The degree to which LASIK vision correction can improve a person’s vision depends on several different factors. Although no ophthalmologist can guarantee that a person will have perfect 20/20 vision following the LASIK surgical procedure, he or she will strive for vision that is as good as, if not better than what it was with corrective lenses.
Correcting a person’s vision to near-perfect or perfect means he or she will no longer be dependent on corrective lenses for driving, watching television, reading the computer screen or newspaper, or any other thing that requires good vision. Many things factor into a successful LASIK surgery; read on for some of the most prominent concerns that corrective eye surgeons will have.
The most common things that affect LASIK surgery results are heat and humidity. This is why one hears patients say the procedure room is freezing. Humidity can potentially decrease the amount of energy the thickest part of the cornea absorbs. As a result, follow-up LASIK procedures may be needed.
Outdoor humidity and temperature are other causative agents in the overall results of LASIK surgery. For instance, a 2005 study posted in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery showed that those who had LASIK surgery in the colder winter months had a higher overall success rate with the initial LASIK surgery, and saw less need for enhancement surgeries than those who had the initial procedure done in the warmer, more humid months of the year. Heat and humidity in the weeks before the surgery also had a small effect on the success rate of the initial surgical procedure.
It is possible to have vision changes during pregnancy, although most of these changes are only temporary. These vision changes are a result of the changing hormones in the expectant mother. For this reason, it is not recommended to schedule LASIK procedures during pregnancy, in the first few months following a pregnancy or while a person is breastfeeding. Many ophthalmologists will not perform the LASIK procedure on their patients during or immediately following pregnancy.
Every surgical procedure, regardless of whether it’s on the eye or another part of the body, is affected by the patient’s overall health before the process. This is especially true with LASIK. Many different diseases affect the eyes, including diabetes and hypertension. If these diseases are not well-controlled before and after LASIK surgery, the chances for having the greatest, lasting results from the procedure itself will not be likely. Many patients with diabetes will find they are not candidates for LASIK surgery because of the effects of this illness on the eyes.
Vision Before Surgery:
It only makes sense that people with better-uncorrected vision before surgery will have better-uncorrected results following the LASIK procedure. While those people with less vision correction before surgery are expected to have the best results following surgery, LASIK has been proven to enhance significantly the uncorrected vision of people who were considered legally blind before surgery.
This unique population of people may need only slight vision correction following a LASIK procedure, to get perfect corrected vision. In this case, LASIK can be of great benefit. It’s important to note that those people who are legally blind due to injury to the optic nerve itself will not see any vision improvement from any LASIK surgery. LASIK does not correct problems with the optic nerve, only with the cornea itself.
The period between the initial consultation and the actual LASIK procedure will also affect the overall long-term success of the initial LASIK procedure. For instance, patients who wear contact lenses daily are instructed to stop wearing contact lenses and only wear glasses for two weeks before the process. This is because contact lenses change the shape of the cornea. LASIK works by also changing the shape of the cornea. If the patient continues to wear his or her contact lenses before the surgical procedure, the cornea will not be in its original form. This will affect the surgery as well as the results following the process.
Every person and every eye is different. Despite the best efforts by surgeons to make every patient see correctly without corrective lenses, some patients will not achieve perfect vision or have lasting results. The FDA reports about one in every ten patients will need to have an additional procedure to at least one eye to achieve their best-uncorrected vision. Also, the level of uncorrected vision before surgery will determine whether or not a person can achieve perfect vision following the surgery, without the use of glasses or contacts.