If your glasses feel cumbersome, and you don’t want the hassle of putting in and taking out contact lenses every day, you have another option to correct your vision — LASIK surgery. Short for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, LASIK reshapes your cornea to correct a number of common vision problems.
At Precision Eye Institute, ophthalmologist Dr. Orest Krajnyk and optometrist Dr. Sean McLoughlin offer LASIK surgery at their offices in Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach and Margaritaville, Daytona Beach, Florida. Whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, if you decide to go this vision-correction route, here’s what you can expect.
People need vision correction due to refractive errors, changes in the shape of the cornea that affect the way the eye focuses the light it receives.
The cornea is the outermost layer of your eye, and the lens is flexible tissue that sits behind your iris (the circular membrane that gives you your eye color). Both bend (or refract) light onto the retina at the back of the eye, which sends visual information to your brain by way of the optic nerve.
In 1948, Spanish ophthalmologist Jose Barraquer Moner started using a scalpel to shave tiny sections off of his patients' corneas to improve their vision, then he switched to a device called a microkeratome. Some doctors still use a contemporary form of this device, though we at Precision Eye Institute do not.
In the 1980s, Russian ophthalmologist Svyatoslov Fyodorov invented a technique known as radial keratotomy, an early precursor to LASIK that used tiny cuts to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness. However, almost half of those who underwent radial keratotomy saw further vision changes between 6 months and 10 years after the procedure. LASIK offers longer-lasting results, and its invention rendered radial keratotomy obsolete.
In the late 1980s, a number of researchers received patents for surgical lasers, including Gholam Peyman, who in 1989 patented a laser specifically designed to reshape the cornea.
In 1998, the FDA approved the first laser for LASIK surgery, manufactured by Lasersight Technologies, Inc. Summit Technology, Inc. gained approval for its laser about a year later.
In those days, the LASIK procedure used a microkeratome to create the corneal flap needed in the first step of the procedure. Now, though, the more advanced “bladeless” LASIK has become the standard, offering greater control for the surgeon and decreasing the risk of complications and the need for follow-up procedures for the patient.
If you and Dr. Krajnyk decide to go with LASIK surgery for vision correction, here’s what you can expect. The process can be divided into five steps:
1. You lie on a table, and the doctor uses eye drops to numb your eyes. You’ll be awake the entire time, but you won’t be in pain. At most, you might feel pressure during the procedure, like a finger pressing against your eyelid.
2. Dr. Krajnyk places an eyelid holder and suction ring on your eye. The holder keeps you from blinking, and the ring keeps your eye from moving. You may find that your vision dims or even goes completely black. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
3. Dr. Krajnyk uses a laser programmed with your eye measurements to make a flap in your cornea as thin as a piece of paper. He lifts and folds the flap back, like turning the page of a book.
4. The doctor asks you to stare at a light he shines in your eyes, which keeps your eyes from moving. He uses the laser again, this time to reshape the cornea so it refracts light better. You may hear the laser making a clicking/ticking sound, and you might smell the scent of burned hair. Again, there’s nothing to worry about.
5. Dr. Krajnyk folds the corneal tissue back down, and it starts to heal quickly — it settles into place within two to three minutes.
Following your LASIK surgery, your eyes might itch or burn or feel like there’s something in them, but this is normal, as are blurry or hazy vision and light sensitivity.
Dry eyes are a common side effect of LASIK surgery, so you might get lubricating eye drops to take home. You’ll also get antibiotics and steroidal eye drops. Dr. Krajnyk may also have you wear a shield over your eyes to prevent you from touching them, especially while you’re asleep.
You return to the office one day after surgery to have your vision tested and make sure your eye is healing.
If you’re tired of dealing with corrective lenses, LASIK surgery may be a good option for you. To learn more or schedule a consultation, call Precision Eye Institute at any of our locations, or book online with us today.