Laser Eye Surgery
What is Laser Eye Surgery?
Refractive Surgery, more commonly known as Laser Eye Surgery, is the general term used to describe surgical procedures that correct common vision problems, refractive errors and eye diseases. Laser Eye Surgery is received to treat problems such as shortsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism (blurred vision) and presbyopia, with the aim of reducing dependency on prescription eyeglasses and/or contact lenses.
The most commonly performed Laser Eye Surgery procedure is LASIK (laser insitu keratomileusis), with thousands of patients having successfully undergone treatment.
Advantages of LASIK Laser Eye Surgery include:
• A decreased dependency on reading glasses and contact lenses
• Quick and safe procedures that are performed under local anaesthetic
• Both eyes can be corrected within the same appointment
• Recovery is quick (1 – 2 days)
• Long term side effects are minimal
• Corneas are not weakened, as it is with the Radial Keratotomy procedure
With the LASIK procedure, a small 8mm diameter flap, with a thickness of 130 – 160 microns, is cut from the surface of the cornea. The excimer Laser removes corneal stroma at 0.25 microns per pulse (a ¼ of a 1/100th of a millimeter). With the patient’s refraction and corneal thickness programmed into the computer, microscopic amounts of tissue is removed from the cornea, reshaping it to more accurately focus light on the retina for improved vision. The flap is then replaced on the ablated area which takes up the curvature of the new ablated cornea. In ordinary circumstances, the corneal epithelium heals within 10 -12 hours.
Should I do it?
A likely candidate for LASIK eye surgery must be a minimum age of 18 years (there is no maximum age limit), with a refractive error that is within the range that the laser is capable of treating.
There are several types of refractive surgeries, including intraocular lens procedures and other laser procedures. Your ophthalmologist will discern the right treatment for your needs.
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