Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lasik Eye Surgery - Like A Walk In The Park

By: Ray La Foy

Everyone, but everyone seems to want to get on to the lasik bandwagon today. It seems to be the new mantra when it comes to improving your eyesight and throwing away your spectacles. It would, however, be in order for you to be in full possession about the facts about lasik and the way the procedure is done before you commit yourself. Once you know about all the things that could be right with it and the few things that could go wrong, it's easy enough to weigh the pros and cons and take an informed, practical decision.

Yes, lasik surgery is a very simple procedure. What's more, it's a quick one too. All told, it takes just half an hour. The machine used is a laser system with a screen and a microscope. What this system does is to reshape your cornea. Why is that? Because whether your problem is farsightedness, shortsightedness or astigmatism, the problem is the cornea and the fact that it is not in the perfect shape it should be in. Lasik surgery seeks to change the shape of your cornea so that your focus is better.

The procedure does not involve any general anesthetic because you have to lie on your back and look at the laser, remaining conscious throughout. Your eyes, however, could be painful so anesthetic drops are put in - all you will feel is a bit of pressure from time to time, that's all. Right through the surgery you can see but you might feel a bit of discomfort and maybe a little blurring.

Let's look at how the surgery proceeds. First, the anesthetic drops, after which the area around is cleaned thoroughly. Your eyelids are then propped open. This is followed by the doctor cutting a small flap in your cornea with a special instrument called the microkeratome or with the laser. Rest assured you won't feel a thing! The laser is then brought into position and you will be asked to look directly at it for one whole minute to get your eyes acclimatized to the light. Then, controlled by the computer, the laser goes to work to remove a part of the cornea, after which, the flap is put back. How much is cut depends on what your eyesight is like and would have been already preprogrammed by the doctor into the computer. A shield is put into place to keep the flap from moving and to hold it in place while it heals and that's all, you're free to go.

Just take care that you have someone accompanying you because your vision will remain blurred for quite a while. There will have to be someone to drive you home because you will not be up to doing it. Your eyes might irritate but this is normal, just don't rub them. They need to remain undisturbed till the flap heals. The don'ts after the surgery include hot baths, swims, sports and eye make-up. You might have to go in for follow-up checks to make sure all is going well.

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