The Lowdown on LASIK

How does LASIK work?

LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is an eye surgery designed to improve vision. Refractive errors that LASIK can improve include nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

Although LASIK only takes a few minutes to complete, the results of the procedure should last a lifetime. Most people enjoy clear vision as early as the next day.

But what happens during LASIK? How can a laser change your vision in just a few short minutes? 

Person wearing hiking gear with caption that reads: See better. Live better.

The surgery

At the beginning of the procedure, your doctor will apply anesthetic drops to your eyes to make sure you don’t feel any discomfort during the surgery.

Once your eyes are anesthetized, your doctor will use a laser to create a small “flap” on your cornea. They will then lift that flap and use a second laser to reshape the exposed tissue underneath. Your doctor will perform this part of the procedure based on your unique biology, altering your cornea to best eliminate any refractive errors you might be experiencing.

Afterwards, your doctor will place the flap back down over your eye.

The surgery itself typically requires approximately fifteen minutes per eye. The laser portion of the procedure takes less than one minute.

The recovery

The recovery period associated with LASIK is typically straightforward. Patients who receive LASIK can resume their everyday lives as early as the morning after the procedure, but should avoid strenuous activities for several more weeks. You will also need to use prescription eye drops and schedule routine appointments with your eye doctor.

Is LASIK right for me?

LASIK is the most successful and most widely studied elective procedure in the world. Still, some people may have difficulties with the procedure, either due to their medical history, their age or their overall eye health.

If you’re interested in LASIK but aren’t sure if you’re a candidate, we’re ready to help. Schedule an appointment with Intermountain Eye Centers today and we’ll provide you with an obligation-free comprehensive eye exam.