LASIK or Laser in Situ Keratomileusis, is one of the most popular refractive surgeries for laser vision correction in the world. If you are thinking of getting rid of your glasses, you must have wondered as to how LASIK surgery works. There are several variants of LASIK, but the underlying principle for all of them remains the same: LASIK consists of reshaping of the cornea, so as to eliminate the need for glasses. This article aims to clear doubts about how LASIK surgery works.
How does LASIK work?
During LASIK, your doctor raises a thin, circular and central corneal flap using either a mechanized knife (keratome) or a special laser (femtosecond laser). After this he or she uses a computer guided excimer laser to reshape the underlying exposed corneal tissue (the process is called keratomileusis). The surgeon then repositions the corneal flap, which heals over time. This reshaping of the cornea is customized to the power and shape of your eyes, and is controlled by a sophisticated computerized algorithm. The newly shaped cornea means that light entering the eye is focused sharply on the retina, resulting in improved vision, and reduction or elimination of the need for glasses or contact lenses.
What is the underlying principle that makes LASIK surgery work?
To understand the principle on which LASIK works, it is important to understand why you need glasses.
The transparent, clear dome shaped front surface (called cornea) and the crystalline lens inside the eye (which when cloudy causes cataract) constitute the focusing system of the eye. Any errors in their structure, especially curvature, as well as any error in the length of eyeball (and hence, position of retina) means that the light rays entering the eye are not focused sharply on the retina.
In myopia, the light rays are focused before the retina, while in hypermetropia they are focused behind the retina. In astigmatism, the light rays in different meridians are focused in different locations.
We can use a system of lenses, either in glasses or contact lenses, in order to correct this blurred vision. LASIK, on the other hand, aims to reduce and eliminate the visual blur by changing the focusing power of the cornea as described above.
How do I know if LASIK works for me?
The only way to know if LASIK does work for you, in terms of both, efficacy and safety, is to visit an eye doctor. Your doctor will perform a comprehensive eye examination including a dilated retina check, measurement of power of glasses and corneal thickness and corneal curvature, before deciding if LASIK will work for you. Also, he or she will discuss with you which of the LASIK variants (conventional LASIK, Sub- Bowmans Keratomileusis (SBK), Femto or bladeless LASIK, Surface ablation, SMILE or Contoura Vision LASIK) will work best for your eye health and vision needs.
So if you are looking for freedom from glasses and contact lenses, LASIK is the way to go. In fact, with millions of happy patients certify that LASIK does work. For the very small section of people for whom LASIK does not work, the eye doctor will be happy to suggest other treatment options for freedom from glasses like clear lens extraction or refractive lens exchange, and Implantable Collamer Lenses or ICL.