Nearsightedness happens when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. This condition can run in families and usually appears during childhood. This vision problem may stabilize at a certain point, although sometimes it worsens with age. Myopia may be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
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When it comes to laser refractive surgery, people who suffer from the following make poor candidates for the procedure:
Before your LASIK procedure can start, anesthetic drops will be placed in each of your eyes to numb them. These drops help to ease any discomfort during the procedure.
Next, your doctor will use a special tool called a microkeratome; this is used to make a small incision in the cornea’s outer layer and to create a small corneal flap. When this “hinged” flap is pulled back, a small area of your cornea is exposed. The excimer laser beam is applied to this exposed corneal area.
While you continue to watch the blinking light, your surgeon will apply very small and very rapid (billionths of a second) “bursts” of the excimer laser to your cornea to reshape it. This way, areas that are too flat may be made steeper or more rounded; areas that are too curved may be smoothed out. This reshaping – the core of the LASIK experience – normally takes about one minute.
When the corneal reshaping is finished, your doctor lays the corneal flap back into place, where it acts as a sort of natural bandage. The cornea quickly heals by itself with no need for stitches. After your doctor confirms that everything is in order (usually just an hour or two after you arrive for your procedure), you will be ready to do home.
After this surgery, the majority of patients experience improved vision immediately. Even so, you must keep in mind that complete LASIK surgery recovery can take up to six months as vision takes some time to stabilize following the procedure.
Just after a LASIK surgery, you may be required to wear a protective shield over your eyes for the first night or two following the treatment. Your doctor may also instruct you to take antibiotic, anti-inflammatory or moistening eye drops; also you may need to wear dark eyeglasses if you experience sensitivity to bright lights.
As with any type of surgery, complications are unusual, but they sometimes do happen. However, they are usually minor and can be reduced by precisely following your doctor’s directions before and after the procedure. The following are some of the complications related to a refractive laser surgery:
You must also keep in mind that this procedure does not correct the normal ageing process of the eyes and some people who are treated for shortsightedness still need glasses after the age of 40.
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