What is LASEK ?
LASEK, or more appropriately, in our case, Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA), is a type of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness), and astigmatism. This surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist who uses laser to reshape the eye's cornea in order to improve vision. For most people, it provides a long-lasting alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Lasek (Laser Assisted Insitu Keratomileusis) is one of the many procedures done for correction of refractive errors. Over the years, several new procedures have evolved and techniques introduced. For the layman, the term LASIK has today become synonymous with any laser-assisted correction of refractive errors. These procedures have been intensively researched for their effects on the cornea. As of now, most of the surgeons world over feel that the procedure of advanced surface ablation (ASA) of the cornea to correct refractive errors is the safest with the least adverse effect on the strength of the cornea.
The laser pulses correct curvature with an accuracy of one-millionth of an inch. Best uncorrected vision may improve more slowly with advanced surface ablation and there may be more discomfort and pain for the first 48-72 hours which can be managed with medications. Surveys find rates of patient satisfaction to be as good as 98 percent. It is important to realize that haze or clouding of the cornea may occur with any kind of laser treatment and the risk of haze increases for higher degrees of correction.
No injections, no prolonged medications or care, no hospital admissions. Treatment gets over in 15 mts, normal activities can be resumed within few days. Both eyes can be treated in one sitting.
A successful laser procedure is determined largely by whether you meet certain patient criteria and if laser eye surgery is right for you.
If you have any condition that can affect how your eyes respond to surgery or heal afterwards, you must wait until that condition is resolved.
Most refractive procedures improve visual acuity by reshaping the front surface of the cornea. Hence the corneal parameters are assessed before considering surgery.
If your prescription is very high — whether due to nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism—the results are less predictable and you may not be a suitable candidate.
Patients younger than 21 years of age are usually not taken for these procedures but few can be treated as an exception at the discretion of the surgeon with permission from the patient's parent(s) or guardian.
Generally there is no upper age limit to laser eye surgery. However, it is important to note that once you reach 40, you may still need reading glasses to correct near vision due to a normal, age-related condition called presbyopia. Of course, your surgeon may also consider you a candidate for surgical correction of presbyopia such as monovision LASIK, which can improve your near vision without reading glasses or bifocals.
Teenagers and many young adults often experience changes in eyeglass prescription from year to year. It's important for refractive errors to be stable for at least 12-18 months before undergoing refractive surgery.
While the vast majority of refractive surgery results are excellent, you may have minimal residual blur of fine print which will not affect binocular quality of vision. The aim of the treatment is to remove dependence on glasses and contact lenses. In many cases they are eliminated. In some cases, certain side effects may occur which your surgeon will tell you.
It's important to tell your surgeon all pertinent information relating to your health and history to ensure you achieve the best possible results.
If you have a severe refractive error, or not suitable for lasik another type of vision correction surgery may be a better option, such as phakic IOL implantable lenses or refractive lens exchange.