LASIK is an acronym for a procedure called Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis, where the cornea reshaped using a laser. Laser vision correction has been performed for over 20 years, but became most popular with the introduction of LASIK which offered a virtually painless procedure which is performed in office in less than 15 minutes. LASIK has been around since the early 90s and has grown extremely popular as the quickest, easiest and most hassle-free way to improve your vision. In fact, millions of people a year are experiencing new found freedom from glasses and contacts with through this modern miracle of medicine.
The misshape in the cornea is one of the main determining factors in how well you can see. A cornea that’s too flat promotes farsightedness, one that’s too steep makes you nearsighted, and a cornea that’s football shaped gives you astigmatism. If you wear glasses or contacts, there is a good chance that your cornea is too flat or too steep, or that your eye is too long or too short. Lasik compensates for this problem by restoring your cornea to a more natural shape.
Side effects are few and depend greatly on the individual. Temporary side effects may include mild scratchiness, glare or halos in low light conditions and possible minimal discomfort.
As with any other medical procedure, a certain amount of pre-consultation is needed with LASIK, so we encourage you to make an appointment to speak with our refractive coordinator (RC) concerning your vision needs. The RC and the surgeon will then determine whether or not you’re a candidate for LASIK. Unfortunately, not everyone is, and our refractive coordinator can explain this in more detail during your free consultation. Depending on your schedule and our schedule we can have you out of your glasses within a week.
Like any procedure, perfect results are not guaranteed. But at Ohio Valley Eye Institute we utilize the VISX S4 Laser with CustomVue technology. In FDA clinical studies, over 98% of patients who had their LASIK procedure performed with CustomVue on the VISX S4 Laser achieved 20/20 vision or better. This is a vast improvement, especially if you’ve suffered from extremely poor eyesight.
As an elective procedure. LASIK is not covered under most insurance plans. However, easy financing terms are available and, considering the recurrent costs of new contact and eyeglass prescriptions, solutions, cleaning materials and other accessories, LASIK will save you money in the long run. Also, many companies offer flexible spending plans that are an excellent way to build funds for LASIK laser vision correction.
Ohio Valley Eye Institute offers other vision correction options for those who are not LASIK candidates including:
PRK: Photo Refractive Keratectomy. This procedure treats refractive errors by removing tissue from the surface of the cornea. First, the eye is numbed using a topical, or eye drop anesthesia. Then, the surgeon removes the epithelium, the thin layer of protective skin that covers the cornea. This can be done with the excimer laser, which in less than a minute removes the proper amount of tissue while it reshapes the surface of the cornea.
ICL: Implantable Contact Lens. This technology was developed for patients that have high prescriptions, thin corneas or corneal problems. First, the eye is numbed using a topical, or eye drop anesthesia. Then, the surgeon makes a tiny incision on the eye and gently inserts the ICL lens. This procedure can be completed in less than five minutes.
Near Vision CK: Conductive Keratoplasty. If you are over 40 and you are tired of wearing reading glasses, than this is the procedure for you. CK uses radio waves to make the cornea nearsighted giving you the up close vision you have always wanted.
Even further alternatives can be discussed with your doctor.
In the normal eye, light is bent (refracted) by the curve of the cornea and lens to focus clearly on the retina. The eye works like a camera. Light rays pass through the lens (like the cornea and natural lens in the eye) and are focused on the film (like the retina in the eye)