LASIK eye surgery might have become very common these days, yet a lot remains unexplored.
As more and more people opt for this corrective measure of eyes, in order to rid themselves of prescription glasses and contact – it is necessary to know the inner details of the surgery, the risks and benefits it brings to board – before opting to go for one.
What is LASIK surgery?
It is a laser vision correction technique. This surgery entails reshaping of the cornea permanently.
This enables the light to pass through the eye correctly and optic images to be formed.
Lasik helps people improve their vision to the extent that they do not need glasses or contact lenses anymore.
What is it used for?
It is used to correct different refractive errors that are at the root of your nearsightedness, or farsightedness, or astigmatism.
Doctors will conduct thorough evaluation of the eye and of the general physical health before operating on people.
LASIK surgery needs to have the following tests done, in order for doctors to assess if you are eligible or not.
These tests and assessments are done with the aim of optimising the outcome. The better the physical condition to start with, the lesser the complications are.
Checks of Eyeball
1. Comprehensive Ocular Evaluation
Measuring current prescription in order to understand in detail the correction required falls under the eye evaluation. Infections or redness in the eye will leave the patient ineligible for the surgery.
The elements of this evaluation include:
- Visual Acuity Testing
2. Intraocular Pressure
If the pressure inside builds too much, the optic nerve may stand to be damaged.
To Make sure vision is not impacted owing to abnormal drainage of the eye, an intraocular pressure needs to be done.
Checks of Cornea
1. Corneal Check
The cornea of the patient about to undergo the procedure needs to be healthy and strong enough to withstand trauma from corneal flap formation. It also needs to have optimal conditions for post surgery healing.
The doctor checks for:
A corneal topography is done to map the cornea. A major contraindication is having a thick cornea, which is bound to create post-surgery complications. Such patients are deemed ineligible for the procedure.
2. Wavefront Analysis
Site specific errors on the cornea are determined through advanced methods.
The patient no longer needs to define the errors.
Checks for Retina
- Retinal Evaluation
LASIK surgery requires a complete retinal check, to detect retinal holes if any. Myopic patients often have them. Doctors will seal the hole, let the retina heal, and then proceed to LASIK.
Checks for Pupil
- Checking Pupil Size
A large pupil size causes greater risk of developing glare and halos after surgery. Pupil size measurement is necessary, to be able to predict outcome and side effects and combat the same.
Checks for Lens
- Refractive Error
A stable prescription without any refractive error for at least a year is needed for the surgery.
Doctors check for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
1. Binocular Vision Assessment
Muscle alignment problems or binocular vision will impact surgery outcomes.
Lazy eyes in childhood will be indicative of such vision.
2. Tear Film Tests
The level of the tear film on the eyes of the patient is checked. This is due to the fact that a good tear film will help reduce post-surgery complications. Tear duct functioning is also evaluated.
The more copious the tears, the lesser the complications.
3. Underlying diseases
Glaucoma, corneal trauma, retinal detachment, conditions like SLE – all will cause ineligibility for LASIK surgery.
Thus, the assessment of medical history is crucial.
What makes for a healthy patient going for LASIK?
The FDA approved parameters include:
1. Upto -12.00D of myopia.
This is nearsightedness.
2. Upto +6.00D of hyperopia.
This is farsightedness.
3. Upto 6 Diopters of astigmatism.
This is caused by an imperfection in the eye curvature.
An ideal candidate is:
- One who is at least 18 years old.
- One who does not have an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are an impediment to post-surgical healing
- One who is not pregnant or breastfeeding presently. This is because elevated hormonal levels in pregnant women affect eye shape. It is wise to suggest the patient to come back once hormone levels become normal.
- One who has healthy eyes. This would mean no cataract or dry eye condition or glaucoma – and no history of these either.
All surgeries, including the LASIK surgery have associated risks. One needs to weigh these risks before opting for the procedure.
The healing time should also be borne in mind when going for this. It might conflict with work and so, necessary arrangements need to be made
Comprehensive preoperative evaluations are essential to surgery success and healing.
Conversations with your doctor will help you understand the process in detail and also assuage your concerns.
Make sure to go through these questions before opting for a LASIK. Make an informed choice for your eye health.