Different types of vision problems can be corrected by either eyeglasses or contact lenses. Examples of these refractive vision problems are myopia also called nearsightedness, hyperopia or most commonly known as farsightedness, and astigmatism. All these conditions have something in common – they can be corrected by reshaping of the cornea. While others are satisfied with using glasses or contact lenses, eye doctors Quincy IL there are some who prefer a permanent solution. What is a permanent solution to get rid of corrective lenses and regain clear vision? It is refractive eye surgery. What is it? How is it done? Let’s discuss a few common examples of the said procedure.
Types of Refractive Eye Surgery
#1. LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis)
This is the most common type of refractive eye surgery. It may not be the first refractive surgery in history, but most patients prefer this kind of procedure. How is it done?
The cornea is a dome-shaped, transparent outermost covering of the eye. It is vital not only for protection, but also for focus in vision. It has 2 layers, namely the epithelium or the outer part capable of regeneration, and the stroma or the inner part that does not regenerate. The purpose of LASIK is to alter the curve of the cornea, depending on the condition of the patient. The doctors cuts a flap on the cornea, then by using an excimer laser the curvature of the cornea is reshaped.
How so? One expert, Dr. Jeff Machat, illustrated the cornea as a book that has about 550 pages. During this procedure, the “book” is opened on the 100th page or so and the excimer laser removes an accurate amount of “some of those pages”. Accuracy is possible because the laser is programmed and controlled by a computer based on the patient’s data. Once the right amount of corneal tissue, or pages, are removed, the cornea is reshaped. Then, the flap is placed back.
#2. PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy)
This procedure has been around before LASIK was practiced. It is almost similar to LASIK, except that instead of cutting a flap, the outer part of the cornea, also called as epithelium, is removed. Then the excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea.
#3. LTK (Laser Thermokeratoplasty Surgery)
While the excimer laser uses a cool beam to remove some of the corneal tissues, thermokeratoplasty makes use of heat. Portions of the cornea, usually outside the area where light passes through, is applied heat. This again is programmed and accurate. The portion exposed to heat shrinks, thus reshaping the cornea for better focus in vision.
Is Refractive Eye Surgery Worth It?
For some, they would prefer wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses as they are more affordable. Refractive surgery might cost you some money, but the effects are long-lasting. You would not have to worry about bringing your glasses every time or the hassle during physical activities, to mention only a few.
We usually invest in something very important. And correcting our vision problem is one of the priceless investments we can ever make.