How Does LASIK Eye Surgery Improve Vision?

Table of Contents:

  • What Is Laser Eye Surgery?
  • How Does It Work?
  • How Is Laser Eye Surgery Performed?
  • How Does Laser Eye Surgery Work?
  • How To Take Care Of Yourself At Home?
  • What Are The Long-Term Prospects For Laser Eye Surgery?


There has been a substantial advancement in laser eye surgery procedures, boosted by the development of equipment like the femtosecond and excimer lasers.


What Is Laser Eye Surgery?

Procedures that use a laser to reshape the cornea are called laser corneal sculpting. Astigmatism (uneven curvature of the eye’s surface) is one of the conditions that can be improved or corrected by this procedure. Laser sculpting has been around for more than 30 years.

When we look into someone’s eyes, we see the cornea, the clear structure in the front of the eye. The cornea is the first of two focusing systems in the eye, allowing light to enter the eye. 

In addition, there’s a transparent crystalline lens that sits on top of it all. Computer-controlled excimer lasers remove microscopic amounts of corneal tissue during laser eye surgery. The goal is to eliminate the need for corrective lenses like glasses or contacts to restore normal vision.


How Does It Work?

When the eye’s focus system (the cornea and lens) does not match the eyeball’s axial length, it is known as a refractive error or ametropia. The retina at the back of the eyeball is what humans experience as clear vision when the light goes through the cornea and lens of the eye and is refracted to a sharp point.

A refractive error is defined as a fuzzy vision in the eyes when light focuses either before the retina, behind the retina, or at two different places surrounding the retina (as in astigmatism), and the patient is regarded to have a refractive error. Spectacles and contact lenses are recommended to refocus the light entering the eye to reach a clear spot on the retina. 

Although these optical aids have significant downsides, such as long-term expenditures, aesthetic concerns, and even some eye health hazards, they are still an excellent option for many people who have difficulty seeing. Laser eye surgery may be an attractive alternative for those who want to avoid the hassle of wearing glasses and contacts. 


How Is Laser Eye Surgery Performed?

By reshaping the cornea, laser eye surgery (Visual Aids Centre) seeks to alter the eye’s focusing capability surgically. The Refractive power of the lens within the eye, as well as corneal happiness, contributes to light refraction in the eye.

The precise details of how laser eye surgery works will depend on the exact method used. The laser eye surgery options are constantly expanding, enabling more and more patients to benefit from laser vision correction when they would have previously been judged ineligible a decade ago.


Photorefractive Keratectomy

Though it was one of the first strategies, PRK is still a helpful technique today. The epithelium, the outermost layer of corneal cells, must be destroyed before the excimer laser can reshape the stroma, the innermost layer of the cornea. The cornea’s epithelium is removed with either an alcohol solution or a hand-held device, and the corneal stroma is then exposed.

The excimer laser, guided by a computer, then uses photoablation to alter the cornea’s shape. Epithelial cells regenerate on the cornea after surgery as part of the healing process.


Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis 

Like PRK, LASIK needs the removal of the corneal epithelium to access the corneal stroma, where the excimer laser may be used to reshape and correct vision. The LASIK procedure creates a flap of corneal tissue; however, unlike PRK, this flap of tissue stays linked to the eye via a hinge. A bladed manual device or a femtosecond laser tool may create the flap.

Immediately after the photoablation reshaping procedure is finished, the corneal flap is reinstalled over the eye and allowed to self-seal.

LASIK surgery has a quicker recovery period than PRK. Still, the development of a flap limits the amount of corneal tissue accessible for reshaping, making it less suited for patients with thinner corneas.


Small Incision Lenticule Extraction

SMILE Laser eye surgery is still a relatively new procedure generally available in all ophthalmology offices. Cutting-edge, minimally-invasive refractive surgery known as SMILE enables the cornea’s biomechanical stability to remain virtually intact, leading to quicker healing periods and less risk of problems.

Unlike PRK and LASIK, the corneal stroma is accessible via a tiny keyhole incision rather than the epithelium. A laser is utilized to form a lenticular, a disc-shaped sliver of tissue inside the stroma to rectify the eye’s refractive defect. The cornea’s general form and curvature are altered through the keyhole incision, allowing light to concentrate on the retina. This procedure is called lenticular removal.


How Does Laser Eye Surgery Work?

Refractive surgery may also be performed without using lasers, which may be more appropriate for certain patients, notably those with circumstances that make corneal disturbance undesirable or those with inadequate corneal thickness for reshaping.

It is still possible to see well without optical aids thanks to surgical techniques such as intraocular contact lenses (ICL) and refractive lens exchange (RLE). Some patients who have been turned away from laser refractive surgery because of insufficient corneal thickness may be able to benefit from one of these less invasive methods.


How To Take Care Of Yourself At Home?

  • Be led by your ophthalmologist, but typical ideas include:
  • Use antibacterial and anti-inflammatory medicine (in the form of drops) in the operated eye(s) for a time following surgery.
  • Use plastic shields over the operative eye(s) for many nights following surgery to avoid damage caused by rubbing.
  • Do not massage the operated eyes.


What Are The Long-Term Prospects For Laser Eye Surgery?

Some patients who undergo laser eye surgery may still need to use glasses or contact lenses to attain the optimal vision, but their natural eyesight should be substantially improved. Most have been fully free of glasses and contact lenses for many years. The long-term consequences of laser corneal sculpting are anticipated to be modest if the eyes are assessed to be well suited to the surgery.