LASIK or Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is the most popular refractive eye surgery. The surgeon creates a flap in the cornea. The laser then reshapes the cornea that is exposed and corrects the focusing capability or the power of the eye. It is the procedure of choice for refractive (eye power) surgery for people to correct moderate degrees of:
- Nearsightedness (myopia), clear near vision but blurred distant vision
- Farsightedness (hyperopia), clear distant vision but blurred near vision
- Astigmatism, overall blurry vision
LASIK surgery can reduce the dependency or eliminate the need of corrective lenses or eyeglasses. It is an empowering experience that has delighted millions of patients worldwide. It has a great track record and most of the patients are satisfied with its results.
Though LASIK has changed how many people see the world clearly without an aid, it may not be the procedure of choice for a certain section of people wanting to be glass free .Hence it may not be the most appropriate vision-correcting option for everyone. People with extreme high powers, certain corneal conditions, severe dry eyes, etc may not be able to undergo Lasik Eye Surgery to become glass free. The safety of the procedure is dependent on a lot of parameters that are taken into consideration by the operating Lasik Surgeon while selecting the right candidate for Lasik Surgery. All such parameters that might adversely affect the patient’s eye health and their quality of life are considered and discussed with the patient by the Lasik surgeon.
Anyone planning to undergo LASIK surgery should know if he/she is the right candidate or is eligible by following certain steps:
- Consult with an eye surgeon for comprehensive eye evaluation
A LASIK surgeon is the best person to evaluate patient’s eye for LASIK. An examination, series of tests and measurements and a comprehensive evaluation will determine whether LASIK is the right choice of procedure for you. Patients are advised to ask and discuss the possible complications and risks of the procedure with the surgeon.
- Ensure stability of glass prescription
LASIK is advised only for those patients whose glass prescription has not changed within the past 12-18 months. If there has been a frequent change in the power of your eye glasses, then it’s either you aren’t wearing the right prescription or your numbers aren’t yet stable. The frequent change in number is an indication that the probability of your number increasing still exists and that it might continue to increase post LASIK surgery. The surgeon usually advises a waiting period before considering you for surgery.
- Age above 19 years
The Eye is known to grow since birth up till about the age of 18-19 years. Since the increase in power of the eye is in direct relation to the growth of the eye, it is advisable to wait until growth stabilizes and the eye glass number stability is achieved. Please note that this is for permanent eye power reduction. LASIK is sometimes performed in children too where the purpose of the correction is vision development as against glass removal.
- Review your eye and medical history
A thorough discussion on all health conditions and medications is mandatory. There is a possibility of certain conditions, like dry eyes and thin corneas, affecting the surgical options and outcome.
Who’s not a good candidate?
Patients with following medical conditions may experience complications with LASIK:
- Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, HIV or diabetes
- Persistent dry eyes
- Thin corneas
- Uncontrolled high eye pressure
- Pregnancy or breast feeding
A good surgical outcome depends on careful evaluation of eyes before the surgery.