If you are struggling with faulty vision and tired of wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses, you are not alone. According to the WHO, around 1.3 billion people in the world suffer from some form of refractive error as of 2018. The most common are hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism.
Blurry vision can bring a lot of inconvenience in our everyday life. Glasses and contact lenses only work as temporary solutions to this issue. Thankfully, the advancement of technology has paved other ways to resolve poor eyesight. If you are thinking about something permanent, you can consider undergoing Lasik laser eye surgery.
However, Lasik eye surgery may not be right for everybody. Read on to know what to consider as you decide whether you are the right candidate for this surgery.
What is Lasik Eye Surgery?
Lasik is the most advanced procedure in treating distance vision impairments and astigmatism. In this surgery, an ophthalmologist uses a laser to reshape the cornea so that the light that enters the retina of the eye can focus correctly.
It takes between 5 to 15 minutes to complete the process. But you should allow for at least 2 hours on the day of the surgery. Before the surgery, anesthesia is given to numb the eye so that you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. Eye drops are used for this, so no injections are required. After completing the procedure, you may feel minor irritation, similar to having a dry contact lens or an eyelash in your eyes. You will see the result of the surgery immediately with an improved vision that will continue to improve as your eyes heal and adjust to their new shape.
What are the Benefits of Lasik Eye Surgery?
1. Improved Vision
Of course, it is the most obvious benefit of Lasik. Be aware that no one can guarantee that you will get perfect vision after the surgery. However, in Orange County, around 96% of patients who choose Lasik have reported achieving 20/20 eyesight. The remaining 4% still found that their eyesight had improved greatly and that they don’t need to rely on eyeglasses or contact lenses like before.
2. Low Maintenance Treatment
There are no bandages, stitches, or any post-operative procedures after the surgery.
3. Quick Recovery
It usually takes around 24-36 hours to heal from a Lasik procedure, unless there are complications. After 2-7 days, your eyesight will adjust perfectly and you will get your desired vision. It means you can go back to your normal life with minimal downtime.
4. Safe to Do Again
It is highly unlikely that you will need another procedure, but in case things change as you age, you can get another procedure done to further correct your eyesight.
Who is Eligible for this Treatment?
1. At Least 18 Years of Age
The eyes, like any other organ of the body, are still developing and affected by hormonal changes that occur in children when they start puberty. Most organs stop growing after puberty, which is why there is an age limit for Lasik. If you undergo this treatment before 18 and before your eyes are fully formed, it can diminish the long-term result of the surgery. In fact, many ophthalmologists in Orange County recommend waiting until a patient is in their twenties because not everyone completes puberty in their teens.
2. Stable Eyeglass or Contact Lens Prescription
A stable vision without a prescription change for at least a year is required for Lasik. People with continually degrading eyesight are likely to get disappointing results. Some people may end up being entirely ineligible for the treatment.
3. No Significant Eye Problems
If you have any significant eye problems, Lasik may not be appropriate for you. Conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, corneal disease, or persistent dry eyes need to be discussed with your doctor.
4. No Other Medical Conditions or Findings
Other medical conditions like diabetes, HIV, arthritis, or lupus can make you ineligible for this procedure.
5. Not Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers undergo major hormonal changes in their body and these changes affect their eyesight. Many women need to change their glasses or contact prescriptions during this time. Sometimes these changes are permanent and sometimes temporary. Having a stable vision is a necessity to make sure one gets the maximum benefit from Lasik, reducing the need to revisit treatment within a short period of time. Pregnant women may also experience diabetes and preeclampsia. Both of these conditions have an effect on the health of the eyes that increase the risks associated with Lasik.
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What are the Possible Side Effects of Lasik Eye Surgery?
1. Dry Eyes
Dry eye is a common condition in patients who undergo Lasik eye surgery. The effects can last for days, weeks, or even months in severe cases. The laser procedure diminishes the sensitivity of the corneal nerves that prevent the eyes to know when it requires lubrication. Therefore, you can experience dry, uncomfortable, and itchy eyes. It is usually treated with eye drops. However, anti-inflammatory medications are also given sometimes.
2. Halos and Glare
You can experience nighttime vision impairment up to a few weeks after the procedure. This may appear as double vision or halos around bright lights.
Uneven tissue removal can cause astigmatism. It can be fixed through additional surgery.
4. Under Correction
If you are nearsighted, there is a chance that the laser will remove very little tissue from the eye to fix your vision. In such cases, a follow-up procedure may be required.
On the other hand, removing too much tissue from the eye can cause overcorrection.
6. Vision Changes
In rare cases, patients notice their eyesight being blurry again. Follow-up surgery is required in such cases.
Lasik laser eye surgery is available in Orange County, with more and more hospitals offering the procedure. Before you go for the procedure, it is critical to look for the right doctor and service where you can have it done. Search for quality machines, experienced doctors, and reviews from previous patients to know about their results and experience. Once you are sure, do not hesitate to ask your doctor any questions regarding the surgery. It is better to know everything so you are prepared to get the maximum benefits of the surgery. Good luck!