LASIK (LASER EYE VISION CORRECTION)
LASIK is a revolutionary eye treatment, the highlight of which is that by a safe & short procedure (just 10 minutes) one can get rid of spectacles or contact lenses. This treatment is carried out with the help of a hi-tech computer controlled Excimer laser which is preprogrammed to remodel the shape of the cornea with a great degree of precision & help in correcting refractive errors.
Who can undergo this treatment?
Anyone who wears spectacles or contact lenses can undergo this treatment but this treatment is usually recommended after 18 years of age when the eyeball stops growing. Even after this age refractive error should be stable over a period of 1 year before this treatment is contemplated.
Situations where LASIK is not recommended;
HOW LONG IS THE TREATMENT? IS IT PAINFUL? IS IT SAFE??
The entire process takes about 10-15 minutes of which the laser treatment itself takes only a few seconds. The treatment is not painful as the cornea is made numb with eye drops. No injections are given.
Only there might be a slight discomfort during & after the procedure. The treatment is extremely safe & also the patient can go home after the treatment within half an hour.
HOW IS THE NUMBER REMOVED IN LASIK?
In myopia where patients can see near objects clearly but distance vision is blurred, the laser beam is directed at the central part of the cornea to flatten its curvature. In hypermetropia where distance vision is clear but near vision s blurred, the laser beam is directed at midperipheral cornea so as to make the cornea steeper. In Astigmatism where the curvature of cornea is irregular causing distorted images the laser beam is directed obliquely so as to smoothen the corneal surface.
What are the advantages of LASIK compared to other refractive procedures like PRK?
- Very Little pain & discomfort post-operatively in LASIK
- Post-operative in vision is restored with hours to a few days in LASIK
- Greater predictability of corrections
- Less follow up visits
- Preservation of all corneal layers
HOW IS LASIK EYE TREATMENT DONE?
Step 1 : A suction ring is placed on the eye to stabilize the globe. An automated microkeratome/Femtosecond Laser is used to create a thin corneal flap which is lifted and folded back.
Step 2 : Pre-programmed Excimer Laser is then centered above the eye to deliver laser impulses.
Step 3 : The corneal flap is repositioned & the flap & interface are rinsed & the surgeon waits for 2 to 3 minutes to ensure the corneal flap has reattached fully. Nature affixes the flap rather quickly into its former place and position by means of osmatic pressure. Patient can blink normally and the corneal flap remains in position.
ARE ANY TESTS REQUIRED PRIOR TO LASIK?
Yes. Preoperative corneal test like topography (corneal mapping) & pachymetry (corneal thickness) measurement along with retina evaluation & dryness measurement tests are mandatory to find out whether eyes are safe to undergo lasik.
IS THERE A CHANCE OF THE REFRATIVE ERRORS COMING BACK IN THE LONG RUN?
There is usually no-chance of getting the numbers back.
CAN BOTH EYES TREATMENT BE DONE ON THE SAME DAY?
LASIK can be & is usally done on both eyes on the same day one after another & it is infact advisable to do so as the visual recovery is faster & there is no post-operative double vision.
What are the results of refractive surgeries?
The reliability of LASIK is very good in mild to moderate levels of refractive errors but with very high degree of refractive errors ( number above – 10), the variability is more & some people may still need glasses, though of lesser power.
The results are excellent in myopia (minus numbers) as compared to hypoermetropia (plus numbers) LASIK technique can correct :
- Myopia from – 1 to – 12D
- Hypermetropia from +1 to + 6D
- Astigmatism Cylindrical numbers from 1 to 6D
What are the complication of LASIK treatment?
LASIK treatment is a USFDA approved procedure which has no sight threatening complications. Minor complications are mild intolerance to light for the first few days post LASIK. Also there could be glare & haloes while driving at night which settles down in a few days as the flap heals. There could be dryness of eyes which subsides with the healing of cornea.
What are the cares to be taken after LASIK treatment?
Usually the patient can get back to work in 1-2 days without any problem. There are certain specific Do’s and Don’ts after undergoing LASIK. They includes
- After the treatment on that day, take rest & sleep as much as possible as it helps in fast recovery.
- Head bath is allowed after 2 days but while bathing care should be taken so that the water does not go in to the eyes.
- Watching TV & reading is allowed from next day, but it should be done moderation for about one week after the procedure.
- Post treatment eye drops have to be instilled diligently as advised by your surgeon to aid quick recovery.
- Rubbing of the eyes & splashing water directly in the eyes should be avoided for 2-3 months.
- Swimming should be avoided for 3 months. Likewise for steam, sauna & Jacuzzis.
- Avoid dusty & dirty environment for one week. In bright sunlight one may need to wear sunglasses for 2-3 weeks.
- Night driving should be avoided for one week.
- Avoid make-up around the eyes for 1 month
Thus LASIK treatment is a boon as well as a dream come true for
- Those who want clear & crisp vision without any corrective aids like glasses or contact lenses.
- Those interested in taking defence services , commercial pilot, modeling or acting as their career options
- Those interested in water sports & contact sports & also those keen on becoming professional sportsmen.
- Those who want a pleasing aid-free cosmetic appearency.
New techniques in LASIK
- FemtoLasik-Bladeless flap creation.
- Small incision lenticule extraction (Smile) flapless LASIK Procedure.
- Wave front guided / Customised LASIK.
- Prebyopic LASIK to get rid of reading glasses. It is a recent innovation in Lasik which creates a multifocal cornea to get rid of distance as well as reading glasses. It is ideally suited for patients above 48 years of age