Laser Eye Surgery Management
Corrective Eye Surgery Basics
In recent years there have been tremendous advances in the field of vision-correcting eye surgery which is also known as refractive or laser surgery. Corrective eye surgery offers patients clear vision without the use of glasses and contact lenses. Several types of refractive surgeries can correct different vision problems, so if you are considering surgery here are some of the options you should know about.
Eye Surgery Options
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) surgery is perhaps the most well-known refractive surgery today. LASIK can help patients with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) also uses a laser to correct mild to moderate myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. PRK was a precursor to LASIK which eliminated many of the complications of prior surgeries such as glare, seeing halos around lights, blurred vision, and regression of vision.
Cataract Surgery is a very common refractive surgery that removes the clouded natural lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial lens called an IOL (intraocular lens). Many patients these days will receive a lens that also corrects any refractive error they have such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or presbyopia.
RLE or refractive lens exchange is a non-laser procedure that replaces the natural lens of the eye. This is the same as the surgery that is used to treat cataracts, yet for non-cataract patients, RLE is used to correct severe nearsightedness or farsightedness. The procedure involves the doctor making a small cut in the cornea, removing the natural lens and replacing it with usually a silicon or plastic lens.
PRELEX or presbyopic lens exchange is for patients with presbyopia, the age-related condition in which you lose the flexibility of your lens and can no longer focus on close objects. Patients that prefer not to wear reading glasses or multifocals, can opt for a procedure in which the doctor removes the natural lens of your eye and replaces it with a multifocal artificial lens. This procedure is often done in conjunction with cataract surgery.
Phakic IOLs are implants that are used for individuals with very high nearsightedness who do not qualify for LASIK or PRK. The implant is attached to your iris or inserted behind your pupil, while the natural lens remains intact. Because this is a procedure that involves the inner eye, it is riskier than LASIK or PRK and is therefore also typically more expensive.
CK uses a hand-held radio wave device to shrink tissue on the cornea to reshape it. The procedure is typically used to treat mild farsightedness and presbyopia, particularly for patients who have already undergone LASIK.
The cornea refers to the clear, front surface of your eye. When a corneal transplant is done, officially termed keratoplasty (KP), the central part of the cornea is surgically removed and replaced with a “button” of clear and healthy corneal tissue donated from an eye bank.
Presbyopia is a common age-related condition in which near vision worsens due to the hardening of the lens of our eye. It causes people to have difficulty reading and performing other tasks that require sharp and focused close vision.
Symptoms begin around the age of 40 when you begin to see people with untreated presbyopia holding books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm’s length to focus properly and avoid eye strain. Other symptoms include headaches or fatigue when trying to focus on something at close range.
Causes of Presbyopia
During our youth, the lens of our eye and the muscles that control it are flexible and soft, allowing us to focus on close objects and shift focus from close to distant objects without difficulty. As the eye ages, however, both the lens and the muscle fibers begin to harden, making near vision a greater challenge.
Surgical Treatment for Presbyopia
The most common form of treatment for presbyopia is wearing reading glasses, bifocals, or progressive lenses. Bifocals and multifocals are also available in contact lenses for those who prefer to be glasses-free. A third option, however, is a number of surgical procedures that allow you the freedom of correcting your near vision without the use of glasses or contact lenses.
The gas permeable lenses for CRT are applied at bedtime and worn overnight. While you sleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (the cornea) to correct your vision, so you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses when you’re awake.
The Safer Alternative to LASIK. Do you want to be glasses and contact-free but don’t qualify for laser eye surgery? Or, perhaps you’re concerned with surgery-related complications and desire a safer option. Imagine waking up every morning with clear and sharp vision. Thanks to these specialty lenses, you don’t have to wear glasses or contacts during the day, and best of all — it’s surgery-free.