Getting Comfortable with LASIK Surgery
According to a study by the Vision Council of America, 75% of adults in the US wear glasses or contacts. Aside from the few people who use these items solely as a fashion statement, we use lenses as a solution to a problem. Specifically, glasses and contacts help us achieve perfect vision. All that said, I bet few of us actually relishes having to use them. So why don’t more of us consider LASIK surgery? Because the thought of getting surgery on one of our most valuable senses makes us extremely uncomfortable. Before accepting a lifelong relationship with your glasses and/or contacts, make sure you have all the facts about LASIK.
The translucent outer layer of our eyes, called the cornea, refracts the majority of light into our eyes and helps us see clearly. Due to the sensitive nature of our vision, even the slightest imperfection of our cornea results in blurred vision. During LASIK surgery, a cool beam laser, called an excimer, reshapes your cornea and allows for perfect vision. Despite what you may think, the risk of LASIK surgery is very low. In order to qualify, you must have healthy eyes, stabilized vision, and need to be between the ages of 18-70.
The procedure itself takes only fifteen minutes, and the doctor will keep you awake for the whole duration. After getting prepped for the surgery, your ophthalmologist will begin by putting anesthetic drops in your eyes. Next, they will place a lid holder in your eye to make sure your eyelids stay open. A suction ring will keep your eyes pressurized, allowing your doctor to access the cornea and make a small incision. He or she will adjust the laser to meet your particular prescription. For the next 15-60 seconds, you will focus on a target light as your doctor watches your eye through a microscope and sends laser pulses just under the corneal flap they created. This painlessly reshapes your cornea and fixes your vision problems. Finally, your ophthalmologist will simply place the corneal flap back over your eye. The eye will heal itself, without any need for stitches.
After the surgery, you will need to rest awhile before heading home. Your vision should improve immediately, although some people report blurriness for up to three days after the procedure. To be on the safe side, consider taking a day or two off work to recover completely. Afterward, you’ll have the rest of your life to enjoy crisp vision, free of those pesky contacts and glasses.