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A View of LASIK: Benefits and Limitations

Q&A with Your College Station Eye Doctors

LASIK was introduced to America with FDA approval in the mid-1990s. Since then, its popularity has soared. In 2006, the American Academy of Ophthalmology released the results of a comprehensive 10-year study on LASIK, which concluded that it is safe and effective. The announcement inspired millions of people with eyeglasses and contact lenses to sign up for this laser refractive surgery. Clinical data supports the widely positive and successful outcomes of LASIK, and the procedure continues to enjoy a trendy status amongst celebrities, sports stars, and the general public.

Do you want to know more about LASIK? Our College Station eye doctors provide full pre-operative and post-operative care for this surgery. We will answer all your questions, help determine if you are a good candidate, and explain the advantages and limitations of LASIK. For more information, schedule a professional consultation in our TSO College Station office.

What can LASIK correct and not correct?

LASIK refractive surgery can resolve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Conventional LASIK cannot correct presbyopia, which must be resolved with a combination of vision prescriptions for near and far, such as multifocal eyeglasses, contact lenses, or monovision.

How is LASIK done?

Your eye surgeon will use a laser to create a thin flap in your cornea, which is then laid back. The revealed inner part of your cornea is then reshaped by removing the required amount of corneal tissue with a laser. Your surgeon will determine how much to remove based on your individual visual requirements. Afterwards, the flap is folded back into position and eye drops are administered. The whole procedure takes only about 10-15 minutes.

What are the main benefits of LASIK?

The attraction of LASIK to our College Station patients is crystal-clear! Everyone is excited about the opportunity to see clearly without bulky eyeglasses or high-maintenance contacts. In addition to this ultimate convenience, advantages include:

Immediate results: LASIK leaves your corneal surface intact, so you should be able to see comfortably with sharp vision (without eyewear!) as soon as the day after the surgery and certainly within a few weeks

Painless: minimal discomfort is typically experienced; topical anesthetic eye drops are inserted before the procedure

Rapid recovery: no bandages or stitches are generally needed, and healing is fast

New lifestyle and career options: particular careers, such as Air Force and Navy, require proper vision without eyewear. Also, many activities such as swimming, cycling, and skydiving are much simpler without wearing vision correction.

Future surgeries: if your vision changes again after you have LASIK, adjustments can be made even years later

Can LASIK cause complications?

Serious complications from LASIK are extremely rare, and many mild side effects can be resolved effectively with medical treatment or additional surgery. In fact, statistics put the rate of major complications at less than 1%. However, as with any surgery, there are always some risks. To find out more, schedule your TSO College Station LASIK consultation.

What are the visual limitations of LASIK?

  • The main limitation of LASIK is the inability to correct presbyopia (trouble seeing up-close). Since presbyopia affects your inner eye lens, the standard LASIK procedure does not address this visual problem. Therefore, even if your nearsightedness is corrected efficiently by LASIK, you still may need reading glasses to see up close, such as when reading or viewing a computer for long periods.
  • If you have some residual refractive error after LASIK, you may require eyeglasses for specific activities such as driving at night.
  • Another related limitation is that as you age, your vision improvement from LASIK may decrease, and you will need additional eyewear (such as glasses) or further surgery.

What is Monovision LASIK Surgery?

Monovision LASIK combats presbyopia by leaving the non-dominant slightly nearsighted. The stronger eye then takes over for distance vision, and the weaker eye focuses on objects nearby. Approximately 75% of all nearsighted people can adjust to this system. Others are disturbed by the possible reduction in depth perception and night vision.

What is Multifocal LASIK Surgery?

Multifocal LASIK is an advanced version of this laser surgery, which is designed to correct presbyopia too. However, before you get excited

be aware that multifocal LASIK is not yet FDA-approved in the United States. It has been performed in other countries, such as in Europe and Canada, for years already and is currently undergoing clinical trials in the United States.

This specialized surgery treats presbyopia by creating multiple power zones across the corneal surface of the eye. In effect, a greater depth of focus is provided for sharp vision at a range of distances just like the way multifocal contact lenses work. The center of your cornea can thereby be shaped to correct distance or near vision.

Will LASIK work for me?

The benefits and limitations of LASIK affect every individual differently. To find out whether it can help you, book a visit to discuss LASIK in our College Station TSO office. Our optometrists are qualified and experienced in performing eye exams to determine candidacy for LASIK. Also, a variety of alternative refractive procedures are available, and we will evaluate what's best for your personal situation.