Vision is arguably the most important of our senses. Conditions like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism may require prescription glasses. In some cases, wearing glasses can become an inconvenience and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery can be performed for improvement. This procedure is done by LASIK eye doctors, and can be described as a reshaping of the cornea.
Basic anatomy and physiology
The cornea is the clear and curved tissue covering the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. Light enters the eye through the cornea. It then travels through a whole called the pupil, which may be big or small depending on how much light is around. As it continues to penetrate the eye layers, light then passes through the iris, which focuses it onto the retina.
In some cases, the cornea can be too curved and focus the image in front of the retina, causing nearsightedness. Other people can have a flatter cornea, which focuses the image behind the retina, resulting in farsightedness. Sometimes the blurred images are caused by an irregularly shaped cornea, causing astigmatisms. These conditions can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses or LASIK eye surgery.
The first step of the surgery is creating a flap. This part is achieved as the LASIK eye surgeon uses a laser to create multiple bubbles in a particular formation within the cornea. The flap is hanging by a hinge at one of its ends. As it is folded back, the stroma of the cornea is revealed.
Once the corneal stroma has been exposed, an excimer laser is used for the reshaping. This is accomplished by vaporization of the tissue in a controlled manner. Peripheral tissues are left unharmed by this step. There is no actual burning with high temperature or cutting involved, and the thickness of the tissues removed is only micrometers thick.
After the reshaping step has been completed, the flap is placed back in its original position. During this phase, the LASIK eye surgeon is meticulously checking for any air bubbles and debris, as well as ensuring the proper fit of the flap. Once it has been put back into place, it remains there through naturally occurring adhesion in the tissues. The healing process then begins.
After the surgery
To ensure proper healing of the tissues, the LASIK eye doctor provides the patient with some post-operative care instructions. An antibiotic is prescribed, in order to prevent any potential infection from developing. The patient’s visual perception is quite sensitive, so dark sunglasses or goggles are also prescribed for the recovering patient. Eye-rubbing is prohibited. A follow-up appointment is then scheduled to follow the progression of the healing process.
Common diseases related to vision like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can be treated in various ways. Glasses, contact lenses, and LASIK eye surgery are some available options. They can be performed by ophthalmologists or specialist LASIK eye surgeons.