LASIK Laser Eye Surgery Explained

Intralase LASIK Laser eye surgery is a procedure designed to correct short sightedness (myopia), long sightedness (hypermetropia) and astigmatism. A form of refractive surgery, the improvement is achieved by reshaping the eye’s cornea to improve visual acuity, providing a permanent alternative to glasses and contact lenses.

After 20 years of technical improvements, the procedure has now become a common form of vision correction – almost as common as glasses and contact lenses. An estimated two million laser eye treatments are carried out each year.

Laser eye surgery can be a daunting prospect, especially if you don’t know anything about the surgery itself. It’s only natural that you’ll want an explanation before making a decision, so here is an outline of the procedure:

The procedure

To begin, the surgeon will make a tiny incision in the cornea.  This creates a flap, the thickness of a human hair, which is carefully folded back to give access to the corneal tissue underneath. The flap is created with a laser, which allows for a quick and usually pain free recovery.

As for the laser treatment itself, the laser is positioned over the eye and you’ll be asked to stare at a pulsing red light. Lasers are applied to the eye in short bursts, or pulses.

A sophisticated computer program controls the amount of laser pulses, based on preliminary measurements taken by an eye doctor before the procedure. 

The laser reshapes the eye’s cornea and corrects the refractive errors that cause the problems with vision. Once this is complete, the surgeon will carefully place the flap into its original position, where it is smoothed and rehydrated. Since the flap remains attached throughout the operation, this is a simple process.

Will it be painful?

LASIK procedures are usually completely pain free. During the procedure, anaesthetic drops are applied to your eyes, so you won’t feel a thing. The recovery period should also be pain free.

You will also be provided with eye drops for the first few days, which help prevent discomfort from things like s dry eyes. It’s also recommended that you bring dark glasses for the journey home as your eyes will be more sensitive to light.

Any pain experienced after the procedure can be easily treated with simple over-the-counter pain killers.

How long is the healing process?

Recovery times differ from person to person. However, healing time will be quicker for  those opting for LASIK eye surgery than for those choosing LASEK.

It’s recommended that you avoid getting dust in your eyes during the healing process.

The results

You should experience noticeably clearer vision within 24 hours, with 98% of patients capable of driving unaided by glasses or contact lenses.

However, you may notice your night vision is affected for a few days after treatment.

We also recommend you don’t drive until you feel completely comfortable, with most  people able to drive after 12-48 hours.