More people are turning to LASIK to fix their eyesight — 600,000 a year! Reports have found people are extremely pleased with the procedure as it has the ability to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism of the eye. But what is it? How does it work to correct even the worse symptoms of poor vision?

LASIK is an acronym that stands for, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. It is a specialty laser eye surgery used to treat myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. However, these vision disorders are known by other names.

Myopia: Myopia is popularly called nearsightedness. This phenomenon occurs when vision becomes weaker the farther away an object is. It primarily happens due to the retina not being able to focus refracting light. Because of this, faraway objects often appear blurry or foggy.

Hyperopia: Hyperopia is known as farsightedness. This also occurs when the retina has difficulty refracting light into the eye. However, this disorder is the opposite of myopia, in that objects that are closer in proximity are blurry.

Astigmatism: Another vision disorder that LASIK can repair is astigmatism. This condition occurs when the front of the eye called the cornea, develops into an irregular shape. Astigmatisms can also occur if the lense of the eye has a odd shaped curvature that is unmatched with the shape of the eye. Because of the shapes of the cornea or the lens, light is prevented from focusing properly in the retina. Because of this vision becomes clouded at any distance, near or far. Unique to astigmatism, is that it can occur simultaneously with other optic conditions such as myopia or hyperopia. It is not known how astigmatism develops, however it has been shown to be hereditarily passed down through generations and is present from birth. Depending on the development of the cornea and lens, astigmatisms can either increase or decrease. Time can only tell the full effects of the condition.

What are refractive errors?

Though both of these conditions are caused by refraction errors, what exactly are they and how do they affect vision? Well, as stated before, the retina is responsible for taking in light. However, refraction refers to the bending of light that passes through the cornea, the eye lens, and then to the retina. Light is focused at the retina, where it converts the light-rays into messages. These messages are sent through the optic nerve to the brain where they are interpreted. If there are any issues with any of these processes, the brain will interpret the image in correctly and vision issues will become present.

The Procedure

The procedure is very simple and only takes a matter of minutes. With a tool called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser, an eye surgeon creates a thin, circular flap in the cornea. Once the flap is folded back, the stoma, or underlying cornea, is fully exposed. From this step, the surgeon then removes some corneal tissue using an excimer laser. Excimer laser uses low level ultraviolet light to remove microscopic-sizes tissues from the cornea in order to reshape it. In the cases for people with nearsightedness, the goal of the procedure is to flatten the cornea by taking more tissue away. In comparison, farsighted people need a higher cornea for proper light refraction. In the cases of people with astigmatisms, a surgeon must smooth out the cornea to create a smooth circular shape. After the reshaping portion of the procedure is completed, the surgeon must lay the flap back into place. The eye is a self-healing body part so after the flap is put back into place, the surgeon’s work is done!

Perfect Vision in Minutes

Though these conditions can severely impair vision, LASIK can effectively treat the eyesight issues with little to no pain. At its core, LASIK is a refractive surgery, in that its primary focus is to reshape the cornea to enable light to filter into the eyes. As most of the above eye conditions are a symptoms of refractive errors, the way to cure these disorders is to repair the cornea.

The miraculous part about LASIK is that it is most often pain-free and only takes less than 15 minutes to complete both eyes. In just a few minutes eyes can go from fogged vision to flawless vision! With one LASIK procedure, patients often don’t need their eyeglasses or contact lenses!

If you are interested in getting perfect vision, you might want to consider LASIK eye surgery. Visit Sina J. Sabet MD, PC online today and see if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery!