Many people are considering laser vision correction to improve their eyesight. Laser surgery is a “last resort” for many people who have tried glasses, contacts, and other non-surgical treatments. If you’re wondering if this could be the right choice for you, read on to know more about this procedure.
What is Laser Vision Correction?
Laser vision correction is a type of surgery that changes the shape of your cornea, so you can see more clearly. There are two main types:
- LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses) uses “keyhole” incisions to change the shape of your cornea and remove tissue. This procedure is most commonly used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. A flap is cut in the cornea, and a laser is used to change its shape. Then the flap is put back in place after surgery.
- PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) uses a laser to change the shape of your cornea without making any incisions. A cut is made on the surface of your cornea, and then a laser is used to change its shape.
Both types of procedures are safe and effective, but LASIK has a slightly faster recovery time than PRK.
Benefits of Laser Vision Correction
Laser vision correction has many benefits that make it an attractive option, including:
Once your vision is corrected, you’ll never have to worry about glasses or contacts again.
Laser vision correction has a very quick recovery. Most people are ready to return to work within 24 hours, with full activity resuming after about one week.
Variety of Treatment Options
Today’s laser vision correction procedures have advanced significantly over the years. You can choose between LASIK and PRK depending on your eyes and your vision correction goals.
Laser surgery is a very cost-effective way to see clearly without glasses or contacts. If you qualify, the procedure may even be covered by insurance.
Fewer Side Effects
People who choose laser vision correction see better and have fewer side effects than people who get glasses or contacts. Glasses can cause dry eyes, headaches, and even double vision in some cases. Contacts can irritate your cornea and lead to infection if they don’t fit just right. Laser eye surgery has little-to-no side effects in most cases.
Who Should Get Laser Vision Correction?
Many people are good candidates for laser vision correction, including:
- People with mild to severe myopia (nearsightedness) who do not wish to wear glasses or contacts.
- People with hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia, and astigmatism whose eyes focus together but the shape of their cornea results in blurry vision.
- People with keratoconus, a progressive thinning of the cornea that causes distorted and irregular astigmatism.
Who Should Avoid Laser Surgery?
Laser surgery is typically not recommended for people with:
- Severe dry eye or other corneal problems that could cause poor healing after LASIK or PRK
- Thin, irregular, or otherwise fragile corneas which might not heal well enough to produce good vision following the procedure
- Severely advanced keratoconus, corneal scarring, or other conditions that obscure your vision
What To Expect After Surgery?
After surgery, both types of procedures have different recovery times. As mentioned at Motwani Lasik Institute, you will experience some discomfort, but it should subside within a few days after surgery. Your vision will gradually improve over the next few weeks.
What Are The Risks?
Laser vision correction is one of the safest surgeries today – there’s little risk for side effects or complications. However, there are some risks that may affect a small number of patients:
- Under correction is when the laser surgery does not fully correct your vision. In this case, you would need another eye procedure to get more correction later on.
- Overcorrection is when the laser vision correction procedure corrects too much and you lose some of your peripheral, or side, vision.
- If you have dry eyes before your procedure, there’s a chance that they could get worse after surgery. However, most patients recover quickly and don’t experience any long-term problems with their vision.
- A small number of patients may develop a corneal haze, dry eyes or glares, and halos that interfere with their vision after treatment.
Under or over correction can happen if the laser surgery is not precise enough, but this rarely occurs. In rare cases, patients have reported problems with night vision after their surgery.
How long does the surgery take?
Typically, laser vision correction takes just a few minutes. A typical LASIK procedure lasts only 15-30 minutes; PRK may take up to an hour because it requires more preparation time before surgery.
Will my eyes be completely numb?
Yes, numbing medication is used to make your eyes feel relaxed and comfortable before surgery. You may also get other medications during the procedure if you need them for pain or anxiety relief. Your doctor will monitor how well you are feeling throughout the procedure so that they can adjust accordingly – a mild pressure is normal.
How long is recovery? / What can I expect afterward?
Some patients may feel some mild discomfort immediately after surgery, but it subsides quickly. You’ll typically be able to go home within an hour of your procedure and resume normal activities the next day. Your doctor will most likely recommend that you rest for the remainder of the day after your surgery. You should be able to get back to work or school within a few days, but it’s best to take things easy for at least a week until you are completely healed and see clearly again.
After PRK, your eyes need time to heal before you can see clearly again. This may take up to a few days after surgery; some people may even experience hazy vision for several months following their procedure. With LASIK, the eye heals very quickly and most patients are able to see normally within 24 hours of their surgery!
Qualification and Cost of Surgery
Laser vision correction is an effective treatment that costs anywhere from $1500 to over $4000. The price of your surgery will depend on the type of procedure, where you live, and whether or not you need custom LASIK (which is more expensive). You may be a candidate for laser vision correction if you are over 21, have healthy eyes, and do not wear contacts.
Laser vision correction is one of the safest surgeries today – there’s little risk for side effects or complications. Now that you have all the information provided here, you can confidently go forward and opt for this amazing procedure and also speak about it in detail with your friends and loved ones.