Since excimer laser eye surgery was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1995, it has soared in popularity. Last year more than 1.5 million nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatic people underwent the procedure to eliminate the need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Several laser-correction schemes exist, but laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (Lasik) is by far the frontrunner. The procedure reshapes the cornea by vaporizing cells so that light focuses onto the retina properly. Up to 8 percent of patients develop minor complications, among them poorer night vision and visual distractions such as glare or halos, which may disappear after a few months or can be improved with a second treatment. Less than 1 percent develop severe conditions such as infection or scarring.
This article was originally published with the title Clear Favorite.