Laser eye surgery, also called LASIK surgery can correct less than normal vision. In most cases the surgery is successful and the individual can see well without the aid of glasses or contact lenses. This type of surgery was developed in 1990 and has become increasingly popular.
Laser surgery has worked well with people that have myopia and hypermetropia. In perfect vision light goes into the eye through the lens. It is refracted or bent to fall on the retina, which focuses the image. When you wear eyeglasses the lens work with the natural lens of the eye to make the light refract and focus in the retina right where it is supposed to be.
An eye afflicted with myopia does not work that way. The light that goes into the eye refracts onto the cornea instead of the retina. In laser surgery the cornea is reshaped to make the focus function return to the retina. Some of the eye material in the center of the cornea is removed so that it becomes thinner and enables the light to get to the retina. In those with hypermetropia light is refracted but is not able to reach the retina. Instead of taking material out of the middle of the cornea, material from the edges is removed.
A patient is given a painkiller that is applied to the cornea of the eye before surgery. The eyelids are taped open and a metal tool called a speculum is applied to keep the eyelids apart. The surgeon makes a small makes a small cut on the cornea that creates a flap. The laser then removes the material from the cornea that makes it impossible for the light to focus in the correct area. The flap is put back where it belongs and stitched back into place. The procedure does not take long and though there may be some discomfort there is not any extreme pain involved. The laser is pre programmed and automated so there is little chance that there can be any mistakes.
Only those people whose eyesight has been relatively the same for a long period of time are appropriate for the surgery, which generally leaves out patients that are very young. There may be some problems with those people that have a thin cornea. If there is not enough material to remove to reposition the focus, the procedure cannot be done. Most of the time these are patients that have very bad eyesight. People with astigmatism or presbyopia (relating to age vision conditions) are usually appropriate for the procedure.
In most cases laser surgery is not covered by health insurance. Some doctors will allow payments while others will only take a lump sum before the surgery is completed. It is important to pick a doctor that has a good track record in doing the surgery. It is not advisable to use a doctor that charges less but has less experience in this procedure. Most costs run from USD$1500 upwards to about $3000 and anyone who advertises cheaper rates usually add on other charges later.
Laser eye surgery is major surgery and should not be taken lightly. There are many preparations that must be done such as avoid wearing contact lenses for a period of time before the surgery and eye make up must be avoided. Depending on the type of lenses you wear it could be several weeks of preparation. After surgery eye makeup needs to be avoided for a period of time and you must wear an eye guard when you sleep. Eye drops need to be administered and antibiotics taken. It might take awhile to be able to see well after surgery but in most cases vision is improved right away and about 90 percent of those that have surgery are successful at having perfect vision without the aid of glasses or contacts.