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3 Terms to Know Before You Get LASIK

by Youth Vision

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Many Americans suffer from vision problems, and as you age, the risk only increases. If you’ve struggled with your vision, or if you are sick of wearing glasses, you may want to consider getting LASIK treatment to fix your vision once and for all. Before you do, however, make sure to fully understand what you’re getting into by understanding these three common terms associated with LASIK.

1. Astigmatism

An astigmatism is just one condition LASIK can fix. If you have an astigmatism, this simply means that your cornea is slightly misshaped, which cause some blurred vision. The condition affects both your long and short-distance vision. Eyeglasses are commonly used to fix the problem. As long as you wear the glasses, they compensate for the astigmatism with one prescription.

If you are 40 or older, you may also suffer from presbyopia. This is a normal part of the eyes’ aging process, and it makes it difficult to read and see materials close to your eyes. If this is the case, you may need lenses with two prescriptions to correct the astigmatism and presbyopia. With two lenses, you typically use the lower portion for reading and the higher portion for distance, which may require a bit of practice to master.

Instead, however, consider LASIK, which can correct both, but because presbyopia is a natural part of aging, it will continue to progress, so you may need to wear reading glasses again at some point. The astigmatism, however, should not return.

2. Hyperopia

Hyperopia is also known as farsightedness because people with the condition can see far distances clearly, but they can’t see close up well. Words on a book or the computer screen may look blurry while distant road signs are clear as a crystal.

On the other hand, if you can see close up fine, but you can’t see distances, you have myopia. Glasses commonly help correct both issues. With myopia, you will likely need to wear your glasses all the time, but if you have mild hyperopia, it may be best to only wear them when you need them, such as while reading.

LASIK, however, can be a better solution to both hyperopia and myopia, so you don’t even have to worry about glasses for distance or reading. The best candidates are older, so your eye has stopped developing. If you try to fix your eyes while they still develop, the cornea may become misshapen again, requiring another procedure in the future.

3. Epithelial Layer

The epithelial layer is one of five layers of the cornea. In fact, it is the top layer. Along with the stromal layer, these are cut into with a femtosecond laser. The laser cuts most of the tissue, creating a flap to expose the underlying layers.

Only after these layers have been exposed can the LASIK process begin. The laser reshapes the cornea, which allows the cornea to reflect and focus light properly, reducing and/or eliminating the vision impairment.

Once the cornea is reshaped, the flap is repositioned and healing begins. Luckily, the healing process is fast, and you should begin to see results after the first day. For the day following the surgery, however, your vision may still be blurry. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions, and use the proper eye drops to avoid complications and promote healing.

Whether you can’t clearly see distance or objects right in front of your face, LASIK may be able to help. By reshaping your cornea, the light reflects properly, reducing blurriness without glasses. If you would like to know more about LASIK, contact us at Youth Dental & Vision today.