Laser Eye Treatment… How does it work?

Laser eye surgery revolutionized the world of ophthalmology around forty years ago. Now, almost everyone is aware of this procedure or has heard about it and many people around us have even benefited from it. Even if you have heard the name of the procedure, it is unlikely that you know about the procedure. To give an overview, laser eye surgery reshapes the cornea of the patient so that when light hits the retina, it hits differently. This reshaping is achieved by the means of a laser or in other procedures through specialist surgical instruments by a surgeon. Laser eye treatment has opted for farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. 

At the moment, there are around six types of laser eye procedures. In the future, more advanced and sophisticated procedures will emerge on the scene. The current six laser procedures are:

– LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis)

– Intra-LASIK

– Wavefront LASIK

– Epi-LASIK

– LASEK

– PRK

Out of all these, LASIK is by far the most popular and well-known procedure. It also holds the title of one of the first laser eye surgery procedures to be introduced. The main difference between the LASIK and Intra-LASIK procedure is that in the prior one a blade is used to create a flap in the cornea and then the laser is used to remove very thin layers of the cornea and in the later procedure, no blade is required and the laser is used to create the flap in the cornea.

Wavefront LASIK is the most modern and recent laser eye procedure to emerge on the scene. It involves making a three-dimensional map of the patient’s eye and hence, this procedure is by far the most precise one.

If you are going for a laser procedure then here are a few points that you should keep in mind related to what to expect during and after a laser eye procedure:

– Most of the laser eye operations can last from about 15 to 30 minutes. This depends on the type of surgery and the condition of the patient.

– The vision will return after several hours of the operation and it will improve as the days will go on.

– There’s a set of home care instructions that the patient has to follow and after that, it is possible to resume work and routine by the patient.

– The patient may have to wear a protective contact lens for a few days in some procedures like PRK.

– Some patients may suffer problems with night vision but, it will get better with time.

– Laser eye surgery is not a painful procedure as eye drops are used to numb the eyes. Although, the patient may feel a sensation of pressure but not pain.

– A thorough eye exam is performed to ensure that the patient’s eyes are healthy enough for the procedure.

– There’s a risk of developing dry eyes after some laser procedures. To eliminate this possibility, the patient’s tear film is evaluated and a precautionary treatment is recommended.

– The patient may feel a temporary itching or a burning sensation right after the procedure. This will get better within a few hours.

Laser eye surgery is a simple procedure but, like any other surgical procedure follow up session with the doctor is required. No serious complications have been associated with laser eye procedures which is why these are considered safe.

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