LASIK provides simple yet technical solutions to eye care. To better understand the technologies and common procedures, these helpful terms are described. For more technical descriptions, please consult a specialist.
Ablation zone — This is the area of the eye where tissue is removed through laser surgery.
Acuity — Acuity is the quality of one’s sight. The more acute is one’s vision, the better they will be able to see.
Astigmatism — A form of vision impairment caused by an irregular curve in the shape of the eye. Light is projected in two different areas on the retina by an astigmatic cornea, causing distortion. Astigmatism affects both near and far vision, and may not be able to be corrected through the use of lenses in certain cases.
Bilateral LASIK — LASIK procedures are to be performed on both eyes.
Cornea — This is the forward facing part of the eye, resembling a clear lens. Light is refracted by the cornea on to the retina. LASIK surgery reshapes the cornea so light is not distorted.
Custom LASIK or Custom Wavefront Optimized LASIK — See Wavefront LASIK surgery.
Diopter — The level of refractive error used in the correction of vision impairments is measured in diopters.
Excimer Laser — This is a type of ultraviolet laser used to reshape parts of the eye during LASIK surgery.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) — A government agency in the U.S. responsible for determining the safety and use of medical technologies.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) — An employment benefit provided by employers which can be put toward the cost of eligible medical procedures. LASIK is covered under such plans. Flexible Spending Accounts are also known as flex plans, Tax Savings Plans, Cafeteria Plans, reimbursement accounts, and Medical Spending Accounts.
Health Savings Account (HSA) — A financial account that allows money to be saved in connection with a high-deductible health insurance plan. These savings are tax-free.
Hyperopia (Farsightedness) — A defect which disrupts the proper refractive function of the cornea. The ability to see near objects is compromised.
LASIK (Laser-In-Situ Keratomileusis) — This type of laser corrective surgery begins with an eye doctor cutting the cornea. An excimer laser is then able to reshape the tissue freely.
Lower-Order Aberrations — A collection of refractive errors of which astigmatism, hyperopia, and myopia are included. LASIK surgery commonly corrects these conditions.
Myopia (nearsightedness) — The impairment of vision at a distance compared to proximal vision.
Presbyopia — The impairment of focus on near objects. It is caused by a degraded elasticity in the lens of the eye. It is a common condition in middle age.
PRK Laser Eye Surgery (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) — This is a laser corrective surgery which appropriately reshapes and polishes the cornea according to a patient’s unique needs. An excimer laser is programmed with the prescription, and performs the refractive surgery.
Wavefront LASIK surgery — In this laser corrective surgery, the shape and structures of a patient’s eye are mapped in 3D, identifying the imperfections of the visual system. This information is used to provide expert precision and care when correcting visual impairments.