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Are You a Good Candidate for LASIK?

Are you a candidate for LASIK?

Since its introduction in the 1990s, LASIK has allowed over 40 million people around the world to toss their glasses and contact lenses for good. And with a 96% success rate, it’s hard to argue that LASIK surgery hasn’t been a game-changer for people who want to correct their vision and end their dependence on corrective eyewear.

Here at Hawaii Vision Specialists in Hilo, Hawaii, our experts, have performed countless LASIK surgeries. To learn more about this procedure, we’ve pulled together the following quick primer on LASIK.

The problem

To understand how the LASIK procedure works, it helps to first take a look at how your eyes work. Light first passes through your cornea and then through the lens. Your lens focuses the light onto your retina, which sends an electrical impulse to your brain through your optic nerve. Your brain receives the information and creates an image.

During this multistep process, your eye refracts or bends the light to focus it right on your retina. That’s the ideal scenario, in any case.

When you’re diagnosed with near- or farsightedness, it usually means that your eyes are refracting light in front of your retina or past it, respectively, resulting in blurry vision.

The third vision problem is astigmatism, which is usually caused by the cornea being oblong as opposed to spherical. As we reviewed above, your cornea is the first point of entry for light, so it's not spherical it can cause the image to be poorly focused.

The solution

With LASIK surgery, which stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, we reshape your cornea so that it can refract light properly. To do this, we rely on advanced and precise laser technology. Here’s how it works:

After numbing your eyes, your surgeon creates a small flap in your cornea and peels it back. Using a precision excimer laser, your surgeon reshapes your cornea according to your vision problem — flattening it if you’re nearsighted; making it steeper for farsightedness; and generally reshaping it to correct astigmatism.

When the reshaping is complete, your surgeon replaces the flap, which stays in place without the need for stitches. While you aren’t under general anesthesia, you should still have someone drive or accompany you home after the procedure.

The options

While LASIK surgery may seem like just the answer you’re looking for — and it often is — it’s still surgery, and you should consider your pros and cons carefully.

Many patients with mild to moderate visual problems are good LASIK candidates.

LASIK can improve your lifestyle significantly, eliminating your need for corrective lenses. Many of our patients opt for LASIK because of contact lens discomfort, the hassle of losing and breaking glasses, or an active lifestyle where corrective lenses are more of a liability than an asset.

Another advantage is that your LASIK procedure is long lasting meaning your cornea usually won’t change its shape. You can still experience vision problems down the road, however, secondary to the aging process as well as ocular disease

While LASIK helps over many Americans see better each year, there are some cases where LASIK isn’t recommended. For example, if you’re under 20, you’re not a candidate since your eyesight hasn’t “settled” in. By the same token, it’s best that your vision (whatever that may be) is stable for at least a year before you undergo LASIK.

LASIK is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or for people who play contact sports.  Pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes take the LASIK option out of the picture.

The best way to find out for sure whether LASIK is an option for you is to make a consultation appointment at Hawaii Vision Specialists. Please give us a call to book a consultation.

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