LASIK After Care in Clarkville, TN
LASIK, often referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, is a type of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. LASIK surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist who uses a laser or microkeratome to reshape the eye's cornea in order to improve visual acuity. For most patients, LASIK provides a permanent alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.
LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis ― and is the most common refractive eye surgery today. As of 2011, over 11 million LASIK procedures have been performed in the United States and as of 2009 over 28 million have been performed worldwide.
LASIK is most similar to another surgical corrective procedure, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), and both represent advances over radial keratotomy in the surgical treatment of refractive errors of vision. For patients with moderate to high myopia or thin corneas which cannot be treated with LASIK and PRK, the phakic intraocular lens is an alternative.
LASIK is the premier surgery for vision correction. It is quick, almost painless and there is little or no discomfort after the procedure. Vision recovery is rapid, with most patients reporting they can see with 20/20 vision within 24 hours.
LASIK corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and even astigmatism. With a technique called mono-vision, it can reduce the need for reading glasses among patients over age 40 who wear bifocals.
Who Are The Optimal LASIK Candidates?
The best candidate for LASIK over 18 years of age and has healthy eyes with adequate corneal thickness. This is necessary because LASIK procedure removes tissue from the cornea to reshape the eye.
Chronic dry eye, corneal disease or other abnormalities may disqualify a candidate from LASIK surgery. A comprehensive eye exam is required to establish candidacy for LASIK. For your convenience, we are happy to provide LASIK pre-operative exams and consultations at our office.
Note that LASIK is an elective procedure and proper consideration must include the weight of personal needs, potential gain, and willingness to accept the risks involved. There are no guarantees that LASIK will absolutely succeed to your expectations. The results are not always perfect vision. In some cases, your vision after LASIK may be permanently less clear than it was with glasses before LASIK. This outcome must be factored before deciding on LASIK surgery.
Certainly there is upside. In normal circumstances and conditions LASIK can reduce your dependence on glasses and almost always gives you the ability to function well without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Specifics of The LASIK Procedure
LASIK is an ambulatory, two-step procedure. You walk into the surgery center, have the procedure and walk out about an hour later. The surgery event is about 15 minutes, with more time necessary under certain circumstances. You will still need to factor in travel time to and from the clinic.
First, the surgeon creates a thin, hinged flap of tissue on your cornea with an instrument called a microkeratome, or laser. This flap is folded back so the laser reshaping of your eye can begin. After laser treatment, which lasts a minute or less, the flap is repositioned and the surgeon proceeds to your other eye.
What Is Wavefront LASIK?
Wavefront LASIK -wavefront-assisted, wavefront-guided or custom LASIK- uses laser treatment (ablation) mapped by computerized analysis. Wavefront-guided procedures are much more precise than ablations determined by using standard eyeglasses prescriptions. They can correct subtle optical imperfections of the eye called “higher-order aberrations” that regular ablations cannot treat. Studies prove wavefront-guided ablations provide sharper vision than conventional, non-wavefront LASIK and can improve night-vision, eliminating or reducing the risk of halos or glare.
Care After Lasik
Immediately after the surgery, you may able to open your eyes and see clearly enough to walk without eyeglasses. However, you will not be able to drive yourself home. It is important to make travel arrangements in advance.
Once the procedure is finished, your eye surgeon will prescribe medicated eye drops to use after LASIK. In order to prevent infection, eye drops after LASIK surgery must be applied several times a day for at least a week. Some people also find it helpful to use artificial tears to add lubrication and enhance comfort. In addition, you will need to wear clear protective shields over your eyes to facilitate healing.
After you return home, we recommend that you rest your eyes throughout the day. Bright lights may be bothersome, and therefore it’s a good idea to dim the lighting around your home. After proper LASIK care, your vision should be sharp enough on the next day to drive normally and return to routine. However, one helpful tip is not to rub your eyes until they have healed completely.
What If My Vision is Blurry After LASIK?
The majority of patients enjoy clear vision within a few days after LASIK, however it is also normal for it to take several months until your eyes stabilize. Be aware that vision improvements may occur in jumps – it is not always a gradual process.
Yet, if a few months go by and your vision is still blurred or distorted, schedule an appointment with your LASIK surgeon. Some patients will require a second procedure to enhance their eyesight, or your eye doctor may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses. We will be able to make the appropriate recommendation after performing an eye exam.
Will I Need Eyewear After LASIK?
Some people still require eyewear after LASIK. In particular, sunglasses are necessary to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. When playing sports, eyeglasses and lenses made from polycarbonate are optimal. This material is highly durable and long lasting. Safety glasses with polycarbonate lenses are ideal for work done with power tools.
If you are over the age of 40, you may need to wear reading glasses. Some patients find that they require prescription eyeglasses, even a mild prescription, for driving comfortably at night.
Follow-Up Eye Care After LASIK, in Clarksville, TN
On the day after your surgery, we may instruct you to return to your eye doctor for a thorough eye exam. In addition to checking your visual acuity, we will monitor the healing process. Depending on your personal condition, we may provide additional instructions about eye drops after LASIK surgery. Please come prepared with any questions or concerns you may have, and we’ll be happy to address them.
Either your eye surgeon or a different eye doctor may provide postoperative after LASIK care. When you choose a different eye doctor, it is described as co-management of the procedure. We are pleased to offer co-management for LASIK in the comfort of our eye care clinic; ask us for more info!
It doesn’t matter how much time passes, you will always need to return for routine eye exams. Even if you benefit from perfect and stable vision after LASIK, our eye doctor still needs to inspect for glaucoma and other ocular diseases or complications.