Want to throw away your Coke-bottle glasses? In today’s world there is an option – Lasik eye surgery. It is getting increasingly popular with young people who want a new look at the world.
For those suffering from myopia (near sightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), this surgery can help; Lasik (the pronunciation-friendly shortened from of Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is a walk-in procedure that can be done in 15 minutes. What’s more it’s becoming quite a hit with the under-40 set.
We do get older patients but the bread-and-butter group, till now, is youngsters. Lasik offers possibly the easiest way to shed your specs or contact lenses as through this type of surgery one can be completely cured of myopia or hyperopia (also know as hypermetropia). And at around Rs. 10,000 per eye it’s quite cheap, too, considering that one doesn’t have to pay for spectacles or contact lenses for the rest of one’s life.
The US FDA-approves procedure is quite simple. Once a patient walks into a clinic, computerized tests are done. Based on the results, the patients are operated upon using sophisticated machinery which is mostly imported.
First a light sedative is used to calm the patient. Then the surgeon slices a cross-section of the cornea. A corneal suction ring is used to hold the eye firmly in place.
The surgeon then makes a horizontal cut on the cornea. About a quarter of that slice remains attached to the cornea – acting like a hinge – and the rest is lifted like a flap to help reshape the cornea using an ultraviolet chemical laser.
Dr Samar Sengupta, a Calcutta-based surgeon who conducts Lasik surgeries, says patients have a check-up a day after the operation. “Problems, which are rare, usually crop up within that time and we can immediately rectify them,” he says.
Side-effects can include bursting of blood vessels in the white area of the eye. But heals within a couple of weeks and is only a minor irritant. Also, immediately after the operation, patients might suffer from a loss of vision, but sight returns within a few minutes.
Tanushree Thakur, 28 is a housewife who signed up for optical vision correction treatment about a year back. “One of husband’s friends had the procedure done and after that I thought I’d go for it too,” she says. Tanushree, who suffered from myopia, says she’s delighted to throw away her glasses.
The surgery has a high success rate but the extent of vision correction can be less in the cases of people suffering from extreme vision disorders. Even then it’s big relief for people who could barely see without their specs.
So who are signing up for this treatment? The procedure is quite popular among the youth who want to get rid of glasses, because they see the no-spec look as a fashion statement. Also, a big chunk of our clientele are those who want to build a career in the defense forces, airlines or the railways where having good eyesight is a must.
There’s also the third group – those who want to get married. A lot of young women come to because they believe that shedding glasses increase their chances of finding a suitable match.
But ophthalmologist’s advice weighting all the options before opting for Lasik surgery. This is a relatively new from of treatment. The process has undergone several changes since its introduction a couple of decades back. So the effect of this kind of refractive laser eye surgery on the cornea is still not well-established.
These people can almost be deemed as visually handicapped and they can definitely get substantial relief through this surgery. In, fact, that people should always consult their ophthalmologists before taking the plunge. Your eyes are valuable so make sure you take the best care of them.