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Millions of people have benefitted from LASIK
LASIK - the acronym for Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis – is an elective surgical procedure offering a safe and effective option for vision correction. LASIK uses state-of-the-art laser technologies and is a popular and virtually painless option for reducing or eliminating the need for glasses and/or contact lenses. To date, 15.1 million LASIK procedures have been performed in the U.S. In LASIK surgery, a specially trained eye surgeon (an ophthalmologist) reshapes the cornea of the eye to improve the focus of light onto the retina (refraction), providing clear vision for most tasks. The LASIK procedure is performed in the following steps:
What To Consider If You're Considering LASIK
For more than a decade, LASIK -- one of the most studied medical procedures -- has been considered a safe and effective vision correction option for those who are nearsighted, farsighted and/or have astigmatism.
Like all medical procedures, LASIK has benefits and risks and the decision to have LASIK should include questions and research. Experts at the American Refractive Surgery Council (ARSC) recommend you follow these steps:
- Ask yourself some questions. Do glasses and/or contacts interfere with my daily life? Am I active? Into sports or outdoor activities? Can a vision correction procedure, such as LASIK, enhance my lifestyle?
- Learn about what LASIK is (and what it is not). LASIK, one of the many surgical vision correction options available, is an out-patient procedure that uses laser technology to reshape the cornea. Laser vision correction doesn't always completely eliminate the need for glasses -- for example, those with age-related vision issues such as presbyopia may eventually need reading glasses, as almost everyone will at some point. Talk to friends and family who have had LASIK and have them tell you about their own experiences with the procedure.
- Make an appointment with an experienced ophthalmologist -- someone who is certified with the American Board of Ophthalmology and has performed at least 200 procedures. Get referrals from friends, family and/or a trusted physician.
Finally, in partnership with your surgeon, determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK. Many ophthalmologists offer pre-operative exams for free. Expect the exam to take two to three hours during which time you will have your vision, eyes, and overall health evaluated. Share your full health history with your doctor. There are medical conditions, such as diabetes, that may make LASIK and other laser vision correction options a poor choice. Also, certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can affect the healing process.
"Education and counseling are among the most important things we do as surgeons. You want a doctor who's accessible and willing to not only tell you all the good things about LASIK; but, also if you're not a good candidate," said Dr. Eric D. Donnenfeld, M.D, F.A.C.S.