What is LASIK surgery?
It’s an operation where instead of using a knife blade, the surgeon utilizes a laser light beam to change the shape of the cornea (the front layer of the eye), so the image is re-focused on the retina (the inside nerve layer of the eye).
How painful and how safe is it?
The surgery is done under an anesthetic; however you may feel some mild discomfort during the one or two-day recovery period. It is much safer now and more precise than the conventional blade operation.
I wear contact lenses to see far away and my parents wear glasses to read up close. Can LASIK fix our eyes?
Yes, LASIK will make you less dependent on glasses and contacts, but in some cases you may need light prescription glasses to enhance your vision. Remember that LASIK treatment does not give you permanent results. Your eye shape and prescription can still change, and you may need to wear glasses again many years later or have another surgery performed.
Is it true that Laser surgery can fix any eye condition?
No. Many cornea conditions such as scarring and keratoconus cannot be treated with laser, but need corneal transplant. Amblyopia (blurred vision caused by underdeveloped “lazy eye”) is treated by glasses, vision therapy or physical operation of the eye muscles.
I have heard that Laser is used in the treatment of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetes in the eyes.
There are many different types of laser surgery. Each eye condition is treated by a different method. Cataracts surgery still involves the incision of the eye to remove the cataracts. Note that the types of laser in these cases treat the diseases but do not reshape the cornea. Thus these patients still need to wear corrective lenses.
In summary, Laser surgery is widely used to treat a wide variety of eye conditions. There are several types of Laser surgery. Different eye conditions are treated differently. Laser surgery, however, is not necessarily the most refined and most effective technique. Not all eye conditions can be treated by Laser surgery. Not all surgeries are without risks or side-effects. And not all surgeries give permanent results. Patients should see a knowledgeable, experienced, eye care professional to have their eye problems diagnosed, explained, and treated accordingly.
Johan Tran, Ph.D., O.D., Diplomate ABO
Healthy Eye Center Family Optometry
8907 Warner Ave., Ste 125
Huntington Beach, CA 92647