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LASIK is the most commonly performed Laser Vision Correction procedure to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses; it can correct short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism (blurred vision due to the shape of the cornea not being regular). A femtosecond laser is used to create a thin layer on the corneal surface, called the flap, which is lifted by the surgeon. An excimer laser is then used to sculpt the cornea, correcting the underlying refractive error. Finally, the flap is re-positioned and smoothed in place with no need for stitches.
The entire procedure is painless, although a feeling of pressure on the eyes may be noticed at times; it typically lasts 5-10 minutes for each eye and around 30 minutes for the whole procedure.
Anaesthetic eye drops are used before the procedure to numb the eyes. After laying down, you will have a ‘lid speculum’ fitted to keep your eye open and to stop you blinking. A vacuum ring is placed on your eye whilst the laser is creating the flap. You will notice during this time your vision is dim and darker. The surgeon will then lift the flap and the exposed cornea will be treated (lasered). The flap is then repositioned and the same procedure repeated on your other eye.
After the procedure you will be taken to your room to rest and the surgeon will check your eyes before your can go home. In the initial recovery period there may be a gritty sensation and sensitivity to light may be experienced, this typically lasts 24-48 hours. Care will be needed however for a longer period, e.g. no water in your eyes for 1 week, no swimming or heavy exercise or contact sports for a month.
Before discharge from the laser clinic, drops are given to help keep your eyes moist as well as prevent infection and inflammation. You will continue to administer these at home for the next few weeks. You should arrange for someone to drive you home where you should rest for the remainder of the day.
You will return to the clinic within the first 24-48 hours following this procedure to check on your progress. Your Laser Vision Eye Centre surgeons, David or Aris, will conduct this check up. You will also have check ups at 1-2 weeks and 3 months.
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