What is LASIK?
Normally, images are clearly focused on the retina in the back of your eye because the light rays are bent properly to contact the retinal surface. With nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism, the light is bent incorrectly and it ends up being focused elsewhere, resulting in blurred vision. Traditionally, the blurred vision is corrected by bending (refracting) light rays with glasses or contact lenses. But reshaping the cornea itself also will provide the necessary refraction.
LASIK eye surgery can be an alternative to glasses or contact lenses done for the correction of certain common vision problems. LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a type of laser refractive surgery – the best known and most commonly performed. In general, a special type of cutting laser is used to precisely change the shape of your cornea – the dome-shaped transparent tissue at the front of your eye – to improve vision.
Why is LASIK done?
LASIK surgery may be an option for the correction of one of these vision problems:
- Myopia: Patients with myopia (nearsightedness) have clear vision up close but blurry vision at a distance. The nearsighted eye is usually too long or the cornea is too curved. When light passes through the eye, it is focused in front of the retina.
- Hyperopia: Hyperopia (farsightedness) is when individuals younger than 40 can see things clearly at a distance but have a problem seeing up close. The farsighted eye is shorter than average in size and the cornea may be less curved than normal. For individuals with severe hyperopia, vision can be blurry for objects at any distance, near or far.
- Astigmatism: Astigmatism is caused when the eye’s cornea or lens is shaped irregularly. The eye cannot focus light evenly onto the retina, resulting in focus problems and images that appear blurry or “stretched”.
If you’re considering LASIK surgery, you probably already wear glasses or contact lenses. Your eye doctor will talk with you about whether LASIK surgery or another similar refractive procedure is an option that will work for you.
Cares after LASIK
- Do not read, watch television or work on a computer AFTER your surgery for the rest of the day
- Follow the prescribed course of eye drops (see medications)
- Wear your eye shields at night for one week. Use the tape to fasten shields to your eyes
- Do not rub your eyes for 3 weeks
- You may take a shower the day AFTER surgery but keep your eyes closed. Do not allow water to spray directly onto your face. Avoid soap or shampoo in your eyes for 1 week
- Eye cosmetics should not be used for 1 week
- Avoid excessive workouts for 5 days
- Do not swim, use a sauna or hot tub for 2 weeks following your surgery
- No scuba diving for 3 weeks
- Use sunglasses when outdoors for the first 3 weeks to protect your eyes from wind and dust
Post Operative Care