Without proper vision, our lives can be terribly debilitated. Lasik is a modern method that can change your eyesight with a small painless procedure, and one which is lasting. But since Lasik is relatively a new medical discovery, many people are yet unaware about it and hence, fear it.
Invasive procedures to correct vision are known as Refractive surgeries. Earlier these were done with conventional methods, but today with the use of Lasers, this procedure has become highly precise and accurate. Furthermore, lasers burn cells, without causing harm to adjoining tissue and healing takes place faster. This makes Lasik extremely safe and effective.
The entire procedure takes place in barely 30 minutes and patients need no hospitalization. At the most one would need to spend two hours with the Doctor. Anesthetic drops are put in the eye, to make it numb. Some people experience very slight discomfort post the operation, but this gradually decreases and can be easily alleviated with medications. Topical anesthetic drops render the eye immobile and make the procedure painless. Next a holder is inserted to keep the eyelid open. After this, with the help of a microsurgical instrument, the corneal flap is cut and laid back. This process has been developed over four decades and has been honed to perfection. The next step involves the use of lasers, which are used to treat the internal stromal layers of the cornea, with the exact prescription of the patient.
The laser used for this has an accuracy rate of 1/2000 of a millimeter and is known as the Excimer laser. This Excimer laser is programmed for each individual and used to polish the cornea, thus eliminating the eye’s refractive error and correcting one’s vision. After this, the corneal flap is placed back into position and the whole eye is rinsed, to clear it of any minute particles that might have fallen in. The surgeon will wait for 2-3 minutes to ensure the corneal flap has properly adhered, which it does naturally. This marks the end of the procedure.
Patients are advised not to rub their eyes and to continuously protect them with goggles, to protect the eye from involuntary rubbing. Even during sleeping hours, the surgeon might ask you to wear soft goggles for a few days. Usually within a week, most patients are able to resume their normal routines and exercises.
Lasik is highly preferable over the older conventional methods of refractive eye surgeries, as it requires little time and allows for faster recovery. At the most a few antibiotics and eye drops are prescribed post the operation. Both eyes can be operated on, without any problems.
Lasik was first introduced for commercial use, way back in 1987 and has come a long way today, with dedicated surgeons for performing lasik surgeries only.
Cost of lasik differs greatly as it is still not a standardized procedure, but varies from clinic to clinic. First of all, each eye operation is charged for separately and many surgeons may quote higher fees, based upon their experience and the latest technologies being used. Generally most lasik procedures cost anywhere from $ 1500 to $ 3000 per eye, depending on the prescription and technology involved. This price may greatly vary depending on individual clinics and also the actual condition and requirements of each patient. Do keep in mind, cost of follow-ups and additional medications are usually not included in this price, and are all extra. There are many advertisements that proclaim, lasik is available for $ 450 or so, but there are hidden factors and it would be wise for you to read the fine print carefully.
It is after all a question of your eyesight, therefore it is better not to fall for cheap pricing gimmicks and if necessary take a second opinion, before finalizing where you wish to get the procedure done. Last but not the least, it is vital to find a surgeon, who you can trust and have a comfort level with, so that the whole experience becomes an easy one for you.
Shamala is a media blogger and writes for Orbit Eye Hospital. This Eye Hospital specialises in Lasik Eye Surgery in India.