Our Blog

What Is LASIK Eye Surgery?

Posted on January 17, 2022
Laser on an eye, surgery demonstration.

Are you tired of struggling through your daily routine with vision problems? Distorted or blurry vision could impact your quality of life. It might increase the likelihood you’ll get into an accident, too. 

You don’t have to struggle anymore! In fact, about 10 million Americans have requested LASIK surgery since it was first approved by the FDA.

Today, about 700,000 LASIK surgeries are done every year.

What exactly is LASIK eye surgery, and what does the procedure involve? Keep reading to find out!

After reading this guide, you can make a more informed decision with your vision needs in mind.

Don’t let distorted vision impact your health and wellbeing. Instead, read on to learn more about eye surgery today. 

What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

First, let’s answer the question that likely brought you here: what is LASIK eye surgery?

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is a type of eye surgery that can fix vision problems. Specifically, it fixes problems associated with refractive errors. 

Refractive errors occur when the eye fails to bend light properly. You could develop distorted vision as a result. Other symptoms include farsightedness, nearsightedness, and blurry vision. 

Sometimes, a misshapen cornea can cause refractive errors. 

The cornea is the top, outermost layer of your eye. The lens, on the other hand, is flexible tissue behind the iris. The iris is the membrane behind the cornea that gives the eyes their color.

The lens and cornea are responsible for refracting light onto the retina. This allows the eyes to send information to your brain, which is transformed as images. 

During the process, a special type of laser is used to change the shape of the cornea to improve your vision.

The Procedure

What does LASIK eye surgery involve, exactly?

First, you and your eye doctor will discuss how the procedure works. They’ll help manage your expectations. For example, this eye surgery won’t give you perfect vision.

You might still require glasses while reading or driving.

Your eye doctor will complete a series of tests to ensure you’re an ideal candidate. They’ll likely:

  • Measure the refractive error
  • Check your pupil size
  • Make sure your eyes are healthy
  • Test to determine if your vision has changed
  • Measure the amount and quality of tears your eyes make
  • Measure the cornea’s thickness and surface

If you’re wearing contact lenses, you’ll need to stop wearing them before these tests. Otherwise, your eye doctor might not get accurate measurements.

You’ll also need to stop wearing perfumes, creams, makeup, and lotions 24 hours before the procedure. 

During your eye surgery, you’ll lie flat. Your ophthalmologist will use eye drops to numb your eyes during the surgery. You might feel a slight pressure, though.

Next, the surgeon will place an eyelid holder and suction ring on the eye to keep you from blinking. Your vision will dim. 

Your surgeon will create a flap in the cornea using a laser programmed with your eye measurements. You’ll stare at a light to keep your eyes from moving. Then, the surgeon will use the laser to reshape your cornea. 

Reshaping the cornea will ensure it refracts light correctly.

Finally, the ophthalmologist will fold the flap of tissue down, allowing it to heal within minutes. 

Success Rate

This procedure has a 96% success rate. About 90% of patients develop 20/20 vision or better. About 99% of patients achieve 20/40 vision.

Meanwhile, this eye surgery can help save up to $10,000 in eye care, too. 

Make sure to find an experienced surgeon before scheduling your procedure. 

Ideal Candidates

Eye surgery is ideal for candidates with:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Astigmatism

Myopia occurs when the eye is slightly longer than normal. It can also occur when the cornea curves too sharply. Light rays will focus on the front of the retina, blurring distant vision as a result.

Patients with myopia can see objects that are close but not ones that are at a distance.

Hyperopia occurs when you have a shorter than average eyeball. You can also develop farsightedness if the cornea is too flat. Light will focus behind the retina instead of on it as a result. 

Astigmatism, on the other hand, occurs when the cornea curves or flattens unevenly. This condition can disrupt the focus of both distant and near items. 

Most patients who consider LASIK are already wearing contact lenses or glasses. Eye surgery can remedy your eye problems and improve your vision. 

Potential Side Effects

Before scheduling eye surgery, make sure to talk to your doctor about potential risks. All surgeries come with potential risks and side effects.

For example, you might experience: 

  • Eye discomfort or pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Vision that changes throughout the day
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Vision that’s foggy, blurry, or hazy
  • Infection
  • Glares or halos

In extremely rare cases, patients can develop blindness. 

Some side effects are permanent.

After the Procedure

It’s normal for your eyes to burn or itch after the procedure. It’s also normal to experience hazy or blurry vision.

Make sure to review potential side effects with your doctor beforehand.

Dry eyes are a common side effect, too. Your ophthalmologist will likely give you eye drops to use at home. You might require steroidal eye drops or antibiotics.

In some cases, your ophthalmologist will require you to wear a shield over your eyes. The shield can stop you from touching the healing corneas as you sleep.

You’ll need to revisit the ophthalmologist a day after the surgery.

They’ll test your vision to ensure you’re healing properly.

Recovery time is usually fast. You should feel able to return to your normal activities within a day after the procedure. If you have PRK, it might take longer for your eyes to heal.

Avoid wearing eye makeup for two weeks after the procedure. Avoid contact sports and wear your eye shield at night for two weeks, too. 

What is LASIK Eye Surgery?: Your Guide to 20/20 Vision

To recap, what is LASIK eye surgery? It’s a procedure that can help remedy your blurry or distorted vision. You can put an end to the refractive errors you’re experiencing as a result.

With surgery, you can keep vision problems from impacting your quality of life.

Eager to schedule your laser eye surgery? We can’t wait to help. 

Contact us today to schedule your first appointment. 

"Quick, comfortable and super easy!"

Eye LASIK Austin

6500 N. Mopac • Building 2, Suite 2101 • Austin, TX 78731

Get Directions

The Best Decision for Your Vision

T 512.346.3937 | wecare@eyelasikaustin.com
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am–5pm • Closed Weekends