Understanding Laser Eye Surgery

laser eye surgery history and purpose

Though the origins of laser eye surgery date back nearly fifty years, the constant improvements have resulted in less pain, shorter downtime, and increased visual benefits for patients.

How Does Laser Eye Surgery Work?

Laser eye surgery has helped millions of people be able to eliminate the need for cumbersome glasses or contacts. There are several types of laser vision corrections, such as LASIK, PRK, and SMILE®, which reshape the cornea to allow better focus. Laser eye surgery commonly corrects long and short-sightedness, astigmatism, cataracts, and presbyopia. The surgery is essentially painless and requires no stitches or bandages. Patients will see a nearly immediate improvement in vision.

History of Laser Eye Surgery

Some of the most significant scientific discoveries have come from happy accidents, including laser eye surgery. In 1974, a young, severely nearsighted young boy had taken a fall and gotten shards of glass stuck in his eye. His doctor, Dr. Svyatoslav Fydorov, a prominent Russian eye surgeon, examined the boy’s eyes, finding that though the damage was minimal, tiny cuts had been made by the glass shards, and a sliver had been shaved off the cornea. After the accident, the boy reported an improvement in his vision. When the doctor examined the eye, he discovered that the cornea had been reshaped and the child’s focus had improved.

Dr. Fydorov was fascinated by his findings. He continued studying and subsequently published his findings. Soon, American doctors were able to fund additional research and eye surgeons began to perform this surgery, called Radial Keratotomy, using a scalpel. For the next twenty years, eye surgeons studied the procedure and made improvements to techniques, until Dr. Patricia E. Bath invented an innovative device known as the laserphaco. Using lasers, surgeons were now able to remove cataracts using this ground-breaking laser technology. LASIK or Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, has become the most popular refractive surgery performed in the United States today.

Why People Choose Lasik Today

The Federal Drug Administration approved LASIK surgery in 1999 for the treatment of vision correction. Over 600,000 of these procedures are performed in the United States each year. After surgery, most patients end up with 20/20 vision and the vast majority are happy with the results. Improving your eyesight has a major impact on your life, and for patients like that LASIK is long-term, safe, and reliable.

 The Benefits of LASIK Eye Surgery

Many people considering LASIK eye surgery do so because of all the benefits. If you have been wearing glasses or contacts to correct your vision, think about the perks of having LASIK eye surgery, such as:

  • Convenience: Wouldn’t it be great not to need to take glasses with you everywhere? No more prescription sunglasses or purchasing contacts. Your bedtime routine changes because you don’t have to mess with your contacts, and you can read the alarm clock without fumbling for your glasses.

  • Supports an Active Lifestyle: Don’t ever worry about your contacts moving around while you are out for a run or removing your glasses when you’re out shooting hoops. Swimming is also possible with LASIK unlike with contacts or glasses.

  • Cost: Sure there is a cost for LASIK surgery. But you never have to worry about buying expensive eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses again. Nor do you have the monthly cost of contacts.

  • Speedy Recovery: You have your surgery and see better almost immediately.

  • Pain-Free: Not only is your recovery quick, but you also will not be in pain for the duration of your surgery.

  • Confidence Builder: Though those glasses may be a great fashion accessory, not having to wear them, is even better. Many people who wear glasses find that they are more confident once they no longer have to rely on eyeglasses.

Choose LASIK Surgery From the WK Institute

Though Laser eye surgery has been around in some form for quite a long time, the technological advances have made it more affordable, with a quicker, pain-free recovery. Our staff at the WK Eye Institute will help you with all the available eye care treatments and get you started on improving your vision and your lifestyle. Contact Willis-Knighton Eye Institute to set up an appointment today!