Somdatta was 5 years old when she got her first prescription glasses. She faced difficulty in seeing the blackboard across the classroom and other activities became difficult as well. With the help of the glasses, she was able to get a clear vision.
However, as she grew up, her prescription started getting worse. It was a gradual process but now that Somdutta entered college, she quickly moved to contact lenses. She was fed up with her glasses and contact lenses seemed like a breather to her.
However, soon she got a very bad dry eye. It was when she first heard about LASIK eye surgery. She was a bit sceptical in the beginning but after consulting her ophthalmologist, she decided to undergo the procedure. The surgery was pretty quick. Immediately after the operation, Somdutta’s vision was blurry. When she woke up the next day, she was able to read the printed ads on the billboard for the first time, that too without glasses. She noticed her world became more vibrant.
LASIK eye surgery is the most common surgery for correcting refractive errors. Like Somdutta, thousands of people across the country have been benefitted by this surgery. It eliminates the need for glasses and contact lenses.
When is LASIK eye surgery performed?
You may undergo LASIK eye surgery if you have the following condition:
- Myopia: You are myopic when your eyeball is slightly elongated or longer than usual and as a result, the distant objects appear blurry to you. Your vision is also affected if the cornea bends the light too sharply and the light focuses in front of the retina. As a result, you cannot see distant objects clearly.
- Hyperopia: You have farsightedness when you cannot see the nearby objects clearly. This happens when your eyeballs are shorter than usual or if your cornea is so flat that the light doesn’t bend properly and focuses behind the retina. As a result, you cannot see nearby objects clearly.
- Astigmatism: This is a condition that causes overall blurred vision. It happens when the cornea has uneven surface it affects both near and far vision. Usually, Astigmatism can be corrected with contact lenses and glasses. However, with LASIK, the corneal surface is reshaped, and the light that enters your eyes focuses just on the retina.
Are your Eyes Fit for LASIK?
LASIK eye surgery is good for people who have a mild or moderate degree of refractive error and do not have any other serious vision-related issues.
Before LASIK is performed, the doctors will first evaluate your eyes to see if your eyes are healthy enough for the surgery or not. He or she will evaluate whether you have any conditions that might complicate the procedure or result in a poor surgical outcome. The doctor will evaluate if you have:
- Any eye disease that might cause progressive deterioration of eyesight and thinning of the cornea (known as keratoconus). In case keratoconus runs in your family, and even if you do not have the condition at that time, the doctor may not recommend LASIK eye surgery for you.
- Uveitis, keratitis, and herpes simplex affecting your eyes, and any other type of eye infections.
- Eye injuries or eyelid disorders
- Severe dry eyes. The doctor will evaluate the moisture in your eyes. If you have dry eyes, LASIK surgery can worsen the condition. In such cases, the doctors either would not recommend LASIK or may recommend it along with a precautionary treatment to reduce the risk.
- Large pupils. If your pupils are large, especially in low light, then LASIK eye surgery isn’t appropriate for you. It’s because the surgery may cause symptoms such as halos, light sensitivity, ghost images, and starbursts.
- Glaucoma. LASIK eye surgery can increase your eye pressure and this can worsen your glaucoma.
Even some medical conditions that are not related to the eye can make LASIK risky for you and the outcome less predictable. The doctor may not suggest LASIK in case you:
- Have any medical condition affecting your immune system. It’s because it will impair your ability to heal, making you prone to infections, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune disorders.
- Are taking any immunosuppressive medication
- Have diabetes.
- Suffer from depression or any particular chronic pain conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, and fibromyalgia. If you have one or more of these conditions, you may face problems with postoperative pain and dry eyes than any other people. The reasons for this are still not clear. It might be related to how you perceive pain.
Rethink your decision of having LASIK surgery if:
- You suffer from severe nearsightedness or if you have been diagnosed with any severe refractive error.
- You suffer from any age-related eye conditions that give you presbyopia.
- You are actively involved in any kind of contact sports such as boxing, martial arts where you are at risk of eye injuries. LASIK surgery isn’t a good choice for you.
How LASIK Eye Surgery is performed?
Before the surgery, the doctor will apply eye drops to numb your eyes. This is for preventing any discomfort during the surgery. The doctor may also give you some medicines (maybe sedatives) to help you relax during the process, visit https://medfitnetwork.org/public/valium-diazepam-oral/.
After that, the doctor will position your eye under the laser. He or she will use a lid speculum for keeping your eyelids wide open during the surgery.
During the surgery, the first thing that the surgeon will do is cut a thin flap in your cornea using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. He or she will then fold the flap to access the stroma. Using the excimer laser, the doctor will remove corneal tissue. This laser is a highly specialized laser that uses a cool ultraviolet light beam for removing corneal tissue in microscopic amounts and reshapes it in a way that the light can properly focus on the retina.
If you are nearsighted, the doctor will flatten the cornea and if you are farsighted, then he or she will make the cornea steeper. The excimer laser is also used for correcting astigmatism by smoothing the irregular cornea and give it a regular shape.
Once the cornea is reshaped, the flap is put back in place. The cornea is then left to heal naturally. LASIK or any other laser eye surgery is done with topical anaesthetic drops. It doesn’t involve bandages and stitches.
What to expect immediately After the Surgery?
Once the procedure is over, you may feel an itching or burning sensation in your eye. Don’t worry, this is temporary. The doctor will then conduct a brief post-operative examination before releasing you. You cannot drive immediately after the surgery until the doctor gives you the clearance as your eye will be recovering. It’s better to bring someone to drive you back home.
Following the procedure, you will experience a hazy and blurry vision. However, from the following day, your vision will start improving. The vision takes some time to adjust and stabilise. Usually, this happens in just a few days. In very rare cases, the vision takes several weeks or longer to stabilise.
It is highly recommended that you stay away from strenuous exercise for at least a week following the surgery. This can cause trauma to the eyes and hamper the healing process.
You have to come for a routine checkup after the surgery. The doctor needs to monitor your eyes and how they are healing. During the routine check-up, the doctor will check your vision.
Follow the doctor’s instructions and ensure that you are taking the prescribed medications properly. Also, avoid touching or rubbing your eye as it might dislodge the corneal flap.
Benefits of LASIK eye surgery
LASIK eye surgery has numerous benefits. These include:
- LASIK has 96% success rate. In most of the cases, those who have undergone LASIK eye surgery have experienced improvements in vision. You will see a dramatic improvement in your vision after the day of your surgery or after a few days.
- This is a painless process. It also doesn’t take much time but less than an hour to perform the surgery.
- Recovery is extremely quick as it doesn’t require any stitches after the surgery.
- In some cases, you may need a second surgery (if your vision changes with age) to correct your vision further.
- After having LASIK eye surgery, most patients do not need glasses or lenses.
Preparing For LASIK Eye Surgery: Things to Consider
Before the surgery, you need to keep a few things in mind:
1. You cannot wear contact lenses for a long period. Before you undergo the procedure, you have to stop wearing contact lenses (if you wear). Do this at least several weeks prior to the surgery. It’s because the lenses will affect the shape of your eye lens and affect the outcome of the surgery.
2. Bring someone along with you to accompany you. It’s because your vision won’t be clear immediately after the procedure.
Once the surgery is over, follow these tips to ensure a fast recovery:
- Protect your eyes. Always wear protective goggle for covering your eyes after the surgery. Immediately after the surgery, the eye shouldn’t be exposed to light and dust and also, you need to avoid touching it. Sleep in your protective eye gear to avoid touching your eyes.
- Never rub the eyes. The corneal flap is still not secure and can dislodge if you rub or press your eyes. Even if you feel an itching sensation in your eyes, avoid touching it. Follow this for at least a week after the surgery.
- Apply the eye drops that are provided to you by the doctor. It’s an important part of the healing process and also minimises the risk of eye infection.
- Give your eyes rest. Plenty of rest is crucial for healing. Sleep. It’s because your body repairs itself while you are asleep.
If you are not fit for LASIK, you have plenty of other options:
- Epithelial laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis or epi-LASIK: In this procedure, the surgeon first separates the corneal surface or the epithelium from the Stroma (the middle part of the cornea). The doctor uses an Epikeratome, a mechanized blunt blade device for reshaping the cornea using a laser. This procedure is very similar to LASEK.
- Photorefractive keratectomy or PRK: Here, instead of cutting a flap, the surface of the cornea is scraped away. You may initially feel moderate pain in the eyes and blurry vision but this corneal abrasion heals within 3-4 days. However, compared to PRK, LASIK is a better option for correcting severe myopia.
- Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy or LASEK: This surgery is very similar to LASIK. The only difference is the flap is created with a microkeratome and exposing the cornea to ethanol. In this surgery, the surgeon can remove very less amount of corneal tissue. LASEK is a good option for those who have thin cornea and cannot undergo LASIK eye surgery.
- Corrective lenses: The lenses can be surgically implanted in your eye for improving your vision. This is usually done for cataract surgery where implantable lenses are put in place of the cloudy natural lens. This may also be an alternative for LASIK for elderly who may need cataract surgery in the future. People who have severe nearsightedness which cannot be corrected with corrective lenses are also given implantable lenses. However, this procedure is usually not followed for everyone.
- Bioptics: This procedure involves several techniques such as LASIK, implantable lenses for correcting nearsightedness or farsightedness. Like the above procedure, this is not followed for everyone who seeks vision correction through LASIK eye surgery.
LASIK eye surgery cost in Kolkata depends on the severity of your condition. If you want to consult a specialist before the procedure, get in touch with us at http://www.dishaeye.org/contact-us.