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FAQs on LASIK Vision Correction
Dr Rajesh Fogla
1. What are the conditions that require vision correction?
There are three conditions that require vision correction:
  • Myopia or short sightedness where minus powered glasses or contact lenses are used to correct vision.
  • Hyperopia or long sightedness where plus powered glasses or contact lenses are used, and
  • Astigmatism or cylindrical power where special lenses of different curvature are required.
2. Is it possible to achieve vision correction by doing away with the need to wear glasses or contact lenses?
Yes there is. LASIK (Laser Assisted In-situ Keratomileusis) is currently the most commonly performed refractive procedure worldwide, including India. LASIK is a variant of photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).

With LASIK, vision correction for myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism can be achieved, and the patient need not resort to wearing glasses or contact lenses after the procedure.

3. How is LASIK performed?
Using advanced technology, a thin flap of cornea is first created. This is then folded back, and laser treatment performed under this flap, with exquisite precision.

4. What are the advantages of LASIK?
  • Patient feels less pain, hence recovers faster.
  • The effects of LASIK are permanent.
  • Performed as an outpatient procedure using topical anaesthetic drops, with entire procedure lasting 10-15 minutes only, and actual laser treatment lasts for only 5-30 seconds.
  • You will not need your spectacles or contact lenses after correction using LASIK
5. Any possible side-effects?
Some patients with high refractive errors of over minus 10 may still need low-powered corrective lenses. The residual refractive error may be corrected in some through a second refractive procedure

6. Who would be eligible for LASIK?
There are times when pre-operative evaluation of the patient reveals that the corneal thickness of the eye is not sufficient enough to create a corneal flap, which is necessary for LASIK.

In such cases, we recommend ASA (Advanced Surface Ablation).
So, eligibility depends upon the curvature and thickness of the cornea, and other factors that the ophthalmologist will evaluate during the pre-operative check. Normally, almost anyone with refractive errors is eligible, except those under 18 years of age as such persons’ eyes are likely to still undergo internal changes.

7. Will my vision improve immediately?
There is a considerable improvement in unaided vision following the treatment. Following LASIK this improvement is noted right after the procedure, the very next day. Following ASA, the vision improves 2-3 days later once the surface healing in complete. A slight fluctuation of vision may occur over the next few months as the healing process continues and the tear film stabilizes.

8. When can I resume normal activities?
You can return to work after 3 days if ASA has been performed. Following LASIK you can return to work the following day. While most activities can be resumed, it is better to avoid swimming, contact sports etc. for at least a month’s duration.

Celebrities who underwent LASIK
  • Tiger Woods in 1999, following which he won four golf championships
  • Cindy Crawford
  • Brad Pitt
  • Kenny G
  • Nicole Kidman
Dr Rajesh Fogla is Senior Consultant, Corneal Surgeon at Apollo Health City, Hyderabad.

    
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