LASIK is a surgical procedure that is effective in correcting vision problems in patients that are good candidates. The goal of LASIK treatment is to change the curvature and irregularities of the cornea which is a transparent structure located in the anterior eye similar to a glass window. The treatment changes the cornea through a process called ablation (or polishing) that is accomplished with a laser.
It eliminates defects and aberrations to this vital structure thus allowing the patient to see clearer. LASIK removes or reduces your dependence on prescription glasses or contact lenses. If the patient is less than 40 years old, the procedure will correct your vision far and near.
If the patient is over 40 years, the goal of the surgery is to see well at distance, and near vision will depend on the progress of their presbyopia (tired eyes). Although LASIK is recommended for presbyopia (tired eyes) currently there is no surgical procedure that is truly safe, efficient and reliable for the long term elimination of eyestrain.
Some centers offer eye surgery that is geared towards one eye having distant vision and the other near vision however the patient risks losing three dimensional vision (stereopsis). This type of procedure would depend entirely on the patient’s visual requirement and whether they choose to use LASIK or other types of eye surgeries.
LASIK is also used to treat myopia (poor distance vision), astigmatism (lack of sharpness in the eyes) and hyperopic (poor near vision) because these are refractive errors of the eye. Refractive errors of the eye means that images do not come directly to the area of the retina responsible for providing visual sharpness because light rays must pass through ocular structures and are diverted anomalously, thus producing poor vision.
The LASIK treatment reshapes the cornea so that light rays reach the retina efficiently and the patient can see clearly without correction (glasses or contact lenses).
Not all patients however are ideal candidates for LASIK procedure. The procedure requires that the cornea of the candidate posses a certain thickness (500 microns) in order for the process to be safe and durable. The thickness of the cornea is diminished because the laser carves the tissue with the desired graduation. But in carving the cornea, the tissue is consumed and it thins the cornea. In order to have stability in the tissue structure the cornea must be left at minimum at 300 microns of thickness.
This is verified with the corneal topography. Given this requirement, patients with certain corneal diseases such a keratoconus and astigmatism are not good candidates for the Excimer laser (a security system called eye-tracking that follows the eye during surgery, similar to that used in aircraft to monitor targets). It is important that a careful pre-clinical evaluation be conducted in conjunction with a corneal topography which shows the characteristics of both the anterior and posterior cornea.
Other considerations are a patient’s refractive stability and whether there have been changes in visual graduation within the past six months. In addition to these limitations those patients with histories of diagnosed chronic dry eye, chronic ocular inflammatory diseases, pregnant or breastfeeding and patients with corneal thinning should not undergo the procedure.
Patients who use soft contact lenses are required to discontinue their use at least 3 to 4 weeks before undergoing the topography so that it does not have the effect of the lenses. On the other hand, patients using rigid contact lenses, hard or gas permeable, must remove them 4 to 6 weeks prior to the topography.
Addressing the concerns of the patient prior to surgery is important. It is important to explain the process to the patient before surgery to minimize surgical stress and increase their cooperation during the few minutes it takes to complete the procedure. Given proper screening complications are rare. LASIK is a treatment with a high degree of reliability; risk of complications is minimal and the recovery is almost immediate.
The benefits of good vision enhance quality of life and allow patients to participate in sports, swimming and daily activities feeling free of the burden of corrective glasses. Ageless Wonders Panama, at www.agelesswonders-pma.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org or at call our office (786-515-9596).