Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK is a type of refractive surgery used to correct problems associated with poor eye site. This surgery is usually used for correcting problems such a myopia(nearsightedness), hyperopia(farsightedness), or astigmatism. LASIK is usually preferred to PRK, or photorefractive keratextomy, another common laser eye surgery because of the significantly shorter patient recovery period. LASIK is also known to provide significantly less pain in the overall surgery. LASIK is usually chosen by people suffering from seeing problems as a good alternative to eye-glasses or contact lenses. This is because LASIK is permanent.

There are a few factors effecting whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery. In order to receive LASIK you must have a relatively common seeing problem. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. You cannot have a severe case of any of these. A person stuck with "coke-bottle glasses" is likely not a good candidate for LASIK for this reason. You also must be in good health and not have any diseases such as diabetes or a healing disorder. You must be twenty years or older and your eyes must have stopped growing and your current prescription must be stable.

To begin the operation the eyes are given a form of anesthesia delivered through eye drops and then the eye is held in place with a kind of 'retainer' that doesn't allow the patient to blink. A small flap is then cut over the cornea and the thin piece of skin is folded back. A computer is used to position the laser just right over the eye. The computer then begins to pulse its laser shooting beams into the cornea of the patient. The way the laser is set is based on the prescription of the person receiving the surgery. The laser reshapes the cornea. Most problems with eye sight are caused by a misshapen cornea or lens.

Both eyes can be done in the same treatment but some people choose to wait a period of time before the second eye is done. The average length of time for this operation is roughly fifteen minutes for both eyes. The patient generally feels very little, if any, pain during the operation. Most people achieve 20/20 or better vision from this surgery those some may also only increase to 20/40. This is by no means bad vision and is in fact a huge improvement for most people who need the operation.

If you are interested in more information about LASIK eye surgery please see your optometrist.