LASIK Surgery FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About LASIK Surgery

Because laser vision correction is a surgical procedure that involves your eyes and your vision, you're bound to have questions. Make sure to discuss any questions you have with the doctor who will perform your procedure. This is the best way to get clear, candid answers that apply specifically to your vision and your laser vision correction procedure.

For general information, we've listed many of the questions people commonly ask about laser vision correction surgery. The questions cover everything from "Will it hurt?" to "How much does it cost?" Just click on one of the following topics to get started. If you don't see your question or topic addressed here, check with your doctor.

Your Vision

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What kinds of vision problems can traditional LASIK correct?

Depending on which laser system is used, LASIK surgery can help if you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have a condition known as astigmatism. Surgery can treat these vision problems in most cases, but certain health problems may exclude you from being a good candidate. Your eye specialist can evaluate and diagnose your vision problems, and can tell you whether or not traditional LASIK surgery is for you.

What are lower order aberrations?

Lower order aberrations   Lower order aberrations: A collective term for a series of common vision problems including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.   are the common vision problems that affect over half of the population of the United States, including nearsightedness (myopia),   Myopia: A refractive error resulting in the inability for the eye to see distant objects. Also referred to as "nearsightedness." Occurs when the eyeball is too long or when the cornea has too much curvature, preventing the light entering the eye from focusing correctly on the retina and resulting in blurry vision at a distance. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery are treatment options for correcting vision impairment caused by myopia.   farsightedness (hyperopia),   Hyperopia: The medical term for "farsightedness," a refractive error resulting in an inability to see objects at close range. Typically caused by either a cornea with too little curvature or an eyeball that is too short, hyperopia causes light entering the eye to focus improperly on the retina, resulting in blurry close-up vision. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery are treatment options for correcting vision impairment caused by hyperopia.   and astigmatism.

What is nearsightedness, or myopia?

When you have more trouble seeing distant images clearly than close-up images, you may be nearsighted (have myopia). If you are nearsighted, light rays from distant images do not focus to a precise point on the retina. It can also occur in combination with astigmatism. For more information, see nearsightedness. The LASIK procedure can help correct these conditions.

What is farsightedness, or hyperopia?

When you have more trouble seeing close-up images clearly, you may be farsighted (have hyperopia). If you are farsighted, light rays from distant images focus behind the retina. It can also occur in combination with astigmatism. For more information, see farsightedness. The LASIK procedure can help correct these conditions.

What is astigmatism?

When images focus on different points in front of or behind your retina, images both near and far may appear blurry. This condition is astigmatism. When astigmatism is combined with farsightedness, or hyperopia, it is called hyperopic astigmatism. When combined with nearsightedness, or myopia, it is called myopic astigmatism. Mixed astigmatism occurs when the astigmatism is both hyperopic and myopic or when the eye has characteristics of both nearsightedness and farsightedness. For more information, see astigmatism. The LASIK procedure can help correct all these conditions.

What are higher order aberrations?

Higher order aberrations   Higher order aberrations: A collective term for a series of imperfections in the eye’s optical system that may result in vision problems that experts believe to be responsible for low-light vision difficulties.   are a range of common vision problems that affect the quality of your vision. Ophthalmic   Ophthalmic: Pertaining to the eye.   experts believe these problems affect visual quality, especially in low-light situations. They believe higher order aberrations can contribute to night vision problems like glare and halos Halos: A visual effect, in which a circular flare or hazy ring of light may appear around a headlight or other lighted object.  .

What is coma?

Coma   Coma: A higher-order aberration that makes items appear to have a comet-shaped “tail,” creating blurring in your vision.   is a higher order aberration that makes objects appear to have a comet-shaped pattern, which creates blurring in your vision.

What is spherical aberration?

Spherical aberration   Spherical Aberration: A change in curvature between the center and edge of your pupil that causes multiple focal points and blurry vision.   reflects a change in curvature between the center and edge of the pupil. This can cause halos in your vision.

What is secondary astigmatism?

Secondary astigmatism is a higher order aberration that can create multiple focal points and blurs your vision. For more information, see astigmatism   Astigmatism: A common refractive condition caused by either an irregularity in the curvature of the cornea (corneal astigmatism) or the lens (lenticular astigmatism). People with astigmatism generally have difficulty seeing fine detail at all distances. This vision disorder is treated with corrective lenses or refractive surgery.   .

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia, a natural phenomenon caused by aging, occurs due to the physiological stiffening of the lens inside the eye. (It's the reason so many people start to need reading glasses around the age of 40.) For more information, see presbyopia.   Presbyopia: A condition in which the eye loses its natural ability to focus properly. Presbyopia is a natural result of aging and causes blurry, close-up vision. Reading glasses or corrective contact lenses are necessary to maintain quality close-range vision once presbyopia has been diagnosed.