How LASIK Works
LASIK is a procedure in which the cornea – the transparent front part of the eye that lets in light – is sculpted to improve vision.
The eye works like a camera : the cornea acts as a lens, allowing light (and images) into the eyeball and onto the retina – which acts like a film – at the back of the eyeball. The shape of our corneas determines how ‘focused’ this image is. An out-of shape cornea transmits an unfocused image on the retina and the brain perceives this image to be fuzzy.
LASIK helps to perfect the shape of the cornea so that images can be sharply focused. The procedure can be used to correct near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. LASIK involves two steps, the surface of the cornea is first cut to create a flap to access the middle section of the cornea. Then an excimer laser is used to shape the cornea to achieve perfect vision. Previously, only microkeratomes involving the use of a mechanical high-speed oscillating blade were available to make the flap. Now, ‘bladeless LASIK’, in which the flap is made with another type of laser (the femtosecond laser), is available.
The surgery takes about 15 minutes and does not require any general anaesthesia, just topical anaesthetic eyedrops. Patients usually see an improvement in vision immediately after the procedure and usually have close to- normal vision by the next day. Normal activities can be resumed in just one or two days.