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How LASIK Works

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LASIK surgery allows a certified surgeon to improve vision by using the cool beam of the excimer laser to gently reshape the cornea (the outer, clear part of the eye) and focus light closer to the retina in the back of the eye. This can solve refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, and it may reduce or eliminate a patient's dependence on glasses and contacts. The entire outpatient procedure takes about 20 minutes for both eyes, and many people resume their normal activities the day after surgery.

What vision errors can affect you?
In a myopic eye (commonly referred to as "nearsighted"), light rays reflect off the cornea and lens, but focus in front of the retina. This causes images, particularly those at a distance, to be blurred.

In a hyperopic eye (commonly referred to as "farsighted"), light rays reflect off the cornea and lens, but focus behind the retina. This causes images, particularly those close up, to be blurred.
An eye that has astigmatism has a cornea that is not uniformly curved. Instead, it is oval or football shaped. As a result, light rays enter the eye, focus at multiple points, and cause the image to appear distorted. Most people have some degree of astigmatism, and it can be present with nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Improvements in modern medicine:
For centuries, lenses have been used to direct the light rays and improve vision. Glasses paved the way for contact lenses.

For decades physicians have sought more permanent vision correction methods to reduce or eliminate the dependence on corrective lenses. Early research led to the development of surgical procedures such as radial keratotomy (RK) and automated lamellar keratectomy (ALK). These techniques were limited to helping people with lower degrees of vision errors, but they became the foundation for more advanced, applicable and precise surgeries such as Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) and laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK).

FDA approved, LASIK uses an excimer laser that can easily sculpt a human hair. The technology involved in LASIK has changed the way people think about elective surgery, and people worldwide experience vision improvement with it every day.

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