LASIK surgery – Is it for you?

According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA,) more than 20 million people have undergone LASIK surgery, with an addition of 600,000 every year.

What is LASIK surgery?

Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery is a common eye surgery to correct refractive errors – how your eye focuses light. This procedure changes the shape of the cornea permanently. Anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eye first. A laser device is then used to create a thin flap in the cornea, followed by the reshaping of the cornea by laser to correct the refractive errors in the eye.

LASIK surgery for Presbyopia 

Most adults in their early to mid-40s may have diminished ability to focus on near objects, such as reading small print.

LASIK surgery may give you clear distance vision, but cannot correct or prevent presbyopia. Monovision LASIK is deemed effective for presbyopia, but not everyone is suitable for this treatment which corrects one eye for near vision and the other for far vision. It is best to consult an ophthalmologist before having any permanent eye surgical procedure.

While the results of LASIK surgery are quite immediate (appearing about 24 hours after surgery) and reduces one’s dependency on glasses or contact lenses, there are possible side effects as well:

  • Infection, inflammation
  • Problems with the corneal flap after surgery
  • Hazy or blurry vision
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Dryness (“Are you at risk of dry eye syndrome”)
  • Light sensitivity

These effects usually disappear over time for some patients, but may be permanent for a small minority of patients. So do consider carefully before proceeding with LASIK surgery.

Take note…

  • LASIK surgery permanently changes the optics of the eye which are not reversible.
  • LASIK surgery may not give you 20/20 vision. According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, 9 out of 10 patients achieve somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 vision.
  • 20/40 vision may not be sharp enough for certain activities.
  • There is a possibility of a follow-up LASIK procedure known as LASIK enhancement. This is performed if the results if your original surgery is not satisfactory or if your vision changes significantly over time.
  • Some patients may suffer from dry eye (“Are you at risk of dry eye syndrome?”) symptoms after LASIK surgery and may need to take artificial eye drops permanently if the condition do not improve.
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