Demystifying LASIK Surgery: Common Questions Answered

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, most commonly known as LASIK, has become one of the most sought-after elective procedures globally, offering a high success rate for patients dealing with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

If you’re considering LASIK eye surgery in Dubai, you’re embarking on a journey towards visual freedom. Its beauty lies in its potential for permanent effects, liberating you from the constraints of glasses or contact lenses. Advanced technology has increased the effectiveness of LASIK and made the procedure more affordable in recent years.

In this guide, you’ll get the answers to the most common questions surrounding LASIK, providing insights that can help you make an informed decision for your eye health.

1. How does LASIK work?

LASIK is a revolutionary procedure designed to alter the cornea’s shape permanently. This transformation aims to improve your eyesight, bringing it to a normal or near-normal state.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the LASIK procedure:

Step 1. Numbing drops

To ensure your comfort during the procedure, your eye surgeon will put numbing drops into your eyes. This eliminates any potential pain, making the experience as smooth as possible.

Step 2. Suction ring and eyelid speculum

Next, a painless suction ring and eyelid speculum are placed on your eye. These devices serve the essential purpose of keeping your eye in the correct position and preventing involuntary blinking. You might feel a slight pressure on your eyelid, but rest assured, it’s a normal sensation for this procedure.

Step 3. Creating the corneal flap

Your eye surgeon will then make a thin flap in your cornea. Imagine this as lifting and folding a page in a book. This step is crucial as it provides access to the underlying corneal tissue for the laser reshaping process.

Step 4. Laser reshaping

With your corneal flap gently lifted, you’ll be asked to focus on a light aimed towards your eye. Simultaneously, a precision laser is employed to reshape your cornea.

You might hear a clicking sound during this stage, and there might be an unusual smell. Rest assured, it’s not your eyes burning; it’s simply a byproduct of the laser’s interaction with the cornea.

Throughout the laser treatment, your doctor monitors your eye’s position closely. If any movement is detected, the laser automatically halts, ensuring precise and accurate corrections.

Step 5. Corneal flap replacement

Once the laser reshaping is complete, the corneal flap is returned to its original position carefully. It begins reattaching immediately and continues to heal after you leave the surgical facility.

2. Does LASIK hurt?

One of the primary concerns for those considering LASIK is the fear of pain during and after the procedure. Fortunately, LASIK is designed to minimise discomfort, and technological advancements have made the process remarkably smooth.

Before the procedure begins, your eye doctor applies numbing drops to ensure that you won’t feel any pain throughout the surgery. While some patients might experience slight pressure or sensations, the overall consensus is that LASIK is a relatively painless process.

Immediately following the surgery, you may notice a gritty feeling, itching, burning, and increased tear production. These are normal and typically subside as your eyes start to heal.

Generally, pain is minimal. Many patients report feeling little to no pain during the recovery period. Your eye doctor may provide pain medicine or recommend eye drops to keep you comfortable in the hours following the procedure.

3. Am I a candidate for LASIK surgery?

If you’re considering LASIK, you must understand the conditions it can address and the factors determining whether it’s the right solution.

Some of the conditions LASIK can address include:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia): This is when an eyeball has a slightly longer than typical or sharply curved cornea, making distant objects appear blurry while close ones remain clear.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia): This condition is often a result of a shorter-than-average eyeball or a flat cornea, causing blurry near vision or, at times, distant vision.
  • Astigmatism: This is characterised by an uneven curvature of the cornea, which can affect both near and distant vision.

If you currently wear contact lenses or eyeglasses, LASIK might be a suitable option. Your eye doctor in Dubai will assess whether LASIK or a similar refractive procedure aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

However, not everyone is an ideal candidate for LASIK. Approximately one in five individuals seeking LASIK have conditions that may limit their eligibility. These conditions include:

  • Unstable Vision: If your prescription frequently changes, LASIK may not be the most suitable option.
  • Extreme Refractive Errors: Individuals with extreme nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism may require alternative solutions.
  • Corneal Thickness: LASIK involves reshaping the cornea. So, if your corneas aren’t thick enough for the procedure, your doctor may recommend an alternative approach.
  • Severe Dry Eye Disease: Pre-existing dry eye conditions may impact your candidacy for LASIK.
  • Keratoconus: A progressive thinning of the cornea may require different interventions.
  • Cataracts: LASIK isn’t designed to treat cataracts, and cataract removal may be necessary before considering refractive surgery.
  • Other Medical Conditions: Conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes, or autoimmune diseases may need careful consideration before opting for LASIK.

4. How long will my vision be blurry after LASIK?

Blurred vision is normal immediately after LASIK. While improvement is noticeable within a few days, it can take up to two to three months for your eyes to fully heal and your vision to stabilise.

Remember, the blurriness you experience is temporary, and the extent of improvement depends partly on your pre-surgery vision. Patience and adherence to post-operative care instructions are key to achieving optimal results.

5. How many days of rest is required after LASIK surgery?

Recovering from LASIK is swift, with many individuals able to resume daily activities within a few days. While the process is quick, you must exercise caution and adhere to post-operative care instructions for optimal results.

Most people can return to work or drive shortly after LASIK, but you must still exercise caution, especially if you have blurred vision. It’s advisable to wait until your vision has cleared before driving or operating tools and machinery.

Certain activities should be limited as your eyes heal. Follow your ophthalmologist’s personalised advice, but here are some general guidelines:

  • Exercise and contact sports: Wait three days before engaging in non-contact sports.  Give it a month before participating in contact sports like football or karate.
  • Makeup and Lotions: Refrain from using makeup or lotions near your eyes for at least two weeks.
  • Swimming and Hot Tubs: Wait one to two months before diving into pools, hot tubs, or whirlpools.

A Final Word

Getting your questions answered before LASIK helps you know what to expect and gives you peace of mind during the procedure. If you’re unsure about something, consult a local eye doctor for personalised insights.

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