What is Lasik Eye Surgery?
LASIK is short for laser in situ keratomileusis, which means a procedure in which a laser is used under the eye’s corneal flap(in situ) to reshape the cornea. This procedure is performed by an excimer laser, which is a highly specialized piece of equipment specifically designed to improve vision, treat refractive vision errors and reduce the need for glasses or contacts. Lasik safety has been proven time and time again.
Different Types of LASIK:
- Conventional LASIK- in this type of LASIK procedure, the ablation pattern is based on the patient’s eye glasses prescription. This method is effective for most patients but it does have a tendency to cause patients to experience more night aberration issues and halos than other types of laser surgery treatment.
- Wavefront Optimized LASIK- this type of laser treatment is available on a specific excimer laser called the wavelight laser. While this treatment is also based upon the patient’s glasses prescription, it factors in corneal curves and thickness. Wavefront optimized applies laser energy in a distinct way to the outside edge of the cornea. Patients have fewer complaints of night time aberrations or glare complications following procedures in which this laser is used.
- Wavefront Guided LASIK- also called custom or just wavefront LASIK, this method is very similar to the conventional LASIK procedure except that specific high order abnormalities can be treated as well as the patient’s basic refractive error issues. To accomplish these specific treatments, a special type of corneal mapping is performed before the LASIK surgery. This mapping identifies any irregularities that can affect the quality of vision, night vision and contrast sensitivity and the results are applied to the laser ablation pattern.
Why Do Some Patients Still Wear Glasses After LASIK?
It is often assumed that LASIK procedures will eliminate the need for glasses or contacts completely, and in many cases of patients under 40 years old, this is true. However, sometimes glasses will still be needed from time to time. This is especially true in the case of patients over 40, simply due to aging eyes. Presbyopia is a condition that affects almost everyone as they get older. LASIK procedures do not correct this issue, therefore reading glasses may be needed from time to time. However, LASIK can and does reduce the need for glasses and contacts for most patients.
LASIK is the most performed eye procedure and is deemed to be relatively safe and effective. If it is something you feel would work for you, do your research and discuss your options at length with your doctor to ensure the right procedure for your vision needs.