With the fashion industry at large, and the rapid growth of social media with its ceaseless circulation of pictures, and voices, it is no wonder that a society, well stocked with individuals highly mindful of their appearances has come forth. Like every sensation that happens, there is always a trail of aftereffects; in this case, the boom of budding fashionistas of all ages has largely impacted doctors all around especially those linked in some way to the aesthetic direction of the individual.
In my practice as an eye surgeon, I am bombarded with many questions on a daily basis, the most frequently one being, “Doctor, is there any way I can get rid of my glasses for good?”
In their short term solution to avoid glasses, a lot of people choose contact lenses. To wear lenses, however, on a daily basis and avoid the possible eye infections that can crop up if hygiene is not maintained, can be quite a dilemma for many individuals.
Pressure for the necessity for many to be without glasses also emerges from demands that accompany various jobs such as sports, media, modeling and so on. Also, the stigma that our culture has with regards to single women, eligible for marriage, wearing glasses cannot be ruled out as one of the leading causes in the mounting pressure to be ‘glasses free’.
This is why such a thing called LASIK surgery exists. It is a long-term solution to being glasses free.
However, as with everything that becomes popular, there are many misconceptions that come.Therefore, I have prepared a list of most frequently asked questions and will try to clarify and clear up any misconceptions about it.
What is refractive surgery?
Refractive surgery is a surgical procedure which helps to improve your vision so that you may be able to see without glasses or wear a decreased number than your current number.
What are the different types of refractive surgical procedures?
Refractive surgical procedures are either laser-based or lens based surgeries.
What surgery is good for me?
Decision for the type of surgery depends upon your glasses number, age and the structure of your eye. Your doctor tells you what is best for you after taking a detailed medical history, eye examination and relevant eye tests.
What is LASIK ?
LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, a kind of laser eye surgery designed to change the shape of the cornea to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses and contact lenses for people who wear glasses.
My glasses number is increasing Can I have LASIK?
No. LASIK is a procedure that is performed when the eye number has stabilized. The procedure cannot stop an eye number from increasing.
I have a fifteen year old daughter. Can I have Lasik for her as she does not want to wear glasses?
Lasik is safe after 18 years of age when the eye number stabilizes, before that our number is still changing so it is not advised before 18 years of age.
Is there a possibility of losing my vision during LASIK procedure?
As long as the patient is screened properly and an expert performs the procedure, vision is not lost.
How long does the procedure takes and for how long will I wear a bandage?
The procedure is very quick; about 5 to 10 minutes per eye. No bandage is required the patient walks out of the refractive suite without any bandage or glasses.
I have heard it is very painful?
Lasik is a pain free procedure both during and after procedure. There might be slight discomfort for a few hours after the procedure, but no pain.
I am getting married in a few months, I have been told I can’t use any eye makeup?
It is during the first month we recommend no eye makeup, after which one can do their eye makeup as they like.
Will my number come back?
Most often, it will not. If very high numbers are treated, 1 or 2 numbers might recur. This is called regression and it does not bother most patients. The procedure can be re-done if there is enough tissue space.
Will I have difficulty night driving?
Most often not if screening is done properly, this occurs if the patient has a glare. We are able to screen most patients and inform them if this is likely to be a problem.
What is Femto Lasik?
Femtolasik is one of the latest technology of LASIK in which two type of lasers are used.
I am forty and have been told because of my age Lasik is not possible. Is this true?
This is not true; Lasik can be done after the age of forty. It depends mainly on the result that is trying to be achieved.
Is LASIK safe?
Yes, if screening has been done properly. I always tell my patients I plan to do it on my daughter once her number is stable and if she fits the criteria.
Dr. Sharmeen Akram
Head of Opthalmology section
The Aga khan University
Cataract and Refractive Eye Surgeon