LASIK eye surgery is a type of vision correction many adults consider if they already use glasses and contact lenses for distance vision. What is LASIK eye surgery? LASIK eye surgery is a third option, in addition to glasses and contact lenses, that’s used to treat common vision problems (e.g., nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism). It’s been approved since the mid-1990s. In 2001, it became the world’s most common elective procedure.
The procedure relies on the expertise of a surgeon who’s trained in the ophthalmic surgery. A LASIK surgeon uses what’s called an “excimer” laser to reshape the cornea. Most people who get laser eye surgery therefore reduce their need for further vision correction, such as through glasses or contact lenses.
It’s common for people to have LASIK eye surgery in both eyes on the same day and return to work one or two days later. Vision improves immediately, though it may continue improving for one year. Since 2003, customized technology, called “WaveFront” technology, has been available for laser vision correction. Developed by NASA, WaveFront customization yields safer, better results for many patients.
Who is LASIK eye surgery for? About 80 percent of the adult population is a candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Many of them share key traits:
Aged 18 or older (so that their prescriptions are more likely to have stabilized)
Have a common vision problem (e.g., astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness)
Lead active lifestyles
Cannot or prefer not to wear glasses and/or contact lenses
Are in general good health
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