Answers to frequently asked questions about Laser Vision Correction surgery
Who can benefit from Laser Vision Correction (LVC)?
Persons with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (lack of a single point of focus) may achieve vision correction through LVC procedures. Almost any amount of myopia can be corrected, and moderate amounts of hyperopia and astigmatism.
Am I a candidate for LVC?
Possibly. A thorough evaluation by an optometrist or ophthalmologist is necessary to determine your suitability. Careful assessment of your overall eye health must be performed before any decision can be made regarding your treatment.
FDA approved Excimer laser is used to re-shape the cornea to achieve vision correction. The curvature of the central cornea is made flatter to correct nearsightedness. To correct farsightedness, the curvature is increased, or made steeper. For astigmatism, the curvature is made more uniform in all directions. The re-shaping is accomplished by focusing the energy of the laser to remove very small amounts of tissue from the cornea.
Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is the procedure representing the latest technology to correct refractive errors. LASIK combines the precision of the Excimer laser with a quicker return to normal activities. In light of the accuracy and quicker recovery, LASIK has become the preferred procedure in most cases. In performing LASIK, the surgeon creates a hinged flap by folding back a thin layer of the superficial cornea. The corneal tissue beneath the flap is then reshaped using the high energy pulses of the Excimer laser. The flap is then folded back in place and heals without the need for sutures.
To the surprise (and relief) of most patients, minimal discomfort occurs. Patients are awake and alert during the procedure. Typically, anesthetic eye drops are all that is required to avoid discomfort. The entire procedure usually takes just 10 to 15 minutes.
When can I go back to work?
Most often, patients can return to work the following day.
Will I ever need eyeglasses again?
No one can guarantee that you will never need to wear eyeglasses again. Most patients are able to function well for distance vision tasks without correction following LASIK. Patients can expect to reduce their dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses, if not eliminate them entirely. Patients affected by presbyopia-the age related decrease in your ability to focus at near distances-may still require eyeglasses for reading. Your eye care professional will assist in realizing your expectations.