LASEK (Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial
Keratomileusis) is usually performed as an outpatient
procedure using topical anesthesia with eyedrops. Your
ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) uses an alcohol solution to loosen
and peel back the epithelium, the outermost layer of the cornea,
to expose the corneal tissue beneath it. A cool excimer laser is
used to permanently reshape the cornea, and the epithelium is
either placed back into position, where it will selfadhere, or
is removed completely, in which case the epithelium heals inward
from the corneal periphery in just a few days.
The cornea is a part of the eye that helps focus light to create
an image on the retina. It works in much the same way that the
lens of a camera focuses light to create an image on film. The
bending and focusing of light is also known as refraction.
Usually the shape of the cornea and the eye are not perfect and
the image on the retina is out-of-focus (blurred) or distorted.
These imperfections in the focusing power of the eye are called refractive
errors. There are three primary
types of refractive errors: They are myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Persons
with myopia, or
nearsightedness, have more difficulty seeing distant objects as clearly as near
objects. Persons with
hyperopia, or farsightedness, have more difficulty seeing near objects as
clearly as distant objects.
Astigmatism is a distortion of the image on the retina caused by irregularities
in the cornea or lens of
the eye. Combinations of myopia and astigmatism or hyperopia and astigmatism are