Refractive eye surgery refers to a procedure designed to improve your prescription and reduce your dependence on contact lenses or eyeglasses. There are different types of refractive surgery, including lens replacement, and cornea remodeling. Many questions about refractive eye surgery can be answered either from a refractive specialist or your primary eye care provider. When you go in for a consultation, the physician will take meticulous measurements of your eyes.
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.
Types of Refractive Surgery
There are many variations to refractive surgery, and this includes;
Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
This procedure uses a laser to reshape the cornea and allow light to be more focused on the retina. LASIK is designed to fix the refractive error in your eye, treating myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. This life-changing procedure only takes a few minutes to complete, allowing you to reduce or eliminate the dependency on glasses and contacts.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
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.
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 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 Can You Expect After The Surgery
Everybody may experience different results after surgery. Most people regain excellent vision but once you are in your 40’s you may still need to wear reading glasses, due to presbyopia, normal age-related vision loss. You must continue to schedule your appointments even if you feel that your eyesight is back to normal.
Follow-ups after surgery are a crucial part of the healing process and will ensure everything is healing according to plan.
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.