Gone are the days when having sight problems meant that you would be doomed to wear glasses or contact lenses for the rest of your like.
Since the late 1980s, specialist procedures using lasers have corrected thousands of people’s vision. Laser surgery involves the sculpting of the cornea using high-powered lasers. It is much less invasive than traditional surgery, and is therefore much more suitable for treating non-threatening vision problems, such as short-sightedness. Traditional surgery is too invasive to be worthwhile when dealing with regular eye issues.
Before you rush to your nearest optical surgery clinic, it is important to get a good idea of what the whole process will be like.
After you enquire about a surgery, the first step towards getting treatment usually involves arranging a consultation with a doctor. The doctor will go through the pros and cons of surgical intervention, speak frankly about costs and guide you through the steps you’ll need to take for recovery. They will also let you know about the kinds of laser surgery that can be performed. You’ll usually have to choose between two options: LASIK and SMILE.
Laser-Assisted In situ Keratomileusis (or LASIK for short) is the most popular form of laser eye surgery. LASIK surgery permanently reshapes your cornea in order to improve the way in which light is refracted into your eye. Many problems with vision are caused by poor refraction because of a misshapen or damaged cornea. Most people feel the benefits of LASIK surgery for the rest of their lives, with their vision deteriorating in age only as much as it would do in a person with no eye problems whatsoever. These days, LASIK is the main type of surgery offered by companies like VSON.
Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) surgery is a fairly recent innovation, having been patented in 2011. SMILE surgery is often recommended for patients with high degrees of shortsightedness, and involves burrowing a small pathway through the cornea.
The operation itself is usually very quick. A good surgeon will be able to complete the surgery within 30 minutes. A numbing solution is dripped into your eye to begin with. Your eyeball will then be flattened using a clear plastic plate. This can be quite disconcerting, but you should not experience much pain. The surgeon will then use a laser to begin cutting your cornea. You’ll be able to see, but may experience blurred vision.
Recovery usually takes about 3 to 6 months. During this time, it is important to see your doctor regularly and avoid rubbing or scratching your eye. You may need to take time off work and take a break from driving as your eye heals. Don’t swim or use chlorinated hot tubs during the first few months of your recovery. The eye is miraculously good at healing itself. You’ll likely be able to take part in non-contact sports within the first week after your surgery.