All light that enters your eye goes through your cornea. It is the front surface of your eye that bends light to focus on the retina. If the cornea is not the correct shape/power, the light entering your eye may not focus on your retina and you may not have clear vision. Glasses and contact lenses are often needed to correct for these corneal imperfections.
Corneal modification procedures and laser vision correction can reshape or alter the front surface of the eye to optimize vision. Their aim is to eliminate or reduce the need for devices such as eyeglasses and contact lenses. Three of the most popular procedures for modifying the cornea are Ortho-K, LASIK and PRK.
If you are interested in learning more about laser vision correction or Ortho-K, please contact Awesome Eye Care today.
Ortho-K (Orthokeratology) is a non-surgical method of reshaping your cornea. A series of specially designed contact lenses are used to slowly reshape the corneal surface to optimize vision. The results of Ortho-K are not permanent creating the need to periodically wear the contact lenses and visit your eye doctor. Ortho-K can be used to treat low myopia and low astigmatism.
Ortho-K can be a great option for children and teenagers who are not yet old enough for refractive surgical procedures.
For more information on Ortho-K, please visit the Orthokeratology Academy of America’s site
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis)
LASIK is a surgical procedure in which a thin flap is made on the cornea prior to receiving the laser treatment. After the flap is folded back, the laser is focused on the tissue underneath to reshape the eye. When the laser is finished, the flap can be folded back on the eye to act as a natural bandage for healing.
LASIK has been approved by the FDA for the correction of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Each year, over one million LASIK surgeries are performed.
LASIK is relatively painless following the procedure, has rare complications and results can usually be seen immediately afterwards within hours or days.
Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. You must be at least 18 years of age and your prescription must be relatively stable for a year prior to surgery. Talk with your eye doctor to find out if you meet the requirements for LASIK.
There are other forms of LASIK and custom LASIK procedures available. To choose the option that is best for you, contact Awesome Eye Care and schedule your appointment for a consultation.
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)
Am I a good candidate for laser vision correction?
The best way to find out if you are a good candidate for laser vision surgery is to schedule an appointment at Awesome Eye Care and talk with your eye doctor. However, the following are the basic criteria that must usually be met in order to qualify for surgery:
- You must be over the age of 18
- Your eyes must be healthy and free of infection
- You cannot be pregnant
- Your vision must be stable for at least one year prior to surgery
- You cannot suffer from an autoimmune disease such as HIV or AIDS
- Your prescription must fall inside the limits that are safe for a surgeon to operate on
How long do laser vision surgeries take? Do they require a hospital stay?
Laser vision surgeries are relatively quick! It can take as little as 15 minutes per eye to complete the procedure.
On the day of your surgery, you will be able to walk into your doctor’s office, have the procedure done and walk back out. You will need someone there to drive you home from the office, but no hospital stay is required.
How common are complications from laser vision surgeries?
Complications from laser eye surgeries are very uncommon. If candidates are carefully selected, the complication rates can be well below 1%. Most people are able to achieve desirable results from their surgeries. However, with every surgical procedure there is always the risk of complications. It is important that you talk with your eye doctor about the potential risks to decide if laser vision correction is the right choice for you.
After laser vision correction, will I ever have to wear glasses again?
If you have laser vision correction while you are young, you may be able to spend 20-30 years glasses-free. However, as a normal part of the aging process we will all suffer from a condition known as presbyopia around the age of 40. When presbyopia sets in, you may require reading glasses on occasion.
Protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is still important after laser vision surgery. For this reason, you should still remember to wear your sunglasses when outdoors.