tissues in 2-5 minutes.Laser eye surgery does not require bandages or stitches ,it requires only topical anesthetic drops.The cornea is then allowed to heal naturally.
The ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops to help the eye heal and relieve dryness.The patient can start doing his normal activities soon after a nap but it may take about six months after the surgery for the improvements in a person’s vision to fully stabilize and any side effects to go away.
Any risks and side effects?
LASIK is not for everyone.Eye doctors carefully test and evaluate to determine if patients are appropriate candidates for the surgery.Some of the reasons you may not qualify for the LASIK may be having changes in power of glasses in the past year,having certain medical conditions like diabetes ,having eye diseases like glaucoma,inflammation etc or having a previous eye surgery.People with dry eyes,large pupils and thin corneas also cannot undergo LASIK.
Benefits outweigh any risks if done on right patients.It can have mild and temporary side effects such as dry eyes,sensitivity to light,blurred vision and other visual symptoms such as glare,halos etc.A small percentage of people may need a LASIK enhancement procedure.Some people may still need to wear glasses following laser vision correction but the power level typically will be much lower than before.
Laser eye surgery offers numerous benefits and can significantly improves the quality of life. Most people achieve 20/20 vision or better after the surgery.
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