By Dr. Rajeev Gupta, Ophthalmology
If you suffer from vision loss and have to wear spectacles in order to see clearly you may be considering lasik surgery. Lasik surgery can be used to treat near sightedness, far sightedness and astigmatism. It involves reshaping the cornea with the help of a laser beam. This is an outpatient procedure where you can get back to work in a day or two.
To be able to undergo a lasik surgery, you must be:
- Aged 18 or more
- Suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism
- Lead an active lifestyle
- Be in general good health
- Have strong tear production
- Have thick corneas
Before the surgery begins, numbing eye drops are applied to prevent any discomfort during the procedure. The surgery itself involves the creation of a thin flap in the cornea. This is the folded back to reveal the corneal tissue below. If you suffer from nearsightedness, an excimer laser is used to flatten the cornea while if you suffer from nearsightedness, it creates a steeper cornea.
In cases of astigmatism, the cornea is smoothened into a normal shape. Once this has been done, the flap is laid back in place and the cornea is allowed to heal naturally. An uncomplicated lasik surgery for one eye usually takes less than five minutes. You may feel some pressure on your eyes and hear a steady clicking sound while the laser is in use.
You may feel temporary burning or itching immediately after the procedure. Do not in any condition rub your eyes to relieve this sensation. Also, do not attempt to drive and have somebody else drive you home. The blurred vision and haziness will clear by the next morning. You may also experience heightened sensitivity to light and may see halos around lights. The whites of your eyes may also look bloodshot for a few days. In most cases, vision improves immediately but in a few rare cases, it could take several weeks or longer.
Though you can return to work the next day, it is a good idea to take a few days off. Also refrain from strenuous activities of any sort for a week after the surgery. Take the medication prescribed by the doctor regularly and do not change the eye drops without consulting him first. Avoid using makeup or cream around the eye for up to two weeks after the surgery to minimize the risk of infection. You should also avoid using swimming pools or hot tubs for 1-2 months after the surgery.