Most people who wear glasses and/or contacts have dreamt of undergoing laser eye surgery, the most commonly known of which is probably LASIK vision correction surgery. When this amazing technological leap in vision correction was first made available to consumers roughly 25 years ago, many people were skeptical about using lasers to eliminate the need for glasses. Today, more than 700,000 LASIK procedures are performed in the United States every year. LASIK surgery can solve some of the most common vision problems, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism, so it’s a good choice for about 80% of potential patients. However, that leaves 20% of the population ineligible for LASIK.
For LASIK to work properly, a patient’s eyewear prescription needs to be relatively stable. Therefore, this surgery is generally only performed on patients over the age of 18. For this same reason, a woman who’s pregnant, nursing, or may become pregnant should wait until her vision has been stable for at least one year before getting LASIK; hormonal fluctuations can affect visual acuity, making it more difficult to determine the precise alterations needed for an effective LASIK procedure. A patient whose eyes have certain characteristics—corneal scarring from a prior surgery or eye injury, unusually thin corneas, dry-eye syndrome—may also be poor candidates for LASIK. At Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we conduct a comprehensive medical eye exam as part of any LASIK consultation. During that exam, Dr. Segal or Dr. Lay will precisely measure your corneal thickness to confirm that you’re a good candidate for LASIK.
If your lifestyle often puts your eyes or face at risk, or if you’re highly active in general, LASIK may be a poor fit for you. During a LASIK procedure, the ophthalmologist makes a tiny incision that creates a corneal flap, and a violent or jarring eye injury can dislodge that flap. People with risky jobs and/or hobbies aren’t necessarily disqualified from getting LASIK, but they are at greater risk for postoperative complications. If this is the case for you, or if your cornea is too thin or scarred for LASIK, you may be a better candidate for photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Like LASIK surgery, PRK uses lasers, but the method PRK uses to access the interior of the eye avoids cutting a corneal flap.
While LASIK may not be for everyone, it dramatically improves the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people every year. At Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we have the experience, expertise, and state-of-the-art facilities to diagnose and treat virtually any eye condition. If you think laser vision-correction surgery or any other vision treatment may benefit you, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons today to schedule a comprehensive medical eye examination. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and check back often for new blogs, news, and updates.