What is LASIK and What Does it Treat?

LASIK is a type of eye treatment that reshapes the cornea inside the eye. It creates a flap and removes corneal tissue to change the lens. The reshaping is finely calibrated to compensate for any loss of visual clarity.

The process can help people with poor vision see clearly again without having to rely on glasses and contacts, improving the patient's vision and retinal health. It’s a highly dependable and safe method and generally cost-effective for most patients given the long-lasting results.

Custom LASIK can be performed in under an hour and it doesn’t take very long for the patient to fully recover and the flap to fully heal. In the following sections, we’re going to discuss the procedure and all about it in more detail.

What is LASIK?

LASIK, which stands for "Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis," is a widely performed surgical procedure used to correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

The primary goal of LASIK is to improve a person's visual acuity by reshaping the cornea – the clear front part of the eye – to properly focus light onto the retina, which is essential for clear and sharp vision.

Following a LASIK procedure, your cornea’s focusing ability will be improved significantly. This improves vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses.

What is the Procedure? How Does it Work?

During the LASIK procedure, a precise laser is used to reshape the cornea by removing a thin layer of tissue. This alteration in the corneal shape allows light to be accurately focused onto the retina, which can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Hyperopic LASIK procedure involves the surgeon creating this thin flap on the cornea using either a microkeratome blade or a femtosecond laser. This flap is gently lifted, and a highly precise excimer laser is used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. The laser removes a tiny amount of tissue, altering the curvature of the cornea to correct refractive errors.

The corneal flap is then repositioned, and it adheres naturally without the need for stitches. Patients often experience improved vision within a day or two.

Is it the Best Option?

LASIK is a popular choice for individuals looking for a more permanent solution to their vision problems, as it can provide long-lasting improvements. It’s a highly effective option for individuals seeking long-term improvement in their vision.

However, the suitability of LASIK varies from person to person. An eye examination by an experienced ophthalmologist is crucial to determine if LASIK is the best option. Some factors, such as corneal thickness, pupil size, and overall eye health, play a role in determining eligibility.

Different eye surgeries exist for different use cases, including PRK and SMILE. Here are their comparative advantages and disadvantages:

  • PRK is an alternative to LASIK, particularly for patients with thinner corneas or specific corneal conditions. Instead of creating a flap, the surgeon removes the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) and uses a laser to reshape the cornea's surface. PRK requires a longer recovery time compared to LASIK but is effective for correcting refractive errors.
  • SMILE is a minimally invasive procedure that corrects vision without creating a corneal flap. Instead, a femtosecond laser creates a small lenticule within the cornea, which is then removed through a tiny incision. SMILE is well-suited for treating myopia and offers quick recovery with a reduced risk of dry eye.

Who is it Good For?

It's important to note that LASIK is not suitable for everyone. A comprehensive eye examination is essential to determine whether a person is a suitable candidate for the procedure. Factors such as the severity of vision problems, corneal thickness, and overall eye health play a role in determining eligibility.

LASIK for nearsightedness is recommended for people who are struggling with vision loss or lack of clarity. However, it’s not just nearsightedness that can be treated effectively.

In fact, LASIK is suitable for any individual who has mild to moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It may not be recommended for those with severe refractive errors or certain eye conditions.

The ideal LASIK candidate is an adult with stable vision for at least a year, good overall eye health, and realistic expectations about the procedure's outcome.

What is the Cost?

The cost of LASIK can vary depending on factors such as the surgeon's experience, the technology used, and geographic location. On average, LASIK can cost a few thousand dollars per eye from a reputable clinic.

It's important to inquire about what the cost covers, including pre-operative and post-operative care. While the upfront cost may seem significant, many individuals find that the long-term savings on eyeglasses or contact lenses make LASIK a worthwhile investment in their vision and quality of life.

LASIK eye surgery Chicago cost generally ranges from $2200 to $3200 per eye. The cost varies from patient to patient and it’s best to consult with a service provider to know their costs. Some also provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

In Conclusion

LASIK has revolutionized vision correction and has helped millions of people worldwide achieve clearer vision and reduce their dependency on corrective eyewear. However, as with any medical procedure, potential risks and benefits should be thoroughly discussed with an eye care professional before making a decision.

As with any medical procedure, it's essential to consult with an experienced eye care professional to determine if LASIK is right for you and to thoroughly discuss potential benefits, risks, and alternatives.



This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content provided is based on general information available as of the last update and may not reflect the most current research, techniques, or developments in the field of LASIK eye surgery. Before making any decisions regarding LASIK eye surgery or any other medical procedure, it is essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or ophthalmologist to assess the potential risks, benefits, and suitability for your individual circumstances. The author and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability arising from the use of or reliance on the information presented in this article. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or procedure.