Are you tired of wearing glasses or putting contacts in every morning? If so, you’ve undoubtedly wondered if refractive laser surgery is an option for you. Refractive surgery, such as LASIK, is an appealing option for many people who have required visual correction for most of their lives, and can result in clear and convenient vision. While LASIK is the most commonly known refractive surgery, several other options exist. If you have contemplated a glasses-free life, read on to learn more LASIK and other options of refractive surgeries.
LASIK, which has become one of the most common ocular surgeries, uses either a high-tech laser or microkeratome blade on the front surface of the eye to make a very thin flap. This flap is then gently lifted while the cornea is reshaped to achieve a perfect refractive endpoint, and then replaced with great care. LASIK has the potential to correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. In order to be a good candidate for LASIK, you have to be evaluated for adequate corneal thickness, stable refractive error, and several other health factors. It is generally considered a safe, quick, and painless surgery; the doctor performing the surgery will prescribe a few medicated eye drops to use after the surgery to prevent infection and promote healing. There are some risks that come along with LASIK, most notably the potential for flap displacement or infection. However, by taking care of their eyes during recovery, many people have achieved very clear vision after LASIK surgery, and the majority of patients are happy with their results.
Before there was LASIK, there was PRK. PRK was one of the original laser refractive surgery options and is also an effective way to eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. PRK uses a laser to completely remove the most superficial layer of the cornea and then surgically reshape the remaining tissue. Unlike LASIK, there is no flap to replace. Recovery time is longer for PRK compared to LASIK, but there is no risk for flap displacement, and it may be an option for those with thinner corneas who are not a candidate for LASIK.
Clear Lens Extraction..Another Refractive Surgery Option!
One of the newest refractive surgery options is known as clear lens extraction, or refractive lens exchange. Much like cataract surgery, this option begins with micro-incisions on the cornea in order to remove the crystalline lens inside the eye and replace it with a new, specially designed biocompatible lens. However, this surgery does not require that the original lens be clouded by a cataract. The implanted lens that remains after clear lens extraction surgery is designed to correct for refractive error and eliminate the need for glasses and contacts, much like LASIK or PRK. It is a great option for those who are not candidates for the traditional laser refractive surgeries.
If you are interested in these methods of refractive surgery, talk to your optometrist at Wilmington Family Eye Care. Your doctor will be happy to evaluate your eyes and make a recommendation for what best suits you.