LASIK eye surgery safe in long-term, experts say. LASIK eye surgery to correct a person’s vision has been in use since the mid-1990s, but lingering questions as to the long-term effects still come to mind for past and potential patients.
LASIK, which stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis, is a popular surgery used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
For clear vision, the eye’s cornea and lens must bend (refract) light rays properly. This allows images to be focused on the retina. Otherwise, the images will be blurry.
This blurriness is referred to as a “refractive error.” It is caused by a difference between the shape of the cornea (curvature) and the length of the eye.
LASIK uses an excimer laser (an ultraviolet laser) to remove a thin layer of corneal tissue. This gives the cornea a new shape so that light rays are focused clearly on the retina. LASIK causes the cornea to be thinner.
LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure. It will take 10 to 15 minutes to perform for each eye.
The only anesthetic used is eye drops that numb the surface of the eye. The procedure is done when you are awake, but you will get medicine to help you relax. LASIK may be done on one or both eyes during the same session.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of LASIK Eye Surgery?
Some patients experience discomfort in the first 24 to 48 hours after LASIK eye surgery. Other side effects, although rare, may include:
Seeing halos around images
Difficulty driving at night
How Should I Prepare for LASIK Eye Surgery?
Before LASIK eye surgery, you will meet with a coordinator or eye surgeon who will discuss what to expect during and after the procedure. During this session, your medical history will be evaluated and your eyes will be fully examined. Likely initial tests include measuring corneal thickness, refraction, corneal mapping, eye pressure, and pupil dilation. Once you have gone through the initial evaluation, you will meet the surgeon, who will answer any questions you may have. Afterwards, you can schedule an appointment for the procedure.
The LASIK procedure (For Michigan see https://yaldoeyecenter.com/) offers extremely fast recovery: within hours of the surgery, the flap has usually begun to heal. Most patients are able to resume day-to-day activities just 24 hours after the surgery. You will receive a prescription for eye drops to use for five days after surgery. You must also wear sunglasses at night to prevent rubbing your eyes for the first two nights after surgery.