Laser vision correction or laser eye surgery may be one of the top things that come to mind when you feel it is time to consider getting rid of your eyeglasses.
Do you know at least one person who has had laser eye surgery? It is not surprising if you do because the two most common laser vision correction procedures, LASIK and PRK, have been FDA approved for 20 plus years now.
LASIK – Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis is the most popular treatment procedure used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
Generally, how laser eye surgery corrects vision is by reshaping the cornea – the clear dome at the front part of the eye that is responsible for two-thirds of the eye’s total focusing power.
- In LASIK, a thin flap of tissue is created at the surface of the cornea using a femtosecond laser-extremely fast bursts of laser energy – and flipped back to expose the underlying cornea.
- Some corneal tissue is then removed using a different laser called the excimer laser-a laser that uses shorter wavelength UV light.
- After microscopic amounts of corneal tissue is removed according to your prescription, the thin corneal flap created at the beginning is flipped back in place to close and cover the cornea.
- You are on your way to healing and enjoying improved vision without glasses.
PRK – Photorefractive Keratectomy also uses the excimer laser to remove underlying corneal tissue, reshaping the front part of the eye. The only way it differs from LASIK is that there is no thin corneal flap created. Instead, the outer layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is removed and allowed to grow back within five days while wearing a bandage contact lens.
Depending on each individual’s unique set of eyes, PRK may be considered against LASIK. For instance, if there is not enough corneal thickness, or if there is corneal surface disorder, PRK may be recommended by your surgeon.
Schedule a complimentary Laser Vision Correction consultation with your eye doctor to learn more and find out if you are a candidate.