Anyone who sees a television commercial, hears a radio advertisement, or drives by a billboard will know the term “LASIK.” But not too many years ago, this wasn’t the case. In fact, if you went back 25 years or so and asked someone to tell you what it was, he or she would probably have a confused look on his or her face. People had a few options before this procedure, such as contact lenses or eyeglasses.
But correcting your vision with surgery was not common. It was a new technique a bit different from the more advanced methods used today. As with many successful medical procedures, LASIK made its way from experimental to precise in just a few short decades. The road was long with several changes and adjustments made before medical professionals and patients could rely on complete safety and efficiency.
At this early stage, a few doctors were using radial keratotomy (RK) in the U.S. The procedure was truly surgical in that it involved corneal incisions used to correct and shape problem areas of the eye. Individuals who struggled with astigmatism or were nearsighted didn’t have to depend on eyeglasses as much after this method was used.
A few years later, surgeons eliminated the use of sutures for reattaching the cornea, thanks to a “hinged” method still in use today. Essentially, the cornea is left attached in one small area (a “flap”), which means shorter healing time and fewer complications. Technology also allowed doctors to begin using an automated procedure to make the operation even more precise. Laser technology was introduced at about the same time and was used to remove delicate tissue in refractive surgery. Patients and doctors alike found this method more effective and safer than RK.
Improvements and positive changes continued with photo-refractive keratectomy used from the late 1980s into the 1990s. If you arrange for LASIK in San Antonio in the 21st century, the medical professional may use a combination of laser technology and surgical incisions, depending on the specific condition being addressed. This method has become extremely popular and has proven to be safe and efficient for many, many individuals.
18 and Healthy
If you’re 18 years of age or older and have healthy corneas, you could be a candidate for LASIK. Some individuals with certain medical conditions may not be good candidates. Pregnant women may not be good candidates either. But you shouldn’t hesitate just because you think that you might not be accepted because the specialist will be able to determine your eligibility during a thorough screening. With the information provided by the medical professional, you can then make your decision.
For many candidates whose situations fit all the details, a precise procedure can deliver 20/20 vision in as many as 90% of the cases. For some older patients, it may be necessary to use reading glasses, which may be a small compromise considering the vast improvement in general vision. Your doctor can provide all the pertinent information during your consultation and after the procedure.