LASIK FAQ: Is Eye Surgery Right for You?

LASIK surgery, which users lasers to slightly alter your cornea, is a proven option to help restore sight and correct vision issues, often permanently. This type of procedure is extremely common, but it does have its limits. LASIK surgery is designed to treat certain conditions, and individual eye characteristics are very important when determining an ideal candidate. Expect doctors to pay close attention to key factors such as these.

General Health of Your Eyes

LASIK surgery cannot treat every eye illness at once. In fact, the general condition of your eyes must be very healthy from the beginning to ensure proper recovery. This means that other illnesses must be fully treated beforehand. If you have a problem like an eye infection or eye damage, expect your doctor to hold off on a LASIK procedure. If you have an ongoing condition like dry eye syndrome, then expect your doctor to suggest alternatives to surgery that will be safer and more effective for you.

Your Specific Problem

Once again, LASIK cannot treat all eye problems. It is designed for only a few different conditions. The most common is myopia, the condition that causes difficulty in seeing images at a distance. LASIK excels at treating this problem. It can also do a lot for the opposite condition, hyperopia, where objects close at hand are more difficult to see. The surgery has also been successful in treating astigmatisms. However, beyond this, the surgery cannot correct other eye conditions (although some alternative treatments may be available).

Cornea Requirements

Not all corneas are exactly the same. Because LASIK surgery involves stripping back layers of the cornea in very precise ways, in needs a certain type of cornea to work with. Very think corneas may not have enough material to work with, and in this case LASIK surgery is not possible. Don’t worry, your doctor will measure your cornea well before considering if LASIK surgery is right for you or not – just be aware of the issues involved in cornea alteration. Other cornea conditions that make the cornea misshapen or have damaged it in the past may also pose problems.

Pupil Issues

Like the cornea, the pupil can vary from patient to patient. If the pupil is very large even under normal conditions, then LASIK surgery can cause some undesirable side effects, such as problems seeing in the dark and flashes of light from time to time. Doctors may want to suggest alternatives in this case, or at least make sure that you fully understand the risks before heading in for surgery.

Limitations of Surgery

LASIK surgery can correct a number of different problems, but it can only correct to certain points. Extreme near or shortsightedness may pose difficulties. If you need extra-strong contacts or glasses to see properly, your doctor may worry that the surgery will not be as effective. It could help, but the results are more difficult to predict. Also, if doctors are cutting off part of the cornea, they can only cut so much without risking damage and complications following the surgery, which is naturally undesirable.

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