Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) for Farsightedness
Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is the preferred
procedure for correcting
farsightedness (hyperopia). It changes the shape of the eye. In LASIK, a thin flap is
made on the cornea using a blade or laser. The flap is lifted, and a laser is
applied to the central corneal tissue. The laser makes contact with the
cornea in a circular pattern around the central
optical zone. This changes the profile of the cornea, making it steeper. The
laser removes tissue from the cornea very precisely without damaging nearby
tissues. The flap is then replaced, allowing for rapid healing.
LASIK is performed in a surgeon's office or same-day surgery
center. It does not require a hospital stay.
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This procedure may not be available in all areas, but it is done in
most large cities.
What To Expect After Surgery
Most people have little or no pain after LASIK surgery. And most people who have LASIK see quite well the next day.
Your doctor will want you to come in for an exam the day after the
surgery and for regular follow-up exams for about 6 months.
After LASIK surgery to correct farsightedness:
You will feel irritation and scratchiness in
the eye the day of surgery. And a lot of tears may come out of your eye.
You may need to wear an eye shield for a few days after
Your vision may be hazy or blurry for a few days or a week
after surgery. Do not drive until your vision has cleared.
doctor may prescribe eyedrops to reduce inflammation and the risk of infection.
You may need to use them for several months after surgery.
should avoid vigorous sports, eye makeup, and any activities during which water
may get in your eye. The surgeon may advise you to shower before the
surgery, then avoid showering for a day or two after to avoid getting water
in your eye.
Dry-eye symptoms are common but usually
Why It Is Done
LASIK surgery may be used to correct mild to moderate
farsightedness. Treating severe farsightedness is not as effective as treating
mild or moderate farsightedness.
LASIK is an elective, cosmetic procedure, done to correct
farsightedness in otherwise healthy eyes.
controlled diabetes or complications of diabetes that affect
Have significant risk of injuring their cornea from a job
How Well It Works
LASIK is a relatively new surgery. (It was approved by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration in 2000.) Little is known about the long-term
outcomes. Doctors continue to improve the technique and to study the long-term
Over the short term, LASIK has been shown to be effective and
consistent in reducing mild to moderate farsightedness.
LASIK is better at treating lower levels of farsightedness than
The risk of complications from LASIK surgery is low, and it
decreases even further with a more experienced surgeon. Look for a corneal
specialist or surgeon who does this surgery frequently.
Complications and side effects from LASIK may include:
Night vision problems, such as halos (often
described as a shimmering circular zone around light sources such as headlights
astigmatism caused by wrinkling in the corneal flap or
other flap complications.
worse dry-eye symptoms.
Clouded vision (clouding of the cornea as a result of healing).
This is sometimes also referred to as corneal haze. This is less common with
LASIK than it is with the PRK procedure and tends to go away quickly.
Serious vision-threatening complications are rare but may
Infection of the cornea
Elevated pressure inside the eye (intraocular
pressure) leading to
Because LASIK is a relatively new procedure, long-term risks are
not yet known.
What To Think About
If you are thinking about having surgery to improve farsightedness, discuss
the different options (LASIK, PRK, LASEK, intraocular lens implants, CK, and LTK)
with your doctor. LASIK is the refractive surgery of choice
for most people.
Be sure to keep a record of your original eye
measurements from this procedure (your doctor can give them to you), in case
you need cataract surgery in the future. This record can help your doctor calculate the
power of future post-cataract implants.
LASIK is a cosmetic procedure. The cost of refractive surgery
insurance companies do not cover the cost of refractive surgery.
American Academy of Ophthalmology (2007). Refractive Errors and Refractive Surgery (Preferred Practice Pattern). San Francisco: American Academy of Ophthalmology. Also available online: http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/PPP.aspx.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
October 16, 2012
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
October 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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