A condition that affects an estimated 20 to 30 percent of the population, myopia is generally discovered when a person realizes he or she is unable to seeing distant objects clearly. Fortunately, the condition is relatively easily remedied. Glasses were first introduced to correct myopic vision. Decades ago, contact lenses became available. The lasted trend in myopia treatment is laser surgery.
Laser eye surgery, or LASIK, utilizes a concentrated Laser Light to Correct Myopia, also known as short-sightedness. In the eye under normal conditions, the cornea bends light as it enters the eye and focuses it on the retina. In the myopic eye, the cornea is misshapen, which causes it to improperly bend light that enters the eye. The light is then focused slightly in front of the retina instead of directly onto it. LASIK surgery reshapes the cornea so that it is once again able to properly refract light and focus it onto the retina, thereby restoring the patient’s ability to focus on distant objects and see them clearly. The elective surgery is indicated for people with mild, moderate, and severe cases of myopia. People who are younger than 18 years of age, have other disease of the cornea, or who have not had stable vision for at least one year are advised against having the surgery.
The FDA developed this video to inform potential patients about the risks of LASIK. The video includes images of common visual problems that a LASIK patient may see.
The procedure is done as an outpatient surgery, and it lasts approximately 30 minutes, after which patients are generally allowed to go home. A doctor performs the surgery in a room that has laser equipment. Prior to the surgery, the patient is seated on a chair in a reclining position, and the eye is numbed using special numbing eye drops. A device is then used to hold the eyelids open. The eye surgeon then uses a microscopic knife to cut a small flap into the cornea. The flap is lifted and folded back, which creates an opening through which the laser light can enter. Next, the laser is placed close to the eye, and a beam of light is directed into the cornea. Reshaping takes place when the light vaporizes inner tissues within the cornea. To maintain accuracy, a computer is used to control the amount of laser light that enters the eye. Once the cornea has been returned to its proper shape, the flap is closed, and a shield will be placed over the eye for protection.
Epi-LASIK is an advanced, surface based, laser vision surgery
Following the procedure, the patient may experience mild discomfort, which may be treated with over-the-counter painkillers. The patient is generally required to continue wearing sunglasses during the daytime and the protective shield when sleeping. The patient will be required to attend a follow-up appointment to ensure that no complications have emerged and to check post-surgical vision.