LASIK, which stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis, is a popular surgery used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
All laser vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. LASIK is one of a number of different surgical techniques used to reshape the cornea.
LASIK has many benefits, including:
- Approximately 96% of patients will have their desired vision after LASIK. An enhancement can further increase this number.
- LASIK is associated with very little pain due to the numbing drops that are used.
- Vision is corrected nearly immediately or by the day after LASIK.
- No bandages or stitches are required after LASIK.
- Adjustments can be made years after LASIK to further correct vision if vision changes while you age.
- After having LASIK, most patients have a dramatic reduction in eyeglass or contact lens dependence and many patients no longer need them at all.
Despite the pluses, there are some disadvantages to LASIK eye surgery:
- Changes made to the cornea cannot be reversed after LASIK.
- LASIK is technically complex. Problems may occur when the doctor creates the flap, which can permanently affect vision.
- LASIK can rarely cause a loss of “best” vision. Your best vision is the highest degree of vision that you achieved while wearing your contacts or eyeglasses.
Some patients experience discomfort in the first 24 to 48 hours after LASIK eye surgery. Other side effects, although rare, may include:
- Seeing halos around images
- Difficulty driving at night
- Fluctuating vision
- Dry eyes