What is LASIK?
LASIK is a type of refractive surgery using a laser to treat vision problems caused by refractive errors. A refractive error is when your eye does not refract (bend) light properly.
Light rays must travel through the cornea and lens in order to see clearly. The cornea and lens refract (bend) the light so it lands on the retina. The retina then turns the light into signals that travel to your brain and become images. When a refractive error exists, the shape of the cornea or lens keeps the light from bending correctly. When light does not focus on the retina as it should vision becomes blurry.
With LASIK, a laser is used to change the shape of the cornea. This improves how light is focused on the retina. LASIK is used to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
LASIK is used to correct refractive error and improve vision. LASIK may drastically reduce the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses.
What to expect with LASIK
- Prior to Surgery: You and your ophthalmologist will discuss your vision needs based on your lifestyle. Your ophthalmologist will thoroughly examine your eyes and make sure you are a candidate for LASIK.
- Test your vision. This is to make sure that your vision has not changed. This will also show how high your refractive error is and whether or not LASIK can be used to correct your vision.
- Check for other eye problems. Your ophtholmologist will make sure you do not have any eye problems that could affect your surgery, or LASIK could make those other problems worse.
- Measure and map the surface of your cornea. Your ophthalmologist will check the thickness of your cornea and make precise measurements of the cornea’s surface. These measurements are used to program the computer based laser used during surgery.
- Measure your pupil size. Your pupil size will also be measured. If your pupil is very large, you could see halos (rings of light) at night after LASIK.
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LASIK is performed adjacent to Howerton Eye at Howerton Surgical Center. This is done as an outpatient procedure.
- The eye is first numbed with drops.
- Using a laser, the ophthalmologist makes a paper-thin flap in the cornea tissue and folds the flap back.
- You will be asked to stare at a target above your eye so that your eyes will not move. The cornea is then reshaped by the ophthalmologist using the laser. This special laser instrument has been programmed with measurements for your eye.
- After reshaping the cornea, your ophthalmologist folds the flap back down into position and smoothes the edges. The flap will attach on its own within 2 to 3 minutes.
- A see through plastic shield will be placed over your eye. You will need to wear this shield while sleeping for a couple of days to help protect your eyes. Relaxing and napping after the procedure is recommended to allow your eyes to heal properly.