There are several options available to patients, and technology is constantly changing. Your surgeon will help you determine the best type of surgery for you and your eyes. Talk to your doctor of optometry regarding the role they play in your pre- and post-operative care.
Vision surgery is used to correct vision problems caused by refractive errors, which occur when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing directly on the retina. The retina converts the light-rays into messages that are sent through the optic nerve to the brain and the brain interprets these messages into the images we see.
Below are brief descriptions of the two most popular types of vision surgery.
PRK’s advantage is that it can be used for patients whose cornea may be too thin to make the corneal flap one receives with LASIK. It can also be used when a patient’s pupil may be too large for LASIK.
PRK uses the same computer-controlled laser beam that is used to perform LASIK. It allows for the painless reshaping of the cornea, and the procedure takes just a few minutes. After undergoing the procedure, most patients can return to the majority of their normal daily routines in one to three days. It can be used for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The improvement in vision can take longer than that obtained with LASIK, but PRK is preferred by many surgeons for particular cases.
There are several types of LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) procedures, and your surgeon will discuss which option is best for you and your eyes.
LASIK is the most popular surgical procedure to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses. After LASIK, the majority of patients who are treated for mild to moderate refractive error achieve vision good enough to eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses for most activities. There is little or no discomfort immediately after the procedure and vision is usually clear within hours.
With LASIK a thin hinged flap is made on the cornea prior to the laser treatment. This flap is folded back and the laser is applied to the underlying corneal tissue to reshape the eye. The flap is then replaced and acts like a natural bandage.