When considering eye correction surgery, you will come across two terms that might seem confusing: LASIK and iLASIK. Facing surgery is a scary thought, but either one of these techniques will leave you with better vision. Understanding how these procedures differ will help clear up the confusion, so you approach your corrective surgery with less trepidation.
What is Eye Corrective Surgery?
Eye corrective surgery improves visual acuity, but what does that mean? Vision problems boil down to one thing, shape. The shape of the eyeball determines how light refracts inside the eye. Whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, the shape of the wall at the back of the eye is off-kilter, so light doesn’t refract well. The goal of corrective surgery is to change the shape so vision is near perfect. This is the remodeling process. To accomplish this feat, doctors must create a flap in the globe of the eye, or cornea.
Creating the Flap
Each technique uses different methods to fashion a flap that provides access for remodeling. The flap serves as a door to the inside of your eye. With the original technique, a suction cup immobilizes the globe so that a surgeon can make a tiny incision in the cornea.
iLASIK is a little different; it is a blade-free procedure. iLASIK uses a laser to create small bubbles under the surface of the cornea. When the bubbles join, the cornea lifts to form the flap. Once the flap opens, the surgeon does the remodeling.
Which is Better?
iLASIK uses a laser microkeratome, a surgical instrument designed specifically for eye correction surgery, to make the flap. The original LASIK surgery uses a blade to cut into the eye. iLASIK is less traumatic because there is no cut. The laser lifts the cornea.
Who is a Candidate?
An ideal candidate for either eye corrective surgery is at least 21. At that age, the shape of the eyes is stable. Before adulthood, the globes might still change, making the surgery obsolete.
You need to be in good physical health. The ophthalmologist will discuss your medical history with you when determining if surgery is an option. Tell him if you have any chronic diseases such as diabetes and if you take medication. You should wait to have the medicine if you are pregnant or nursing. Hormone changes can affect the shape of the eyes, as well.
Eye corrective surgery is not for everyone. You must have healthy eyes to benefit from it. If you opt for either procedure, you can expect a short recovery period and near-perfect eyesight once it is over.