Is the LASIK Procedure Safe?

Is the LASIK Procedure Safe?

November 14th, 2023

For many people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, wearing glasses or contact lenses is a daily nuisance. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) offers an appealing solution – the ability to see clearly without corrective lenses. 

Over the past two decades, LASIK has become one of the most common elective surgical procedures performed in the United States. But is this procedure safe?

Keep reading to learn more about LASIK, including whether or not it is safe!

What is LASIK? 

LASIK is a surgical procedure to correct vision problems. It can correct vision issues, including: 

  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism

It’s one of the most common elective procedures in the United States, with hundreds of thousands of people undergoing LASIK each year. More than 90% of people who get LASIK have 20/20 vision or better afterward, and 96% are satisfied with the outcome. 

What Happens During LASIK? 

LASIK can be performed in your ophthalmologist’s office. You will be awake for the whole procedure, though your eyes will be numbed to ensure you are comfortable.

Your eye doctor will use special instruments to hold your eye open and drops to numb the surface of the eye. During the procedure, your eye doctor will create a small flap on the surface of the eye. 

They then lift the flap away and use a laser to reshape your cornea. Once that is finished, they close the flap, which will heal without stitches. 

The process usually takes about fifteen minutes per eye. 

What Makes LASIK Safe? 

One reason for the excellent safety record is that eye doctors work with patients to make sure LASIK is the right treatment for the individual. Thanks to extensive research on LASIK outcomes, ophthalmologists have a clear understanding of when LASIK is appropriate for a patient and when it would be better to explore other vision correction options. 

To ensure you are a safe candidate for LASIK, your eye doctor will meet with you to discuss your vision and health history. Your ophthalmologist will carefully examine your eyes to check your vision and ensure that you can safely undergo LASIK. 

There are some factors that make LASIK unsafe, including:

  • Vision that is still changing
  • Vision correction outside of what LASIK can fix
  • Severe dry eye
  • Thin or scarred corneas or a history of corneal disease
  • Keratoconus (cone-shaped cornea)
  • Advanced glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding

If your eye doctor has reservations about your safety or the success of the procedure, they will advise you to consider other options. 

How Do I Know if LASIK is Right For Me? 

In general, LASIK is safe and effective for people who are in good health and don’t have a history of eye disease. Other factors that make you a good candidate for LASIK include:

  • Eighteen years or older 
  • Vision prescription has not changed significantly in the last year
  • Your refractive error can be treated with LASIK
  • Corneas are thick enough and healthy enough for surgery 
  • Good overall eye health
  • Realistic expectations about LASIK results

Do you want to learn more about LASIK or determine if you may be a good candidate for the procedure? Schedule a LASIK consultation at Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL, today!