If you fumble for your glasses every morning or hate popping contact lenses in and out, LASIK may be the solution. Now offered by Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute, LASIK (“laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis”) is a popular type of LASIK surgery that treats farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. The procedure is simple and painless. Both eyes are treated in a single session that takes approximately five minutes per eye.

Read on to discover more about eye surgery and whether it’s right for you.

Am I a Good Candidate for LASIK Surgery?

Not everyone is a good match for LASIK surgery. Here are some of the criteria you must meet in order to have the procedure:

Healthy eyes

• You must be at least 18 years old.

• You must have good overall health. If your body heals slowly, or if you have other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes or HIV, LASIK surgery could be risky.

• Your pupils shouldn’t be large. If they are, LASIK surgery could cause you to experience glare, halos and other vision problems.

• Your cornea can’t be too thin. LASIK surgery reshapes the cornea, which is the clear, dome-shaped part at the front of your eye. If your cornea is too thin, the surgery may not have the desired results and could even impair your vision. Our physicians can determine whether your cornea is the proper thickness for successful LASIK surgery.

• You should delay LASIK surgery if you’re pregnant. The hormonal changes induced by pregnancy can temporarily change the shape of your cornea, which would interfere with the procedure’s success. Pregnancy can also cause dry eyes, which would make LASIK surgery impossible.

LASIK surgery also poses threats to an unborn baby. For instance, a tranquilizer may be given prior to the operation to reduce the mother’s anxiety. This may damage the child. Antibiotics and pain medications that are taken after the session may also endanger the baby. Be sure to contact your obstetrician if you’re considering LASIK surgery.

How Does My Doctor Examine My Eyes Before Surgery?

Prior to surgery, your doctor will meticulously examine your eyes so that the procedure can be specifically tailored to your particular needs. This includes:

• Measuring your eye’s front curvature.

• Analyzing your eye’s tear coating. This is necessary to deter dry eyes post-surgery.

• Creating a computer-generated map of your eye. This map is produced by dispersing light waves through your eye to exactingly plot out imperfections. This information will be transferred to the LASIK prior to surgery.

• Advising you not to wear contacts for two weeks prior to your surgery. This is because contacts can briefly alter your cornea’s shape.

How is LASIK Surgery Done?

LASIK surgery doesn’t require general anesthesia. Instead, your surgeon will simply use numbing eye drops to prevent discomfort. These drops will also counteract your blinking reflex. If you are anxious about the surgery, your doctor can give you a mild tranquilizer.

Although a small device holds your eyes open and steady throughout the process, the LASIK has an eye-tracking component that counteracts any random movements.

Next, the doctor will use a LASIK to peel back a thin flap of the cornea. The exposed corneal tissue will then be reshaped with LASIK pulses so that light entering it can focus more accurately on the retina to improve vision. (The retina lines the back of the eye and receives light that passes through the cornea.)

Nearsightedness is corrected by flattening the cornea, and farsightedness is remedied by building it up. If you have astigmatism, your surgeon will transform your cornea’s uneven structure into a more uniform one. Usually, the procedure isn’t painful, and you’ll simply feel a small amount of pressure during the operation.

Stitches aren’t required after LASIK surgery. The edges of the corneal flap will simply begin self-adhering. The cornea acts as its own bandage.

Will I Still Need to Wear Glasses or Contacts Post-Surgery?

LASIK surgery produces 20/20 vision in most patients. Some people may still need to wear contacts or eyeglasses, but the prescription will be considerably weaker. You can expect long term results until age-related conditions, such as loss of presbyopia (loss of lens elasticity) or cataracts interfere. If you are over 40, you may still have to wear reading glasses.

You may opt to wear contacts for purely cosmetic reasons after your vision is perfected with LASIK surgery. If you want to change your eye color or embellish your existing color, it’s fine to do so with tinted contacts after the operation.

How Will LASIK Surgery Improve My Quality of Life?

LASIK surgery has many benefits that will positively impact your lifestyle and your appearance. These include:

• Eliminating the inconvenience of contacts and glasses.

• Precision eyesight for pilots, military personnel, first responders and anyone whose profession requires extremely accurate vision.

• Improved appearance.

• Being able to see as soon as you wake up, without groping for eyeglasses.

• No risk of damaging your eyes if you doze off with contacts in. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about breaking your glasses if you fall asleep in them.

• Your night vision is likely to become sharper.

• You won’t be at a loss to see clearly if your glasses suddenly break.

Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute is dedicated to improving your eyesight and boosting your confidence with state-of the-art LASIK treatment. For almost four decades, our highly skilled physicians and staff have provided Tampa Bay with exceptional service at five convenient locations. With personal, compassionate care, we treat each individual as a family member so that they feel unique and appreciated.

We’d welcome your contact us so that we can discuss in detail how LASIK can benefit you. We’re driven by excellence that’s delivered with personal service.

Please note that not all of the information presented here will work for everyone. This article is not a substitute for in-person medical treatment. To learn more, please contact Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute .