What Is Laser Vision Correction?
Laser vision correction, or laser eye surgery, is a surgical procedure performed on the cornea. A non-thermal beam is used during the surgery to reshaped the surface of the eye in order to improve vision. There are two popular types of laser eye surgery: LASIK surgery and PRK. During LASIK surgery, a thin outer layer of the cornea is lifted to expose the tissue, and is then replaced after the procedure. In PRK, this layer is removed and discarded. The outer layer, known as the epithelium, will heal over the next few days following surgery. Laser vision correction surgery is a great option for people who are tired of poor vision and do not want to use traditional methods of vision improvement.
Types Of Laser Vision Correction Procedures
- Custom LASIK
- Monovision LASIK
- Intralase LASIK
- Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
Custom LASIK Benefits
Custom LASIK benefits patients benefit by achieving 20/20 vision, with many patients obtaining vision that is better than 20/20, a goal that has not been achieved with traditional LASIK, glasses, or contacts. Custom LASIK also reduces the risk of poor night vision and glare, side effects that are common with traditional LASIK.
Custom LASIK Procedure
During the custom LASIK procedure, a wavefront device transmits a ray of light into your eye that is received and arranged into a unique pattern to create a 3-D map of your eye, including both lower and higher order aberrations. This information is transferred to the laser and applied to your eye’s position, allowing the doctor to achieve customized vision correction for each patient.
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Monovision LASIK surgery corrects one eye for distance and the other eye for near vision, eliminating or reducing the need for patients, with presbyopia, to rely on glasses or contacts. Patients are able to retain their near and distance vision after LASIK surgery. If you are over the age of 40 and wear bifocals or reading glasses, monovision LASIK may be an option.
Monovision LASIK Benefits
The ability to focus our eyes on objects at different distances, also known as accommodation, changes as we age. The lenses of our eyes lose their flexibility and begin to harden as a part of the natural aging process called presbyopia, making the accommodation more difficult to achieve. People with symptoms of presbyopia often need bifocals or two different pairs of glasses; one for distance and the other for near vision. Patients who undergo conventional LASIK may still need glasses to correct for presbyopia after the procedure because LASIK does not treat presbyopia — LASIK reshapes the cornea which does not affect the lens. With conventional LASIK, both eyes are corrected for distance vision, leaving some patients in need of glasses for reading and other daily activities that require near vision. Monovision LASIK preserves near and distance vision without this need for corrective eyewear. The LASIK procedure optimizes one eye for distance sight and the other eye for near sight. With practice, patients are able to adjust their vision to accommodate between distances.
Intralase LASIK Benefits
IntraLase offers patients many benefits over the traditional LASIK procedure, including improved accuracy and customization, a shorter recovery time and a reduced risk of flap-related complications. The IntraLase technique also allows for complete customization of the LASIK procedure to accommodate each patient’s individual vision needs. All elements of surgery, including the size, location and angle of the flap, can be customized for the most precise results.
What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?
Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, is a laser vision correction procedure that reshapes the cornea to correct mild to moderate conditions of:
- Nearsightedness, or myopia
- Farsightedness, or hyperopia
PRK uses an excimer laser to remove a small amount of the anterior portion, or front, of the cornea to correct refractive errors. Unlike the LASIK procedure, where a flap is created to access the cornea, PRK removes the epithelial, or outer layer, of the cornea so that it can be reshaped with an excimer laser to remove tissue from the surface. This process flattens the cornea and achieves the corneal steepening needed for vision correction.