The given timeframes are approximate. The surgeon will decide on a precise plan based on an individualized assessment.
What is Laser Eye Surgery?
Wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses can become tiresome over the years for various reasons. Many individuals wish to eliminate their dependence on glasses or contact lenses due to physical or emotional factors. Laser eye surgery, also known as refractive surgery in medical terminology, refers to a set of procedures aimed at freeing individuals from glasses and achieving clear vision for both near and distant objects. This surgical intervention, often utilizing laser technology, reshapes the cornea, the transparent layer that filters light, to address issues such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The result is improved vision and enhanced focus without the need for corrective eyewear.
Is Laser Eye Surgery Safe?
One of the most common questions asked by patients considering laser eye surgery is whether the procedure is safe. It is natural to have concerns about a critical procedure involving our eyesight. Laser eye surgeries have been performed for over 30 years, and millions of people worldwide have undergone these surgeries with proven safety and success. With advancements in technology, modern laser systems can automatically detect and track the patient's eye throughout the treatment process. Personalized treatment tailored to each individual's unique eye characteristics has significantly reduced the risk of complications. The reported complications are extremely rare, with less than one percent occurrence, and cases of vision loss are virtually nonexistent. In other words, laser eye surgery does not cause blindness.
Who Can Benefit from Laser Eye Surgery?
For successful outcomes and a smooth treatment process, laser eye surgery should be performed on suitable candidates. Generally, individuals over the age of 18, whose eye development is complete, are considered suitable for laser eye treatment. After the age of 18, the stability of the prescription and the absence of genetic corneal diseases affecting the treatment's success make it an appropriate time for laser eye surgery. The procedure can be performed on patients with adequate corneal thickness, including those with thin corneal structure who can benefit from no-touch laser applications. Individuals who have previously undergone cataract surgery or experienced retinal tears, within the appropriate conditions, may also be candidates for laser eye surgery. Additionally, individuals with moderate levels of astigmatism and hyperopia, as well as those with corneal scars or stains, can potentially benefit from this procedure. Candidates for laser eye surgery should be over the age of 18, wear glasses or contact lenses, have no conditions such as keratoconus or elevated eye pressure, and have a stable eye prescription for at least one year. If you meet these criteria, a specialist physician can determine your suitability for laser eye surgery through various examination procedures.
Types of Laser Eye Surgery
Laser eye surgery encompasses different procedures designed to correct vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism without the need for intraocular lens exchange. In essence, laser eye surgery involves using a laser to reshape the cornea, thereby improving focusing power and enhancing vision. The most common types of laser eye surgery include:
- No Touch Laser (Trans PRK): Trans PRK, also known as No Touch Laser, is a laser eye surgery method that may or may not involve touching the eye. It is particularly suitable for individuals who are uncomfortable with direct contact. Trans PRK avoids scraping the anterior wall of the eye through techniques like alcohol melting or cutting with a knife or laser device before the operation. Instead, the patient only needs to focus on a distant light source for a brief period, typically less than 30 seconds. This method is suitable for individuals with myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia, and appropriate eye structure.
- LASIK: LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a well-known and widely performed laser eye surgery. It involves using a specialized cutting laser to reshape the cornea, the clear dome-shaped tissue in front of the eyes, to improve vision.
- iLASIK (IntraLaze Lasik Excimer Laser): iLASIK, also referred to as IntraLaze Lasik Excimer Laser, is a laser eye surgery procedure used to correct visual defects such as hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism. In iLASIK, a femtosecond laser beam creates a flap without the need for a blade.
Preparing for Laser Eye Surgery
Patients who wear hard contact lenses should discontinue their use for three weeks before the surgery, while those who use soft contact lenses should stop wearing them one week in advance. On the day of surgery, it is recommended to wear comfortable clothes, avoid wearing makeup, and refrain from using perfume.
The Laser Eye Surgery Procedure
The laser eye surgery procedure begins when the patient enters the laser room and lies on their back on the laser bed. A sterile drape is placed over the eye, and the eyelids are gently held open with a specialized apparatus to prevent blinking during the treatment. The laser treatment itself takes approximately 4-5 minutes for each eye and is painless. Patient comfort and adherence to the doctor's instructions are of utmost importance throughout the treatment. After completion, the patient's eyes are not bandaged, and they are taken out of the laser room.
Recovery and Aftercare
After the laser eye surgery, the patient is kept under observation for about forty minutes and then undergoes a post-operative control examination. Following the examination, the patient is typically able to leave the hospital. It is normal to experience blurred vision, stinging, burning, and watering of the eyes for the first three to four hours after surgery. It is essential to follow the prescribed medication regimen as instructed by the doctor. If headaches occur after the procedure, pain relievers without blood-thinning properties can be taken. It is advisable not to drive or return to work on the day of the surgery. Patients should avoid dusty environments, refrain from rubbing, scratching, touching, washing, or bathing the eyes during the first 24 hours. Care should be taken not to get soap or shampoo in the eyes during the initial days. In most cases, there are no limitations on social or professional activities during the recovery period, starting from the day after the operation. If any abnormalities are detected during the follow-up examination, such as issues with the surface of the eye or under the flap, additional measures may be taken, including flap rinsing. Eye drops recommended by the doctor should be used for approximately three to six months post-surgery.
If you are interested in laser eye surgery, it is essential to consult with a specialist and undergo the necessary examinations to determine your eligibility for the procedure. Prioritize your eye health and make informed decisions to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Soon Can I Expect Recovery?
Generally, patients experience improved vision immediately or within a few days after the surgery. However, the full recovery period can vary from person to person.
Can I Go Out in the Sun After Eye Surgery?
Sun protection measures should be taken after the surgery. It is advisable to wear sunglasses and protect your eyes from direct sunlight to aid in the healing process.
How Long Do the Results of Laser Eye Surgery Last?
Laser eye surgery provides long-lasting results, but the stability of vision can vary among individuals. Regular eye check-ups are recommended to monitor any changes and ensure continued visual acuity.
Is Laser Eye Surgery Painful?
The laser eye surgery procedure itself is generally painless. Patients may experience mild discomfort, such as blurred vision and stinging, in the first few hours after surgery, but this is normal and temporary.
Are Both Eyes Treated in the Same Session?
Yes, laser eye surgery is typically performed on both eyes during the same session to achieve balanced vision correction.
How Soon Can I Return to Work After Laser Eye Surgery?
While many individuals can resume work the day after surgery, it's essential to follow your doctor's recommendations. Avoiding strenuous activities and taking precautions, such as avoiding dusty environments, is typically advised in the initial days after surgery.
What is the recovery process like?
Our esteemed organization serves as a facilitator between patients and doctors, ensuring a seamless recovery process through comprehensive pre-operative and post-operative care guidance. Our dedicated team works closely with qualified doctors to guarantee optimal outcomes and a smooth transition towards a successful recovery.