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This world is a beautiful and mysterious place. But what is it that makes it so beautiful? While answers might differ, there is one thing common to all, the ability to clearly see and appreciate the beauty of the things around us. And this is courtesy our lovely eyes.
The human eye is a wonderful organ, giving us the gift of sight. However, sometimes there are faults in our vision, which might need treatment. Fortunately, there are aids like eyeglasses or lenses to help correct our vision. These solutions, however, are not enough for those who want a permanent solution and do not wish to deal with the daily hassle of lenses and eyeglasses. And this is where LASIK comes in.
What is LASIK?
LASIK is an abbreviation for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. Over the last few years, the LASIK surgery has gained fame as a quick and permanent fix for getting rid of eyeglasses. It is an eye surgery in which a laser beam is used to reshape the cornea. The cornea is the round, coloured part seen in the centre of the eye. This corneal reshaping quickly corrects conditions like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.
How is LASIK surgery carried out?
In LASIK surgery, an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) creates a thin flap in the cornea using either a blade or a laser beam. The flap is folded very carefully and then the surgeon precisely removes a very specific amount of corneal tissue under the flap using an excimer laser. Then, the flap is replaced to its original position as it needs to heal in place.
In people suffering from near-sightedness, the surgery aims to flatten the cornea that is too steep. In case of people with far-sightedness, the surgery aims at creating a steeper cornea. Astigmatism is corrected by reshaping the irregular cornea into a more uniform curvature. These changes restore normal, perfect vision, and eliminate the need for troublesome contact lenses or eyeglasses for good.
What will be the effect of LASIK on my vision?
Many people think that with LASIK their vision will become impeccable. This is not true. If performed correctly, this surgery will definitely improve your vision but it cannot perform miracles. There is a chance that you might need a retreatment surgery if your eyeglass numbers were very high to begin with or that you might still need glasses in specific situations like driving at night. Also, this surgery cannot correct presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). Also, the surgery will not prevent you from getting eyeglasses in the future when old age farsightedness sets in.
Does the procedure have any side-effects?
Everything in life has pros and cons and this holds true even for the LASIK eye surgery. Although this surgery has a very high success rate and negligible cases of complications since it almost entirely performed by a machine, there is a small chance that post-surgery your vision might deteriorate. Sometimes, inflammation or infection might occur, but that can be taken care of by medication. Some people might even suffer from dry eyes, difficulty with night vision, or blurry vision. But in most of the cases, these problems settle down within a few weeks after the procedure.
It is important to have a detailed discussion with your doctor before you consider this surgery. It is important to understand the procedure, have realistic expectations and be prepared to take good care of the eyes post-procedure. Moreover, this surgery is an expensive procedure and this also plays a role in decision-making. Apart from the actual cost of surgery, there might be further cost of medication or if needed, a second surgery. Hence, it is important to understand the pros and cons, and whether the surgery is meant for you or not, and opt for this minor surgery with your eyes open (pun intended!).
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