What is Lasik?

LASIK is a type of eye surgery that is performed to correct the common problems in a person's visual system. It is performed by using a laser to adjust the shape of the cornea. The cornea is the clear covering on the front part of the eye that helps to bend and focus light rays as they enter the eye. An abnormal shape of the cornea can cause a distortion in the path for light rays to reach the visual center of eye.

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. The doctor permanently alters the shape of the cornea After using an instrument called a microkeratome, the doctor lifts a flap of cornea and uses very controlled pulses of laser to reshape the surface before replacing the flap.

Another form of LASIK available now is CUSTOMVUE. CUSTOMVUE is a new measuring process that uses wavefront software to do a customized scan of your eye to find abnormalities in the visual system. It can offer enhanced results over standard LASIK

In the myopic (or nearsighted) eye light rays are focused in front of the retina causing blurry vision at a distance. In the hyperopic (or farsighted) eye light rays are focused behind the retina causing near objects to be blurry. With an astigmatism (or a cornea that is less like the shape of a sphere and more like a football) objects both near and far seem blurry.

Patients that are over 40 years old face an age related problem called presbyopia where the eye's lens has more trouble focusing on nearby items. LASIK cannot correct for near vision in patients after 40 so you may need reading glasses after having LASIK. If you are nearsighted before LASIK the doctor can correct one eye for distance and leave the other eye uncorrected or less corrected for near vision tasks.

Who is a candidate?

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK is to schedule a screening with the doctor. The doctor will evaluate your overall health, vision problems, and medical history. The doctor will also evaluate your prescription for glasses and whether it fits within the general guidelines for LASIK surgery. Further testing will be done to study the thickness of the cornea, the shape and height of the cornea, and pupil size. The doctor will dilate and do a full exam of your eyes and recheck your prescription after dilation.

Some considerations before LASIK

You may not be a good candidate for LASIK if:
1. You have an eye disease or severe vision problem.
2. Have a cornea that is too thin for the procedure.
3. Take certain medications.
4. Have a disease that slows healing or increases the possibility of an infection.
5. You have had frequent glasses prescription changes recently.
6. You are uncomfortable with the idea that there may still be a need for glasses after LASIK.

Dr. George and LASIK

Dr. George has been a practicing ophthalmologist for twenty seven plus years and has been performing laser refractive surgery since 1996. He began doing LASIK in 1998. He has also been doing CUSTOMVUE since it became available the summer of 2004. He recently stopped performing LASIK but still does comanagement of LASIK patients with Empire Eye.

To make an appointment for a free LASIK screening call (208) 263-8501 or 1-800-881-8501.

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