LASIK Laser Vision Correction
LASIK eye surgery is more than just a vision enhancement procedure; it is a life-changing experience that has helped millions of people around the world achieve clear, crisp vision. As the most common method of eye vision correction performed today, LASIK offers incredible success rates, with the vast majority of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better. At Kirk Eye Center, we have performed thousands of LASIK procedures, including surgeries on our own family members.
See for yourself why millions of people turn to LASIK surgery for better vision. To schedule a laser eye surgery consultation, contact our office. We welcome patients from throughout the Chicago area.
What is LASIK?
Laser-assisted in-situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is the most technologically advanced method of vision correction available today. It is a refractive vision surgery that offers you greater freedom from glasses or contact lenses.
The LASIK procedure sculpts the cornea with the ultraviolet light of a computer-guided laser to correct vision errors such as:
Astigmatism: A common vision problem that results from an irregularly shaped cornea. Astigmatism develops when your cornea is oval-shaped with flat or steep surfaces. Laser eye correction can appropriately reshape the cornea and provide crisp vision.
Nearsightedness: The medical term for nearsightedness is myopia. By focusing light in front of the retina, vision becomes blurred. Nearsighted patients can see things that are near with greater clarity than distant objects. Through eye laser surgery, the shape of the cornea is changed, moving the image back onto the retina, producing sharp images.
Farsightedness: Hyperopia is the medical term for farsightedness. It occurs when the eye tries to focus light behind the eye, resulting in blurry vision. People with farsighted vision can see objects at a distance easier than those that are near. Laser eye treatment creates clear vision by changing the shape of the cornea.
Age-related loss of near vision: Presbyopia is the medical term for the loss of near vision that happens naturally with age. It typically affects patients in their 40s and 50s. Reading glasses and bifocals have traditionally been the standard vision-correction method for individuals with presbyopia, but the LASIK procedure can eliminate the need for glasses for a majority of patients.
Benefits of LASIK
Not only does LASIK offer permanent vision correction, the procedure is remarkably safe and has one of the highest success rates of any surgical treatment. Other benefits include:
- The procedure is painless.
- There is minimal downtime after the surgery.
- Vision correction results are almost immediate.
- Studies show patient satisfaction scores as high as 98 percent.
By now, almost everyone knows that LASIK can improve the way you see. It helps you enjoy hobbies, partake in recreational activities and pursue career endeavors without being encumbered with glasses or contacts.
How Does LASIK Laser Eye Surgery Work?
The LASIK procedure uses a surgical laser to reshape the cornea of your eye, which can correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. In recent years, this eye laser surgery has become increasingly prevalent, enjoying incredible popularity thanks to its safety, comfort and ability to eliminate the need for contact or glasses.
The procedure itself takes only about 20 minutes. The eye is numbed with simple eye drops; no needles or injections are used. During the painless laser procedure, a thin flap is made in the cornea and the underlying corneal tissue is precisely reshaped to correct your specific vision problem. Once the procedure is completed, the flap is repositioned back in place and your eye heals naturally. As a patient undergoing LASIK eye surgery, you will essentially only see an interesting light show. Almost all of our patients are pleasantly fascinated by the experience.
How Long Does Laser Eye Correction Last?
LASIK is a permanent eye correction procedure. Since it was approved by the FDA in 1996, the results of LASIK eye surgery have continued to improve. The amount of time that your results last depends entirely on your own body. It is normal for everyone to experience visual problems as they age, regardless of whether or not they have undergone laser eye surgery. Once you reach your 40s, your eyes change and you may need to wear reading glasses for close work such as reading a book or typing on a computer.
Is LASIK Laser Eye Surgery Right For Me?
LASIK surgery is a viable treatment option for the vast majority of patients. The following requirements must be met in order to qualify for the popular procedure:
- No health issues that may affect the eyes
- No current eye problems
- Nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism
- Over the age of 18
- Stable vision for two to three years
The most important step in determining your candidacy for LASIK laser eye surgery is to meet personally with our LASIK doctor for an initial consultation. During this visit, a full battery of tests will be conducted, your questions will be answered and your candidacy for the procedure will be evaluated.
Your LASIK Vision Correction Consultation
Your initial LASIK consultation is a chance for your doctor to fully examine the state of your ocular health and provide you with the information you need to determine the right treatment option for your needs and goals. We will answer any questions you have regarding the LASIK procedure, expected outcomes and your recovery.
If you currently wear contact lenses, we recommend leaving them out for three to four days prior to your initial consult. Do bring your prescription contacts or glasses with you to your consultation. During this initial visit, your LASIK doctor will perform a comprehensive array of tests, including:
- Review of your history with glasses or contacts
- Measurement of prescription for refractive errors
- Dry eye test
- Measurement of pupil size
- Dilatation of the eye to view the retina
- Complete evaluation of overall eye health
- Measurement of corneal thickness
Generally, your LASIK procedure will be scheduled within one to two weeks of your initial consultation.
LASIK Recovery Information
LASIK Recovery Time
You will experience noticeably better vision the day of your surgery. Right after your procedure, your vision will be blurry. Go home and sleep for two to three hours. When you wake up, you will notice improved vision. Your vision will continue to improve over the coming days, although you may experience some discomfort over the next four days.
LASIK Recovery Tips And Aftercare
Your LASIK eye doctor will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions to ensure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible. Generally speaking, consider the following tips:
- Rest: The most important thing you can do immediately following your eye laser surgery is to rest your eyes for a few hours. Sleeping or simply taking it easy and not moving after surgery gives your body crucial time to heal.
- Protect your eyes from light: Even if you are not outdoors, your eyes will be tender and sensitive to light following surgery. Avoid the outdoors and wear the protective eyewear supplied by your doctor.
- Strictly follow your doctor’s instructions: Take all of your medications as instructed and keep all of your follow-up appointments.
- Communicate suspicious symptoms: Light sensitivity and mild irritation are common, but if you suspect something isn’t right, it never hurts to check with your LASIK doctor.
LASIK Risks and Side Effects
For most patients, the freedom and joy that accompany good vision far outweigh the risks and possible side effects of LASIK surgery, such as:
- Discomfort: Eyelid tenderness or mild headaches may occur.
- Sensitivity to light: Light sensitivity is common during the first 24 hours after your surgery.
- Halos and glares: Halos and glares may be noticeable immediately after your surgery, but as the cornea heals, these quickly subside.
- Blurred vision: Depending on your age or extent of correction, you may experience mildly blurred vision for a few weeks. However, this effect is so slight that nearly everyone who experiences it can still perform their daily activities.
- Tearing: This usually occurs within the first two to four hours following surgery.
- Infection: Although very rare, infection can occur. We take every precaution to prevent it.
LASIK laser eye correction is a very safe procedure with high success and satisfaction rates. However, it is impossible to predict how your eye will heal with absolute certainty. Any under-correction or over-correction is typically very mild. In the extremely rare event that the issue is significant and there is enough corneal tissue, additional treatment can be performed.
LASIK Success Rate: Does LASIK Work?
LASIK has an incredible success rate. The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) reports that 96 percent of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better.
Where Can I Get Laser Eye Surgery and What Will it Cost?
No two patients are exactly the same. The cost of LASIK surgery varies from patient to patient and is dependent on a number of factors, such as the extent of work needed and whether you need surgery on one or both eyes. During your initial consultation with one of our LASIK eye doctors, you will be provided with an estimate of what you can expect to pay for your procedure.
If you are considering LASIK laser eye surgery, please contact either of Kirk Eye Center’s two locations for a consultation. We happily welcome patients from the surrounding Chicago communities.
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