Laser vision correction is a type of refractive surgery that uses a laser to reshape the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, in order to improve vision. The most common types of laser vision correction are LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy).
During LASIK, a thin flap is created on the surface of the cornea with a microkeratome or femtosecond laser, and then the underlying cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser. The flap is then repositioned, and the eye is allowed to heal. During PRK, the surface layer of the cornea is removed, and the underlying cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser. The surface layer then regenerates over time.
Both LASIK and PRK can be used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Laser vision correction procedures, such as LASIK or PRK, typically involve minimal discomfort during the actual procedure.
During the procedure itself, patients are given numbing eye drops to help prevent any pain or discomfort. The procedure typically only takes a few minutes per eye, and most patients report only feeling a slight pressure or vibration sensation during the laser portion of the procedure.
After the procedure, patients may experience some mild pain or discomfort, such as a gritty or burning sensation in the eyes, or some sensitivity to light. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter pain relief options to help manage any discomfort.