Vision correction is growing in popularity. Truth to be told- having to buy glasses and contacts year after year, can get pricey, and wearing them can be plain just inconvenient.
Several types of vision correction techniques have emerged in the recent years, with each year witnessing the birth of a new set of vision corrective procedures. Furthermore, many of these techniques are safe and reliable.
Typically, Laser eye surgery is the preferred eye corrective surgery. We have come such a long way in our technology and techniques have advanced so highly over the years. Such advanced technology ensures that laser eye surgery retains its top spot among corrective eye surgeries and remains a safe procedure.
Types of Laser Eye Surgery available:
- Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK): During LASIK surgery, the ophthalmologist makes a thin, circular hinged cut in your cornea, creating a flap. Then the he or she uses a type of laser that doesn’t produce heat (called an excimer laser) to remove layers from the center of your cornea to flatten its domed shape if you are nearsighted, steepen the dome if you are farsighted or smooth the dome for astigmatism. The surgeon then repositions the corneal flap.
- Laser-assisted subepithelial keratomileusis (LASEK): LASEK differs from LASIK in that the surgeon doesn’t create a flap in the cornea itself but only in the cornea’s thin protective cover called the epithelium. The next step is the same laser procedure used in LASIK to flatten or steepen the curves of the cornea. The surgeon finishes by repositioning the epithelial flap. You will wear a bandage contact lens for several days after the procedure to encourage healing.
Other Eye Surgeries:
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK): PRK was the first type of surgery developed to correct refractive errors. This surgery is still common, though not as popular as LASIK, partly because PRK has a longer recovery time. In PRK, the surgeon completely removes the epithelium, which will grow back and conform to the new shape of your cornea.
- Epi-LASIK: Epi-LASIK is a recently developed procedure that’s somewhat of a cross between LASIK and LASEK, with some differences designed to solve some of the problems associated with those other procedure.
- Conductive keratoplasty (CK): CK can correct mild farsightedness and help people ages 40 and up who have presbyopia, a version of farsightedness. Using radiofrequency energy, this procedure applies heat to tiny spots around the cornea. The heat causes the cornea to stretch, changing its curvature to a degree that depends on the number and spacing of the spots and the way in which the cornea heals after treatment. While the change lasts a long time, it’s not permanent.
- Intraocular lens (IOL) implant: If you are moderately to severely nearsighted, an option may be an intraocular lens (IOL) implant. Phakic IOLs are clear implantable lenses that a surgeon places either between your cornea and iris or just behind the iris, without removing your natural lens. Phakic lenses work like contact lenses to correct nearsightedness.
Another option for eye correction is lens transplant. This is a popular alternative to laser eye surgery. Essentially, lens transplant is the same as cataract extraction, where the faulty lens is extracted and a clear intraocular lens is implanted. Though this procedure can be used to treat many types of vision impairments, it is highly beneficial in case of farsightedness (with a high refractive error).
Let’s face it. Not everyone is comfortable with a surgical procedure. For years now, people have donned spectacles or contact lenses to correct their vision impairments. They are not as ideal as having your vison fully corrected without having to wake up visually impaired each morning, but they are definitely an alternative for those that cannot bring themselves to another style of vision correction.
Only you can be the judge of which alternative to choose. Carry out a basic research, thoroughly examine and discuss your case with an experienced doctor, and then only decide on what procedure can be the best bet for you.
Eyes are precious, so don’t jump on any conclusion without carrying out sufficient research.