Imperfections in how the human eye focuses light are called refractive errors, and there are 3 major kinds: myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Glasses or contact lenses can temporarily correct these errors, but of these conditions can be permanently corrected through the use of refractive surgery, with the most popular surgical option being a laser procedure called LASIK. Laser in-situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, works by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is where a person has difficulty seeing distant objects as clearly as near objects. Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is where a person has difficulty seeing near objects as clearly as distant objects. In astigmatism, light fails to come to a single focus on the retina (the back of the eye) to produce clear picture of what a person sees. Combinations of myopia and astigmatism or hyperopia and astigmatism are common. The most common symptom is blurred vision. Other symptoms may include eye strain, headaches, squinting, double vision, haziness, glare or halos around bright lights. Glasses or contact lenses can usually correct refractive errors by bending light rays in a way that complements the eye’s specific refractive error. But if an optometrist or ophthalmologist deems the condition severe enough then LASIK is a form of refractive surgery that correct the eye’s refractive error to negate the need for other visual aids.
LASIK is a pain-free procedure that lasts about 15 minutes. During LASIK eye surgery, the surgeon will use an instrument called a microkeratome or femtosecond laser to create a thin flap in the cornea. The cornea flap is then painlessly peeled back and the underlying corneal tissue is reshaped using another laser. After the cornea is reshaped so that it can properly focus light onto the retina, the cornea flap is put back in place and the surgery is complete.
LASIK is performed while you are under local anaesthesia in the form of eye drops and you may also request a mild sedative if you wish. After the surgery, you need to have someone drive you home. To help protect the cornea as it heals, don’t rub your eyes, and your surgeon may place a transparent shield over your eye(s) to protect against accidental bumps.
For most patients, improved vision without glasses or contact lenses is seen in as little as 24 hours, with continued improvement over time. In some cases, it may take three to six months after LASIK surgery for the improvements in vision to fully stabilise. Like any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential side effects, which may include hazy or blurred vision, difficulty with night vision, light halos, dryness of the eye, or light sensitivity. On the whole, however, LASIK is deemed a very safe, and very popular, procedure. Side effects usually dissipate quickly, and any infections or inflammations are rare and can be cleared up with the use of medications.
iSight Optometry has earned its reputation as Kelowna’s pre-eminent optometry clinic by exceeding our patients’ expectations for over 60 years. We are a highly technologically advanced optometrist who provide comprehensive testing, diagnosis, and treatment options for you and your entire family. And if you’re thinking of having laser vision correction, we provide the best pre-operative evaluation and post-operative care for refractive surgery. So whatever you need to see clearly and comfortably, we guarantee you the best possible outcome.