LASIK is a procedure that drastically improves your vision, giving you independence from glasses and contacts. One of the biggest concerns people have about it, though, is whether or not it will last. It would be a colossal shame to invest time and money into a procedure that only lasts a few years, right?

LASIK is designed to be permanent. That’s because it permanently alters the shape of the cornea. 

It is also only performed on eyes that have finished developing, so the corrections that are made stay correct. However, there are some essential things to keep in mind about LASIK. Keep reading to learn more about LASIK and why it’s a permanent procedure!

LASIK Only Treats Refractive Errors

LASIK is not a catch-all solution to vision problems. Eyes can suffer from many different diseases, injuries, and conditions. 

Refractive errors are just a small part of eye care, although many people have them. A refractive error refers to an eye that is not refracting light properly. 

Typically, light is supposed to enter the eye through the cornea and lens. Those two pieces focus the light right onto the retina. The retina takes the light’s information and passes it to the brain. 

A refractive error interrupts that process, typically at the cornea. If the cornea is too steep and narrow, the light comes into focus in front of the retina. 

The result is nearsightedness or myopia. Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is the result of the opposite. 

When the cornea is too flat and wide, it causes the light to come into focus behind the retina. Myopia makes it difficult to see far away, and hyperopia makes it difficult to see up close.      

Astigmatism is a separate refractive error that is caused by a misshapen cornea. The cornea might be shaped like a football, causing light to focus on multiple points instead of one. 

Astigmatism makes vision blurry at all distances since the eyes can’t focus light at all. Many people have a combination of astigmatism and myopia or hyperopia. 

How Does LASIK Work?

Safely changing the shape of someone’s cornea sounds like dangerous work. Yet, hundreds of thousands of LASIK procedures are performed every year with astounding rates of success. 

There is a reason LASIK is so popular. It is effective. Your LASIK surgeon begins by numbing your eye. 

Then, they’ll use a laser to carefully create an opening in the cornea. It does not go through the entire cornea, though. 

The cornea has a few separate layers. This laser goes through the very thin top layer. The tissue is left connected to the rest of the cornea by a small amount in the form of a flap.

Leaving a flap allows your LASIK surgeon to access the middle layer of the cornea, much thicker than the rest of the cornea. Using an entirely different laser, your surgeon can remove precise amounts of tissue from specific locations on the cornea. 

How much tissue to remove and where to remove it is determined during your LASIK consultation. Then, a computer maps out the topography of your cornea to follow during LASIK.

After making the necessary corrections, your surgeon will put the flap back down. Removing the appropriate amount of tissue helps correct your vision and enhances it beyond what it was when you depended on visual aids. The flap reattaches to the cornea, resulting in a faster recovery time.  

What is LASIK Incapable of Doing? 

LASIK is the industry standard for correcting refractive errors permanently. LASIK cannot treat other vision problems like age-related eye conditions. These include cataracts or presbyopia. If you have LASIK, it won’t prevent you from developing these later in life. 

Both cataracts and presbyopia are conditions that develop due to aging and affect your vision. They also affect the lens of the eye, not the cornea. 

Since LASIK only affects the cornea, these issues can still affect your eyesight even after LASIK. Another example is glaucoma. 

Glaucoma is a progressive eye condition that destroys vision by damaging the optic nerve inside the eye. LASIK cannot prevent you from developing glaucoma, but the results of LASIK are still there.   

How Do I Know If LASIK Is Right For Me?

If you’re thinking about a laser vision correction procedure, most people assume you want LASIK. After all, it is the most popular elective medical procedure! 

However, it is far from the only option available. It might not even be the best option for you. Part of what makes LASIK so successful is that you can only have it if you’re a good candidate for it. 

One common issue with candidacy is corneal thickness. If the cornea is too thin, LASIK will become dangerous. 

Another issue is that LASIK has treatment limitations. As popular as it may be, not everyone will be a good candidate. If your prescription is too strong and beyond what LASIK can treat, you’ll need to consider another procedure. If this is the case, your LASIK surgeon may recommend an alternative like PRK. You can discuss alternative vision correction procedures during your LASIK consultation.

Whichever procedure is suitable for you, a laser vision correction procedure is meant to last a lifetime. Find out if you’re a good LASIK candidate by scheduling your LASIK consultation at Batra Vision in San Leandro, CA, today! Isn’t it time to see the world in crisp, clear clarity?