Why Does LASIK Work?

Why Does LASIK Work?

December 13th, 2018

Young Women Wearing Sunglasses

LASIK seems complicated and filled with risk and uncertainty, but it is predictable. The science behind it involves the way light refracts inside the eye.

Vision occurs through light bouncing off an object into your eye. This happens through the cornea.

The cornea works with the lens (which is behind the pupil) to focus the light to a point on the retina. The retina senses the light and sends impulses through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain then detects them as images.

When the cornea is misshapen, light focuses incorrectly. It can focus before it touches the retina, after it touches the retina, or at many points. This results in nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

Since the cornea handles the majority of your eye’s focusing power, LASIK aims to reshape it. Once the cornea has been reshaped, light hits the retina correctly. This results in perfect vision! Keep reading to learn why LASIK works!

How It’s Done

Before anything, you will need to schedule a LASIK consultation. During your consultation, your vision is extensively tested. This determines whether you are a good candidate for LASIK or not.

For example, if your corneas are too thin for LASIK, your surgeon may recommend PRK as an alternative. PRK is a very similar surgery to LASIK that’s better for people with thinner corneas.

If LASIK is the best surgical option for you then you will schedule a surgery date. Between your consultation and your surgery date, you will need to do a few things. First, you will need to stop wearing contacts at least 2 weeks before your procedure.

Contacts can affect the curvature of your cornea, and result in less than ideal LASIK results. Make sure to use lubricating eye drops regularly several days before LASIK.

Avoid wearing perfumes or using lotions or other chemicals around your eyes. Make sure you have a ride arranged as well, as you will not be able to drive until the following day.

How Is LASIK Performed?

As for the actual procedure, LASIK is performed under localized anesthetic. You will not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure thanks to numbing eye drops. LASIK begins by creating a tiny flap in the top layer of your cornea.

Your LASIK surgeon at Laser Eye Center uses a special laser called a femtosecond laser. A second laser (called an excimer laser) is then used to remove small amounts of tissue. This tissue is taken from the thicker middle layer of the cornea in specific places.

With custom LASIK, the procedure occurs under the guidance of a wavefront system. This maps your corneal topography with precision, helping you achieve the best vision.

After the cornea has undergone reshaping, the flap is placed back down. This allows the flap to heal, which can take a few months.

Patients who are having PRK done instead do not have a flap. Instead, the area of the top layer of the cornea is completely removed and allowed to grow back on its own. This results in a longer recovery period, but there are no flap complications to worry about.

To find out what visual correction procedure is best for you, set up a LASIK consultation with Dr. Danny Lee in Decatur, Alabama!