Before you consider getting LASIK surgery, it is important to understand some basic information about this procedure. This includes the Requirements, Procedures, Cost, and Side Effects. Read on to learn more about this revolutionary procedure. This surgical procedure is a great way to correct astigmatism, hyperopia, and other vision conditions. It is performed by using lasers to reshape the cornea.
Requirements for LASIK Surgery
Before undergoing LASIK surgery, you should make sure you’re in a good general eye health condition. In addition, you should be free of any eye diseases, infections, or injuries. You also need to be free of autoimmune diseases and medications that can slow down healing.
LASIK surgery permanently changes the shape of the cornea, which improves vision and reduces the need for contact lenses and glasses. Clear vision is achieved by the correct bending of light rays, allowing images to focus on the retina. In contrast, people with refractive errors experience blurry vision due to a mismatch between the length and shape of the cornea.
LASIK surgery is suitable for healthy individuals who are at least 30 years old. Pregnant women are not candidates for surgery because their eye prescription is unstable during pregnancy. It is also important to avoid contact lenses for two to four weeks prior to the surgery. Patients with myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism up to 5.5 diopters can undergo LASIK.
The Lasik procedure involves a laser reshaping the corneal tissue. This procedure is done on an outpatient basis and takes between 20 minutes and an hour per eye. Patients are given eye drops to numb their eyes before the procedure. The patient is then asked to focus on a special fixation light. A computer program is used to determine the amount of laser energy to deliver to the eye during the procedure. The surgeon then folds a flap of corneal tissue away, revealing the middle layer of the cornea. This process flattens the cornea, reducing the converging power of the eye.
Before undergoing the procedure, an eye doctor will evaluate the shape and thickness of the cornea. He will also evaluate pupil size and any refractive errors. He or she will also examine the tear film and prescribe a precautionary treatment to help reduce the risk of dry eye following LASIK. The surgeon will then use a corneal topographer to create a map of the cornea or the front surface of the eye.
Although LASIK surgery is a safe and effective procedure, some patients do experience a few common side effects. These include blurred vision, sensitivity to light, glare, and double vision. Patients may also experience minor vision fluctuations for several days. These effects tend to subside over time as the patient recovers from the surgery.
There are no established rules governing the disclosure of LASIK surgery risks to patients. However, the FDA encourages them to educate themselves on the risks and consult with a surgeon before undergoing the procedure. The FDA notes that the number of LASIK procedures performed annually topped 1.4 million in 2000.
Infection of the eye is another common LASIK surgery side effect. To reduce the risk of infection, patients are given an antibiotic eye drop before the procedure and afterward. They should also avoid wearing eye makeup and certain activities after surgery.
The cost of LASIK surgery can vary depending on the type of procedure performed. For example, some LASIK centers charge more for “custom” procedures, which use a map of the actual cornea to correct higher-order aberrations in the eye. The cost of the surgery may also include the cost of medications required for recovery. Some patients’ medical insurance plans may cover these costs. Others may have to pay a copay.
LASIK surgery can cost $1,500 to $2,000 per eye. Many LASIK centers offer financing plans. Some offer interest-free financing for a period of 12 to 24 months, while others offer extended financing plans up to 60 months. While many patients may be concerned about the costs, financing can make LASIK more affordable.
Some insurance plans cover the cost of LASIK surgery. These plans are often advertised as “zero-down” or “0% interest” for up to two years. Many vision plans also offer extended interest plans for four or five years. Another option is to use a credit card to finance your procedure.