Widely regarded as one of the safest of all medical procedures, for millions of people condemned to wearing contacts and glasses, LASIK spells freedom and crystal clear 20/20 vision – or better. LASIK addresses the cause of poor vision by correcting the irregularities of the cornea that cause nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Recently NASA, the US Navy, and the US Air Force approved advanced all-laser LASIK as safe and reliable enough for astronauts and fighter pilots. These official recognitions are very reassuring for anyone who may have been hesitant about having LASIK.

How LASIK Works

There are three main parts to the human eye: the cornea, the lens, and the retina. In normal vision, the cornea refracts (bends) light so it can be directed correctly through the lens and onto the retina.

Vision problems are usually the result of disorders or irregularities of the shape of the cornea.

LASIK solves these problems by using lasers to reshape the curve of the cornea so you can have normal, clear vision.

Animation about LASIK

Learn more about LASIK Eye Surgery.

What Vision Problems Can LASIK Solve?

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance and are forced to wear glasses or contact lenses. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred.

There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina unless the natural lens can compensate fully. Near objects require even greater focusing power to be seen clearly and therefore, blur more easily.

LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange and Contact lenses are a few of the options available to correct farsightedness.


Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common.

Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction and special implant lenses.


Presbyopia is a condition that typically becomes noticeable for most people around age 45. In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily focus on distant and near objects. With age, the lens loses its ability to focus adequately.

Although presbyopia is not completely understood, it is thought that the lens and its supporting structures lose the ability to make the lens longer during close vision effort. To compensate, affected individuals usually find that holding reading material further away makes the image clearer. Ultimately, aids such as reading glasses are typically needed by the mid-forties.

Besides glasses, presbyopia can be dealt with in a number of ways. Options include: monovision and multifocal contact lenses, monovision laser vision correction and new presbyopia correcting implant lenses.

Three Steps To 20/20 Vision

  1. The first step of a LASIK procedure is the creation of the corneal flap, which is a thin segment of the outer layer of the cornea. This step can be performed with an instrument called a microkeratome, or with a special laser called the IntraLase laser.
  2. Next, a different laser is used to re-shape the underlying corneal tissue to correct any irregularities. This step in Custom LASIK, is based on an individual 3D map taken of the eye, so the most precise corrections are possible.
  3. Finally, the flap is folded back into place where it bonds quickly. Healing is rapid and most people can return to work the next day.

How Long Does LASIK Take? Will It Hurt?

The actual LASIK procedure takes minutes per eye. You can expect to feel no pain at all, and perhaps just the slightest sensation of pressure. Inserting or removing contact lenses – or just rubbing tired eyes from wearing glasses produces more discomfort than a LASIK procedure.

What Is Blade-FREE LASIK?

The use of a laser instead of the microkeratome blade is what is meant by ‘bladeless’, ‘blade free’ or ‘all-laser’ LASIK. In the ‘bladeless’ technique, a laser forms a series of bubbles to create the flap. Depending on technical considerations for a particular set of eyes, a surgeon may or may not choose to use a laser for flap creation. Although the laser is a newer way of creating the flap, opinions vary on whether or not procedure outcomes are better or worse.


When I heard the words, "I only wish I'd done it sooner!" from so many patients, I began to think about ways to help future patients shorten the time they spend thinking about LASIK. The following are major questions most people have about whether they should replace their glasses and contacts with the clear natural vision that only LASIK can provide:

  • What assurance can you give me that I'll achieve 20/20?
  • How much of a risk will I be taking? What's the truth about complications?
  • What makes you better than any other surgeon I might find in Charleston?
  • How affordable is it really? Will it all be worth it?

About Your Eyes

Astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia (or the need for reading glasses due to age) and cataracts. These are the major vision conditions that reduce our enjoyment of life and create dependency on glasses and contacts. With today’s vision correction technologies, each one of these can be solved. Learn how here.


LASIK solves the ‘refractive error’ that causes astigmatism, nearsightedness, far sightedness, and even presbyopia. Dr. David O’Day has performed more than 45,000 refractive procedures, making him one of the nation’s most experienced refractive surgeons.

Cataract Center

Cataracts come to all of us at some time, and usually start developing after the ages of 45-50. Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the world – and one of the safest. Advances in replacement lens technology (IOLs) mean that virtually anyone can gain freedom from the effects of cataracts – and achieve better vision than ever.

Cornea Center

The cornea is the clear, living tissue on the very front part of the eye. Occasionally, either through disease or injury, surgery is needed to restore full vision or arrest declining eyesight. Dr. David O’Day is skilled and experienced at performing the following corneal procedures

Comprehensive Eye Care

Some LASIK centers do 'only LASIK,' but LASIK is not necessarily right for everyone. At Charleston Cornea & Refractive Surgery, in addition to LASIK, we provide the full array of today’s eye care technologies: RK/AK, CK, ALK, excimer laser PRK, LASEK, Epi-K cataract surgery, intraocular lens implantation, corneal transplant surgery, surgical treatment of eye diseases, and general eye care.

Optical Shop

Visit our optical shop for the latest in high fashion, designer eyewear. We have a wide variety of designer eyewear including glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and supplies to fit your individual style. Our affordable, quality eyewear is easily customizable and also guaranteed.

Media Center

Watch a LASIK procedure, meet Dr. O'Day, see how cataract surgery works – and much more. Go here for videos.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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