The Scoop on LASIK Eye Surgery

Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, better known as LASIK, is a popular vision correction surgery. For many who undergo the procedure, it means the end of nearsightedness and the need to wear glasses and contact lenses. Others, however, don’t achieve optimal results.

If you’re considering going under the laser, here are the basics:

Laser eye surgery  The Scoop on LASIK Eye Surgery  Photo

Laser eye surgery (

Who is eligible for LASIK:

  • Mostly those who are nearsighted, though it is sometimes performed on those with farsightedness or astigmatism
  • Usually people 18 and over, though some procedures are only done on people over 21, and some children with specific conditions are eligible
  • People with healthy eyes and stable prescriptions
  • People in good general health (no history of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, glaucoma, herpes infections of the eye, or cataracts)

Who is not eligible for LASIK:

  • Pregnant or breast-feeding women
  • People on certain prescription drugs, like Accutane, Cardarone, Imitrex, and oral prednisone

Pros of LASIK:

  • An outpatient procedure
  • Takes only 10-15 minutes per eye
  • No general anesthesia – just numbing eye drops and a medicine to help you relax (you’ll be awake for the procedure)
  • No stitches required
  • Protective eye patch or shield usually only necessary overnight following the procedure

Risks of LASIK:

  • Corneal scarring, infection, or permanent damage to the shape of the cornea, making it impossible to wear contact lenses in the future
  • Fuzzy vision, even if 20/20
  • Dry eyes
  • Glare or haloes
  • Light sensitivity or night driving problems
  • Usually temporary red or pink patches on the white of the eye
  • Scratchiness
  • Reduced vision or permanent vision loss
  • The need for a second procedure for the best results
  • The need to continue wearing glasses or contact lenses

Most people who undergo LASIK attain stable and lasting vision improvement, though most people will still need reading glasses around age 45.

If you’d like to be evaluated as a candidate for LASIK surgery, schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist near you for a consultation.