Refractive eye surgery refers to surgery that helps improve the refractive state of the eyes. Doctors carry out this procedure to help patients reduce dependence on contact lenses or eyeglasses. There are different types of refractive surgery, including lens replacement, and cornea remodeling.
Understanding Refractive Surgery
Refractive eye surgery has made it possible for people suffering from poor vision to regain relatively good eyesight.
The success of the surgery will depend on the type of refractive error you have. Those with mild nearsightedness experience the best results. Anyone who has long-term near or farsightedness and astigmatism, may not have very predictable results.
You may benefit from refractive eye surgery if you have:
- Myopia or nearsightedness- you can only see objects close to you clearly. Anything far away appears blurry. The situation arises from having a longer than a normal eyeball, or if your cornea has sharp curves. The result is that light will hit the front of the retina, thus blurring distant objects.
- Hyperopia or farsightedness – this is the opposite of myopia because you can see distant objects very clearly, while those that are closer seem blurry. This is a result of having a shorter than average eyeball or a flat cornea. The light hits the retina from behind and not directly on it.
- Astigmatism is a combination of hyperopia and myopia. Your overall vision is blurry and is a result of curves or uneven surfaces on the cornea.
The physicians at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute will help with blurry vision by undertaking procedures that will help bend or refract the light rays. You may get a prescription for contact lenses or glasses. He can also reshape the cornea, thus providing refraction, which will result in correcting your vision.
What Does the Process Involve?
When you go in for a consultation, the surgeon will take very detailed measurements of your eyes. They will then use a special laser to alter the curvature of your cornea. The surgeon does this by removing some of the corneal tissue, thus allowing for a flattening of the cornea. The surgeon may or may not create a flap in the corner to assess the inner parts.
Types of Refractive Surgery
There are many variations to refractive surgery, and this includes;
The surgeon may recommend PRK for treating myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The procedure has the distinction of being the first in using a laser to correct vision. It is the predecessor of LASIK surgery. In the PRK procedure, the surgeon will scrub away the epithelium. He will then use an excimer laser so that the light focuses on the retina, resulting in clear vision. PRK is different from LASIK surgery because instead of creating a thin flap, the doctor will scrape off the epithelium to access the inner parts of the cornea. The epithelium will eventually grow back within a few days.
Visian implantable contact lens (ICL) refers to a process where the surgeon will implant a special contact lens inside your eyes. The implanted lens will then work with the natural eye lenses to give you better vision. It is a suitable procedure for anyone who does not qualify for LASIK. It also works well for those who may have an issue with removing corneal tissue. Over time you can change the ICL to maintain your vision.
·Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy (LASEK)
LASEK has some similarities to LASIK, the only difference being the use of a particular cutting device (microkeratome) to create the flap. The surgeon will also expose your cornea to ethanol. The procedure will result in minimal removal of the cornea, thereby making it an excellent option for anyone who has a thin cornea.
·Epithelial Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (epi-LASIK)
The surgeon uses a blunt mechanized blade (epikeratome) to separate the epithelium from the Stroma. He will then use a laser to reshape the cornea.
Bioptics will combine one or more of the options above. Your doctor may, for example, recommend that you use elastic together with implantable lenses.
Who Can Qualify For Refractive Eye Surgery
Refractive eye surgery, like any other treatment method, is not for everyone. When you go for a consultation, your surgeon will need information about the overall health of your eyes. It will help the surgeon know whether or not the surgery will work for you. Some conditions may lead to a poor outcome including: –
- If you have a progressive eye disease, such as keratoconus, that may run in the family.
- If you have keratitis, herpes simplex, uveitis or any eye infection
- Those with injuries to the eyes, or any disorders affecting the eyelids
- If you have large pupils, especially when you are in dim light. Refractive surgery may result in starbursts, glares, and halos
- severe nearsightedness
- if you participate in contact sports
- You must be over the age of 18
- You must have a prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses for a minimum of two years
- Your vision must be relatively stable over the past year
- You must not have any history of corneal diseases
- You should not have any significant medical eye problems. Such include corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy, keratoconus, glaucoma or macular degeneration
- You should not be pregnant or breastfeeding
- You must not have any limits set on your prescription for eyeglasses by your surgeon
Your surgeon will also want to know about your overall health. Some conditions may make the outcome of the surgery less predictable and may also lead to certain complications. You may not qualify if:
- You have any disease that affects your immune system; you will not be able to heal correctly and may be susceptible to other infections. Such conditions include HIV, lupus, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
- If you are taking any immunosuppressive medication
- If you suffer from chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, among others.
What Are the Risks Associated With Refractive Eye Surgery
Some of the side effects of the surgery include: –
- Dry eyes for about six months post-surgery
- Visual disturbances like blurry vision, double vision, halos, and glares. The disturbances tend to resolve over time. Do note, however, that some people will continue to have the problem for a long time.
- Moderate pain
- Under-corrections that may result from the operation removing too little tissue
- Overcorrection when the surgeon removes too much tissue, which is more challenging to treat than an under-correction.
- Astigmatism that is a result of uneven removal
- Problems arising from the flap creation. It could result in infections, excessive tears, or abnormal growth under the flap
- Loss of vision or changes to it
What Can You Expect After The Surgery
Different people will experience different results after surgery. Most people regain excellent vision but may end up needing to wear eyeglasses at some point.
You must continue to schedule your appointments even if you feel that your eyesight is back to normal. You should also expect that as you grow older, the refraction may start to worsen, which is a normal aging process.
Contact Us Today
Do not let refractive eye problems affect your life. At Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute, We have a team of specialists who can help you resolve your issues. We have the latest technology, and our physicians have attained the highest levels of qualification. You must maintain the health of your eyes, and that is why we will walk with you every step of the way. Make an appointment with us for a consultation, so that we can advise you on the best way forward.