LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted Intrastromal Keratoplasty, a procedure that uses a laser to alter the shape of the cornea, resulting in clearer vision. This procedure has evolved dramatically over time and is now one of the safest and most effective ways to correct vision. LASIK is available for adult patients who experience nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

LASIK was originally limited to treating only nearsightedness, but today it is also used to correct farsightedness, astigmatism and some residual refractive changes after cataract surgery. While the minimum age for laser vision correction is 18, upper age limits are not a factor as long as the patient meets the overall health requirements.

Are you a candidate for LASIK Surgery?

The first consideration is medical history including eye health and current eyeglass prescription, as well as other health factors. Basically, all patients must have healthy corneas, no active eye diseases, have a minimum of 20/40 vision with corrective lenses and have a consistent eyeglass prescription. A thorough medical history will rule out eye problems including amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (muscle imbalance), and any eye conditions that may affect healing. Other conditions that will be evaluated include scarring from previous eye injuries or surgeries, and whether the patient has a tendency toward back problems and claustrophobia.

People with chronic health conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune or collagen vascular disease are not the best candidates for LASIK surgery. Also, people who take medication or have any condition that compromises the immune response are not likely candidates. LASIK surgery candidates should be free of eye infections or injuries and not have certain eye conditions including herpes simplex and herpes zoster. They should also be free of eye diseases including keratoconus, glaucoma, cataracts, corneal disease, and certain retinal and optic nerve diseases.

As hormones may affect the stability of an eye prescription, pregnant or nursing women are asked to wait on LASIK surgery until at least three menstrual cycles after nursing has been discontinued.

Also, contact lenses must not be worn for some period of time prior to surgery, as determined by the doctor on an individual basis, in part to ensure corneal stability.

What to Expect

LASIK is well known for improving vision while eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses. Most patients have a very good chance of achieving 20/25 vision or better after surgery. While some patients may eventually decide to keep eye wear handy for driving at night or for reading, about 8 out of 10 people who’ve undergone LASIK surgery no longer need to use their glasses or contact lenses for most activities. Complications from LASIK surgery that result in a loss of vision are very rare. But certain side effects of LASIK eye surgery, particularly dry eyes, and temporary visual problems like glare, are common. These usually clear up over time, usually within a few weeks or months.

Getting ready for LASIK

Before LASIK eye surgery, a preliminary consultation will help to determine if the patient qualifies for surgery, and what can be expected, given current eye health and individual circumstances. To schedule an appointment call (707) 955-1120 or fill out our online Request an Appointment form.