What is Lasik?

The cornea is a part of the eye that helps focus light to create an image on the retina. It works in much the same way that the lens of a camera focuses light to create an image on film. The bending and focusing of light is also known as refraction. Usually the shape of the cornea and the eye are not perfect and the image on the retina is out-of-focus (blurred) or distorted. These imperfections in the focusing power of the eye are called refractive errors. There are three primary types of refractive errors: myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Persons with myopia, or nearsightedness, have more difficulty seeing distant objects as clearly as near objects.  Persons with hyperopia, or farsightedness,  have more difficulty seeing near objects as clearly as distant objects.  Astigmatism is a distortion of the image on the retina caused by irregularities in the cornea or lens of the eye. Combinations of myopia and astigmatism or hyperopia and astigmatism are common. Glasses or contact lenses are designed to compensate for the eye’s imperfections. Surgical procedures aimed at improving the focusing power of the eye are called refractive surgery. In LASIK surgery, precise and controlled removal of corneal tissue by a special laser reshapes the cornea changing its focusing power.
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Risks

You should not have this procedure if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, because these conditions can affect eye measurements.
You should not have this procedure if you take certain prescription drugs, such as Accutane, Cardarone, Imitrex, or oral prednisone.
Risks may include:

Before the Procedure

A complete eye exam will be done before surgery to make sure your eyes are healthy. Other tests will be done to measure the curvature of the cornea, the size of the pupils in light and dark, the eyes’ refractive error, and the thickness of the cornea (to make sure you will have enough corneal tissue left after surgery).
You will sign a consent form before the procedure. This form confirms that you know the procedure’s risks, benefits, alternative options, and possible complications.

After the Procedure

Following the surgery:
Call the eye doctor right away if you have severe pain or any of the symptoms get worse before your scheduled follow-up appointment (24 to 48 hours after surgery).
At the first visit after the surgery, the eye shield will be removed and the doctor will examine your eye and test your vision. You will receive eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation.
Do not drive until your vision has improved enough to safely do so. Other things to avoid include:
The health care provider will give you specific instructions.

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