LASIK for Nearsightedness (Myopia)

6 sources cited
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Can LASIK Fix Nearsightedness?

LASIK is a vision correction procedure that reshapes the cornea. People with refractive errors may opt for LASIK surgery to correct vision problems like nearsightedness.

Nearsightedness, or near vision, is a vision problem where you can only see objects clearly when they are up close. This occurs when the shape of the eye causes light rays to bend and refract incorrectly. 

Although wearing glasses and/or contact lenses can correct common refractive errors like near vision, LASIK is also an effective, long-term solution. 

How Bad Can Nearsightedness Be for LASIK?

To check if your nearsightedness qualifies for LASIK treatment, it’s always best to consult your doctor first. They will evaluate multiple factors before recommending LASIK to you.

Refractive errors are measured in diopters. A diopter is a unit used to denote the strength of the eye’s natural lens. 

To qualify for modern LASIK surgery, you must have one of the following nearsightedness prescriptions: 

  • Up to -12.0 diopters of nearsightedness, with or without astigmatism
  • The amount of nearsightedness with or without astigmatism did not change by 0.5 diopters within the year before your operation

Aside from this numerical value, your doctor will also check for and ask about other factors like: 

  • Thickness of the cornea
  • Pupil size
  • Stability of prescription
  • Overall eye health
  • Pregnancy or lactation

You must consider these factors before going into surgery. 

LASIK Surgeon Using Laser

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How LASIK Corrects Nearsightedness 

After a preoperative consultation, your doctor will tell you if you are suitable for LASIK treatment. 

Essentially, LASIK eye surgery will correct nearsightedness by:

  • Creating a flap on the outer layer of the eye
  • Using lasers to reshape the cornea and correct the refractive error

LASIK Procedure for Nearsightedness 

A LASIK procedure includes the following steps: 

  1. The surgeon will create a very thin flap on the cornea with the femtosecond laser or microkeratome blade.
  2. Once they create the flap, the surgeon will slightly open it to access the cornea and remove some corneal tissue. They’ll do this by using an excimer laser. 
  3. The surgeon will flatten the cornea to correct the nearsightedness. Excimer lasers also correct astigmatism by smoothing the irregular-shaped cornea. 
  4. After reshaping the cornea, the surgeon will close the flap back in place. 

NVISION Eye Centers offer custom LASIK, affordable pricing plans, and a lifetime guarantee. Learn More

LASIK Recovery Tips 

Once the LASIK procedure is complete, it’s essential to rest. Someone also needs to drive you home. You may be able to drive the next day, depending on your vision and how you feel.

During the recovery stage, a person who underwent LASIK must:

  • Avoid any strenuous exercise for a week because this can affect healing 
  • Return to the eye surgeon the day after surgery
  • Follow the doctor’s instructions
  • Take the prescribed medication to prevent healing problems

What to Expect After Surgery

After LASIK surgery, you can expect:

  • A temporary burning or itching sensation in the eyes
  • Slightly blurry vision and haziness. This is temporary, and vision should be clear the next day. 
  • Your eyesight to be stable after a few days. In rare cases, this takes weeks, but for most people, vision improves immediately. 

LASIK results may vary. Most people who have undergone surgery achieve the normal distance vision of 20/20

But despite having an excellent safety record, LASIK complications can still occur. To achieve acceptable visual acuity, some people need a LASIK enhancement or touch-up a few months after the first surgery. 

It’s important to discuss any concerns with your surgeon before deciding to have surgery. Make sure you’ve asked about all the pros and cons. 

How Much Does LASIK for Nearsightedness Cost?

In 2021, the average cost for LASIK in the United States was about $2,246 per eye

Pricing is set by surgeons who frequently perform LASIK and other laser eye procedures such as PRK, SMILE, and refractive lens exchange.

The technology your surgeon uses also has an impact on the total cost of LASIK. Different technologies include: 

  • Excimer laser to reshape the cornea
  • Bladeless LASIK that uses a femtosecond laser to create the flap
  • All-laser treatment
  • Custom LASIK treatment

LASIK treatment is pricey. But if you are buying glasses or contact lenses every year or every six months, LASIK surgery will save you money in the long run. 

Beware of LASIK procedures that advertisers market at low prices. If a procedure cost seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Cheap LASIK advertisements usually do not mention that the:

  • Treatment is for mild nearsightedness only
  • Price doesn’t cover all of the fees
  • Procedure might be performed using old technology
  • Surgeon is less experienced
  • Procedure isn’t effective in correcting nearsightedness

Before committing to LASIK surgery, make sure you have discussed the risks and itemized cost with your surgeon. Always read the fine print and check if there are hidden charges beforehand.

Surgeon performing LASIK Procedure

Still not sure about LASIK? Talk with an experienced Patient Counselor at NVISION to find out if it's right for you.

Call 866-424-0296

6 Cited Research Articles
  1. "What is LASIK?" U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
  2. "6 Common Questions About LASIK Eye Surgery." PennMedicine, 4 March 2019.
  3. PRK, LASEK, and Epi-LASIK for Nearsightedness." University of Michigan Health.
  4. Kahuam-Lopez N et al. "Effectiveness and safety of two types of tools used in LASIK (a type of refractive surgery) for nearsightedness." Cochrane. 9 July 2020.
  5. Bamashmus M et al. "Functional Outcome and Patient Satisfaction after Laser In Situ Keratomileusis for Correction of Myopia and Myopic Astigmatism." Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology. 2015.
  6. Wilkinson, J et al. "Refractive Eye Surgery: Helping Patients Make Informed Decisions About LASIK." American Academy of Family Physicians. 15 May 2017.
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