Nearsightedness or farsightedness are refractive errors that can affect the way you see, impacting everything from your ability to drive, to your enjoyment of simple pleasures like reading. While glasses and contacts are simple, effective ways to correct vision problems caused by these refractive errors, LASIK offers a more long-term solution.
LASIK is a common surgical procedure that corrects nearsightedness and farsightedness. It uses precise technology to reshape the front of your eye to fix your vision. However, not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. You’ll need a laser surgery consultation first so your eye doctor can determine if LASIK is right for you.
What Is Nearsightedness?
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is an error in your eye that makes distant objects appear blurry. It’s common, affecting nearly 30% of the US population. It typically develops in early childhood and stabilizes in early adulthood.
Myopia occurs when the eye becomes longer than it is wide, or if the cornea curves too steeply, causing light to bend wrong and land in front of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Instead of a clear image, distant objects appear blurry while nearby objects stay relatively clear.
It can also lead to:
- Eye strain
What Is Farsightedness?
Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is also a refractive error caused by an issue with the shape of the eye. It occurs when the eye grows too wide, causing light to focus behind the retina instead of directly on it. This makes nearby objects look blurry while distant objects stay clear—effectively the opposite of nearsightedness.
Hyperopia can also cause:
- Difficulty focusing on nearby tasks like reading
- Eye strain
Many people with farsightedness are born with it, and it may not cause vision problems until later in life. Some children who don’t need glasses to correct it may even outgrow it. However, they still need to see their eye doctor. If their farsightedness worsens and isn’t addressed, it can lead to amblyopia (lazy eye) and vision loss.
What Is LASIK?
LASIK is a corrective surgery aimed at correcting refractive errors. It works by reshaping the cornea so light entering the eye is focused correctly on the retina, providing clearer vision and reducing the need for glasses or contacts.
This procedure involves a few steps:
- Your eye surgeon creates a thin flap in the cornea.
- The flap is lifted to provide access to the underlying cornea.
- Using a laser, the surgeon removes microscopic amounts of tissue to reshape the cornea.
- The flap is then put back in place and is left alone to heal on its own.
- The cornea heals without the need for stitches.
Your eyes may feel scratchy or burning immediately after your procedure, and you may experience blurry vision and light sensitivity for a few days. You may be given eye drops to help reduce dryness and healing. You’ll also be required to visit your eye doctor for follow-up appointments so they can monitor your healing progress.
Within a few days, you should see a noticeable improvement in your vision. After a few weeks, things will stabilize and your symptoms will recede.
Can Anyone Get LASIK?
LASIK is a common, safe, and effective procedure, but not everyone qualifies. Several factors may disqualify you from LASIK, including:
- Severe dry eyes
- Thin corneas that cannot support the procedure
- Unstable vision prescription
- Certain medical conditions, such as autoimmune diseases or diabetes
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- History of eye infections or injuries
- Keratoconus, a condition that causes the cornea to become thin and bulge
Your eye doctor can give you more information and determine your candidacy during a laser eye surgery consultation.
Should I Try LASIK?
At the end of the day, if you qualify for LASIK, the decision is entirely up to you. Think about your lifestyle, how your vision affects it, and how comfortable you are with the idea of eye surgery.
If you’re ready to pursue LASIK, book a laser eye surgery consultation with Dr. Taylor Bladh, O.D. Our team will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. We’ll be here to help you along the way.