LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. In LASIK surgery, doctors create a thin flap of superficial corneal tissue then apply a laser to remove deeper layers of the cornea to change its shape and produce clearer vision. The goal of LASIK surgery is to correct certain types of blurry vision. This includes farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. Are There Other Treatment Options? LASIK surgery is not an option for everyone. Other types of refractive surgery (PRK, radialkeratotomy) may be a suitable alternative. In some cases, doctors recommend less invasive treatments to correct blurry vision. Less invasive treatments include glasses and contacts. Ask your doctor about all of your treatment options and consider getting a second opinion before deciding on LASIK surgery. When to Consider LASIK Surgery You may want to consider LASIK surgery if your dependence on glasses or contacts is diminishing your quality of life. Your doctor may decide that you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery if: You are 18 or older. Your eyes are otherwise healthy. Your cornea is thick enough to tolerate the surgery. Your vision defect falls within the laser’s correction range. Your vision prescription has not changed significantly for at least two years. Sometimes it is a matter of waiting until you are old enough or your vision is stable enough to have LASIK surgery. Who Is NOT a Good Candidate for LASIK Surgery? You may not be a good candidate if: You have eye diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or corneal problems. You suffer from chronic dry eyes. You have a chronic disease or condition, such as diabetes or poor wound healing. You have had ocular herpes in the last year. You suffer from presbyopia. LASIK surgery can’t correct age-related vision changes. You have a severe illness or infection. What to Expect LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure. An ophthalmologist performs LASIK surgery. Your doctor will numb your eye first with anesthetic eye drops. You may also have a light sedative to help you relax.You will not be able to drive yourself home after LASIK surgery. You may have to wear protective eye shields or sunglasses to protect your eyes right after LASIK surgery. Your eyes may feel watery, itchy, or mildly painful after LASIK surgery. These symptoms often subside within 2 to 3 days. Your doctor can recommend a mild pain reliever. You will also have eye drops to prevent infection, reduce inflammation, and improve dryness. Apply these eye drops exactly as prescribed. Eye recovery can take up to two weeks. However, it can take up to six months for your vision to stabilize. The delicate superficial LASIK flap can be easily injured. You should avoid contact sports, swimming, and using hot tubs or whirlpools for 1 to 2 months. Thereafter, you need to wear protective eyewear when engaged in contact sports, high-energy recreational activities (parachuting, water skiing, etc.), as well as yard work and gardening.