LASIK has been approved in the United States since the mid-1990's.  LASIK applies an 'excimer' (short for excited dimer) laser to reshape the cornea and to eliminate refractive errors.
 
LASIK can be performed on one or both eyes in one visit. Patients can typically return to work or regular activity the next day, although some restrictions are in place for a week or two after.
 
'Customizable' LASIK now allows the physician to obtain a topographical map of the patient's cornea in order to deliver a very exact, custom LASIK treatment.
 
 

 

LASIK

 
 

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted-In-Situ-Keratolmileusis. This laser procedure provides many patients with an alternative to spectacles (glasses) or contact lenses. Many different prescriptions can be addressed with LASIK, including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.  Usually, even if two of these conditions coexist, LASIK can be used to corect them.  LASIK has been approved in the United States since the mid-1990's. LASIK applies an "excimer" (short for excited dimer) laser to reshape the cornea and to eliminate refractive errors. 

What is LASIK?

LASIK can be performed on one or both eyes in one visit. Patients can typically return to work the next day, although some restrictions are in place for a week or two after.

Custom LASIK now allows the physician to obtain a topographical map of the patient's cornea in order to deliver a precise, highly individualized treatment.  This method reduces aberrations that are uniqur to the particular patient.

Am I a candidate for LASIK?
 

Patients who are eligible for LASIK must:

  • be over 18 years old

  • have had no change in spectacle prescription for at least one year

  • have refractive errors (nearsighted, farsighted and/or astigmatic) within the range of correction by LASIK

  • have adequately thick corneas to permit LASIK correction

  • have no ophthalmic disease that contradicts LASIK

  • have no medical diseases that contradict LASIK

  • recognize the purpose and limitation of LASIK

 
 

 

While LASIK is safe and very effective, the decision to do LASIK is important and sophisiticated. If you decide to do LASIK, a thorough conversation with Dr. Friedman is imperative.

What are the risks of LASIK?

LASIK is a very low-risk procedure, but no procedure is without risk.

  • Infection:

This the least common but most important risk.  Infection is caused by a bacteria or fungus enetering the interface of the flap and cornea.  While treatable, infections can cause scarring or reduce the clarity of the cornea.  Patients are routinely treated with antibiotic drops to mitigate this risk.

  • Halos / glare:

This is a potential side effect of LASIK.  It is believed that this phenomenon may occur in situation where the pupil becomes more dilated than the treated zone of the cornea.  Patients usually adapt to these halos or cease to notice them, but some people continue to see them in certain environments. 

  • Dryness:

This  potential side effect of LASIK is more common in patients who have dry eyes before LASIK.  Females on homones. or who are post-menopausal, are more prone to dryness.

 

  • LASIK cannot correct presbyopia.

While by no means a risk, patients often seek out LASIK when they reach the age when they need both distance and reading glasses. Or, when they first need reading glasses.

 

There are optical tricks to help people become relatively independdent of glasses, these approaches are not the same as for standard nearsightedness, astigmatism or farsightedness.

 

 

Should I do LASIK?

 

The final decision about who should do LASIK is very individual. People should approach LASIK with the respect due any surgical procedure, and with excitement at the prospect of being able to discard glasses and contact lenses.

 

The most appropriate candidate with the most realistic expectations will be the most satisfied by the outcome.  Feel free to book an examination with Dr. Friedman to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK and if LASIK is right for you.