Vision deficiency disorders identified today, are vastly improved with faster healing times and clearer vision results due to the latest technology in eye surgery. In fact, what once was unheard of; using a laser to help someone see better, has become such a common, yet effective procedure, it is performed as outpatient surgery daily on thousands of patients.
The following list covers many of the basic eye surgery procedures available today. If you are experiencing vision issues, it is best to see your eye doctor and discuss what eyewear or procedures may help you see better. If surgery is indeed discussed, chances are that it is going to be one of the following that are recommended:
REFRACTIVE EYE SURGERYS
A healthy eye is made of two parts that focus a patient’s vision – the cornea and the lens – and both are curved perfectly round like a smooth ball. The curvature of the eye allows the perfect refraction of light to enter the retina, located at the back of the eye. The length of your eyeball helps to determine what type of eyesight you have. People who have a longer than normal eyeball tend to be nearsighted, and shortness creates farsightedness. There are three types of laser eye surgery that treat these problems and help to eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. These procedures are known as LASIK, PRK and LASEK surgery. All of these procedures employ lasers to reshape the stromal tissue of the cornea, improving eyesight for the patient.
LASIK Surgery Basics
In LASIK eye surgery, an Excimer Laser is used to correct vision conditions such as hyperopia, astigmatism and myopia. The LASIK surgical procedure involves reshaping the cornea and lens to allow better focus of light through the retina for creating a much brighter and clear process of light. The doctor will use a laser to cut a thin flap on the cornea and pull it back using a microkeratome. Next, using an Excimer Laser, the doctor adjusts the underlying tissue of the cornea so that light is focused properly on the retina through the lens. In most cases, this procedure can be completed in about 15 minutes for both eyes. Patients who undergo LASIK eye surgery usually see an improvement of vision within one to three days after the procedure.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) Basics
Photorefractive Keratectomy or (PRK) is very similar to LASIK surgery and is the oldest form of Laser eye surgery. Both surgeries make use of an Excimer Laser to reshape the cornea. Where PRK differs from LASIK, is the eye surgeon does not need to make a corneal flap. There is a layer on the surface of the eye called the epithelium. In PRK, this surface layer which is temporary and regrows every 7 to 14 days is removed to reshape the permanent layer located on the underside. After removing the temporary outside lens, a contact lens is used as a bandage while the new spherical shaped surface layer underneath re-grows. The PRK procedure was approved by the FDA in 1995 and has an outstanding safety record. Since it does not use a microkeratome, there is no risk of flap complications.
LASEK Surgery Basics
In LASEK surgery, which is very similar to PRK laser eye surgery, the temporary surface of the patients lens (known as the epithelium), is removed but not discarded. Performed under local anesthesia, the corneal reshaping process involves lifting the top corneal layer, and exposing the cornea tissue. When lifting the flap, the doctor uses a laser to reform the underlying cornea into a more spherical shape. The LASEK procedure is often recommended to patients with thin corneas. People with this condition cannot be helped with LASIK surgery
OTHER COMMON EYE SURGEY
Conductive Keratoplasty Basics
Baby Boomers who might be apprehensive about having laser eye surgery, can elect to have conductive keratoplasty (CK) surgery, which improves mild nearsightedness without introducing a laser to permanently modify the eye cornea. CK uses low energy radio waves instead of a laser to reshape the cornea, creating results that are long lasting but not permeant.
Patients considering this procedure will be measured at their doctor’s office by a corneal topographer that maps the eye’s curvature. The measurements obtained will identify the steep and flat corneal curvatures of the eye that require correction. To begin the procedure, the optomologist or surgeon will apply some anesthetic eye drops in the eye. Next, a dye is used by the surgeon to imprint the cornea, marking the areas that need enhancement easier to identify. The doctor will then use a probe to sculpt a more spherical shape for the cornea. No tissue is removed in this procedure. The entire procedure is done using low energy radio waves. According to an older study performed by The American Journal of Ophthalmology in October of 2010, 15 of 21 patients treated with CK, enjoyed success at reshaping their corneal symmetry. The purpose of conductive keratoplasty is to help middle-aged patients discard or delay their need for reading glasses.
Those patients who cannot be helped by LASIK surgery may elect to have ICL surgery. ICL’s refers to contact lenses that are surgically implanted inside the eye to enhance the clarity of individuals with myopathy. When the procedure of ICL begins, the doctor will make a small incision in the cornea and places the prescribed and permanent lens behind the iris. The ICL surgery usually takes no longer than 30 minutes to complete. Depending on the size of the incision, a patient may require a few dissolving sutures or may just heal on their own. The ICL lens is very thin and pliable, so this procedure is more or less pain free.
The natural progression of aging has an effect on our vision health. After patients reach the 50th birthday mark, the chance of developing a cataract also increases. If a doctor identifies an eye cataract, that means they have discovered a condition in the natural eye lens that has caused the lens to turn cloudy. In order to retain vision, surgery is necessary.
The most common cataract surgery, involves the use of a high-frequency ultrasound probe that breaks up a patient’s cloudy lens into small pieces. The doctor begins by making a series of very small slits in the eye and the patient’s natural lens is probed and the high-frequency waves create broken cloudy lens pieces that are gently sucked away. Next the cataract surgeon will insert a prescription lens known as an intraocular lens in the same place the natural eye lens occupies. The result is clear vision and the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses vanishes almost immediately.
For similar articles, read about Common Eyesight Conditions.