One of the best places to go to have LASIK done is Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, Kansas. Most people who have vision problems have heard of LASIK eye surgery. LASIK eye surgery (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is a type of refractive eye surgery that can potentially free you from the burden of constantly wearing corrective lenses (or at least reduce your dependence on them). If you are tired of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may be wondering about the possibility of getting LASIK. But is it right for you?
As a general rule, most people who elect to have LASIK surgery achieve a result of 20/25 vision or better. This gives them clear vision for most activities. But many people will eventually need glasses either for driving at night or reading as they age.
Your specific results will depend upon the refractive index of your eyes and other factors. People who have mild nearsightedness tend to have the most success. But those with a high degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness or astigmatism tend to show less predictable results.
How Does LASIK Surgery Correct Your Vision?
When a person has normal vision, light that is reflected from their surroundings is focused on the retina at the back of the eye. But with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism, the light ends up being focused either behind the retina or in front of it resulting in blurred vision.
Nearsightedness (myopia) is a condition in which a person can see nearby objects clearly but objects in the distance are blurry. When your eyeball is longer than normal or when the cornea curves too steeply, the light rays will focus in front of the retina and blur the distance vision. They can see objects that are close clearly, but not objects that are far away.
Farsightedness (hyperopia) is the opposite. It is a condition where the person can see objects that are far away clearly, but nearby objects are blurred. When the eyeball is shorter or the cornea that is more flat, light focuses in back of the retina instead of on it, resulting in blurred near vision and sometimes blurred distant vision.
Astigmatism causes an overall blurry condition. When the cornea is not smooth with an even curve, the result is astigmatism, which interferes with the focus of both near and distant vision. Reshaping the cornea with surgery will provide the necessary vision correction.
Before doing the procedure, Dr. Patel will take detailed measurements of your eye. Then in the surgery, she will use a special type of electronic cutting laser to precisely alter the curvature of your cornea. With each pulse of the laser beam, a tiny amount of corneal tissue is removed, allowing Dr. Patel to flatten the curve of the cornea or make it steeper, depending upon which type of correction you need.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Are Your Eyes Healthy?
As a general rule, this type of surgery is most appropriate for people who require a moderate degree of vision correction and do not have unusual vision problems.
Dr. Patel will ask you detailed questions about your medical history and will evaluate your eyes to make certain that you don’t have any eye conditions that might result in complications. Some of the problems that could rule out eye surgery as an option would be:
- Eye injuries or lid disorders
- Dry eyes
- Large pupils
- Herpes simplex affecting the eye area
- Other eye infections
If your pupils are large, especially in dim light, eye surgery may not be an appropriate move for you. Getting this type of surgery may result in visual anomalies such as starbursts, halos, glare, and ghost images.
Are You in General Good Health?
Dr. Patel will also ask detailed questions about your general health. Certain medical conditions, unrelated to your eyes, can increase the risks associated with eye surgery or make the outcome less predictable. These include:
Any condition that compromises your immune system and impairs your body’s ability to heal itself or makes you more susceptible to infections, such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Autoimmune disorders
- Chronic pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Taking immunosuppressive medications
If you have any of these conditions, you could have more problems with dry eyes and postoperative pain than other people. The reasons for these symptoms are not entirely clear but could be related to the way your body perceives pain.
Is Your Vision Stable?
When a person is nearsighted, their vision is likely to continue to change through their teenage years and even longer, requiring periodic adjustments to the prescription of their glasses or contact lenses. Patients should be over age 18, and preferably older, before getting the surgery.
Certain conditions and medications can also cause temporary changes in your vision:
- Steroidal drugs
If any of these situations apply, you should wait until your vision has stabilized before having the surgery done.
Reasons to Reconsider Getting Lasik:
If you have been diagnosed with a high refractive index, the possible benefits of the surgery may not work out well for you. Talk to Dr. Patel about whether you should go ahead.
Reasonably Good Vision
If you can already see well enough that you only need contacts or glasses part of the time, the improvement to your eyesight may not be worth it to you.
High Contact Sports
If you participate in high-contact sports where you regularly receive blows to the face and eyes, such as boxing or martial arts, this type of surgery may not be the best choice for you. Talk to Dr. Patel about what the ramifications would be.
As Your Eyes Age
You May Need Reading Glasses
By the time they reach their early to mid-40s, all adults lose some ability to focus their eyes on nearby objects (far-sightedness or presbyopia), which gives them difficulty reading small print or doing up-close tasks and may require reading glasses.
One possible benefit of having been near-sighted most of your life is that it compensates for the far-sightedness that inevitably develops as a person gets older. A nearsighted person can read and see near objects by removing their glasses. The surgery will take away that ability because the nearsighted condition has been corrected. This means that as you age you may need to use reading glasses like other people.
Monovision As an Option
In order to avoid wearing reading glasses, an older adult considering corrective surgery may choose to have their vision corrected to monovision in order to maintain their ability to observe objects up close. When your prescription is changed to monovision, one of your eyes is corrected for distant vision and the other eye is corrected for close vision.
With monovision, you will look out of one eye to see things at a distance, but the other eye will be somewhat blurry. Your brain will get acclimated to ignore the blurriness, however. When looking at things close up, such as in reading, the other eye comes into play and focuses on the page or the work while the first eye remains somewhat blurry. Again, the brain will eventually become used to this and ignore the blurriness. At the midrange, both eyes come into play, and if your prescription is close between both eyes, you can have reasonably clear vision in most situations.
Is It for Everyone?
Not everyone is able to adjust to the effects of monovision because the brain must get used to ignoring the blurriness and focusing with just one eye. It is best to do a trial using contact lenses before moving forward with a permanent surgical procedure. If you decide not to go with monovision, you will get the standard vision corrections, making both eyes good for distance vision; but you may require reading glasses as you get older.
Some Things You Can Expect When Having LASIK Surgery
You Will Need to Go Without Your Contacts for Several Weeks
The pressure of contact lenses distort the natural shape of your cornea, which will lead to inaccurate measurements. If the LASIK procedure is based upon incorrect measurements, obviously they will produce less than optimal results. You will have to completely stop wearing your contact lenses and start wearing glasses for at least a few weeks before you have your surgery.
If your prescription is strong and you change from contacts to glasses, you will see some visual distortion when you first start wearing the glasses and your brain will judge some distances inaccurately. But in a couple of weeks, your brain will readjust to its new surroundings and things will appear normal again. Dr. Patel will provide specific guidelines depending on your situation and how long you’ve been a contact lens wearer.
Even With Surgery, Glasses Can Still Be Required
Most people who undergo the surgery will find that they will have good to excellent vision in most situations for many years. But upon aging, or in low-light conditions, they may still need to wear minor prescription glasses occasionally.
Bearing in mind that when follow-up examinations are done, vision is measured under optimal testing conditions, your vision in dim light and after dark may not be as good as in optimal conditions. Over time, your prescription may still slowly worsen with age, and your vision may not be quite as good as it was immediately after the surgery, but the exact degree of change one may expect cannot be predicted.
It Takes a Little Time to Settle
After surgery, you could have some difficulty seeing at night. You may experience glare, halos around bright lights or some double vision. This effect will generally last from a few days to a few weeks.
You Will Have a Team of Professionals to Guide You Through the Process
Dr. Patel will be working with a team of professionals who will help with your initial evaluation and measurements. But it is Dr. Patel who will assume the ultimate responsibility for determining whether eye surgery is an appropriate choice for you. She will be the one who will confirm the measurements to guide the procedure, performs the procedure, and provides the postoperative care.
Talk with Dr. Patel about your questions and concerns regarding how corrective eye will be able to benefit you. She will be able to help you understand the benefits and limitations of the procedure.
Making the Final Decision
When it comes to eye surgery, one must consider their options carefully, weighing their personal preferences and risk tolerance to make sure that they have realistic expectations. Come to Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, Kansas and talk to Dr. Patel to have your questions answered.