Laser vision correction means methods in which vision is enhanced and improved with the help of laser rays. Earlier, an individual used to improve his vision by wearing spectacles or contact lenses. But with the introduction of laser vision correction surgery, an individual can get near normal eyesight!.
One of the first surgeries used to treat nearsightedness and astigmatism was Radial Keratotomy (RK). Radial Keratotomy used a diamond blade to make cuts in the cornea to enable it to bulge outwards thereby flattening its central portion and improving distance vision.
Types of Laser Vision Correction Surgeries:
Various types of laser vision correction surgeries are used to correct or improve an individual’s eyesight.
- Photorefractive Keratotomy (PRK): Rather than making cuts in the cornea, Photorefractive Keratotomy (PRK) procedure uses excimer laser to sculpt an area on the surface of the eye. Generally, Photorefractive Keratotomy is performed on one eye at a time as eye may take some time to function normally. One of the disadvantages of this type of surgery is that the patient experiences discomfort till cornea is completely healed.
- Laser assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK): An innovative type of surgery, Laser assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) procedure is performed on a patient after administering him anesthesia. This procedure uses an automated microkeratome to create corneal flap after which excimer laser removes the cornea. The advantage of Laser assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery is that it is a simple, fast and accurate procedure used to cure nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Laser assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) causes least discomfort as compared to other types of laser surgeries and the recovery is also faster.
- Wave front Guided custom LASIK: In Wave front Guided custom LASIK type of surgery, problems in the eye are determined first with the help of aberrometer. If an individual’s eye is perfect, light rays also known as wave fronts, which enter the eyes as flat sheets, exit the eyes as flat sheets. But if there is any problem in the cornea or other components, these light rays or wave fronts will exit the eyes as irregular curved sheets. Aberrometer helps determine the kind of wave fronts.
Advantages of Laser Vision Correction surgeries:
- After the problem is determined, corneal surface is reprofiled with the help of excimer laser beam. One of the advantages of this type of surgery is that it develops individualized treatment plan for each eye depending on the aberrations. While the Laser assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) procedure only corrected myopia and astigmatism, Wave front Laser assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) actually enables you to see much better than you used to before the procedure.
- The advantage ofLaser assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)and Wave front guided LASIK is that it can be operated on both the eyes at the same time. Also, the post –operative pains lasts for just four to six hours as against 24 hours in RK and about 24 to 28 hours in PRK.
Disadvantages of Laser Vision Correction surgeries:
- If laser vision correction surgeries have advantages, there are some disadvantages too in laser vision correction surgeries. The patient may suffer from pain or discomfort, blurred vision and dryness of the eyes. He may also become sensitive to bright lights. Patients may get refractive complications like too much or too little correction and imbalance between the eyes. Also, if corneal flap which is used to replace cornea is of inadequate size or thickness, poor quality, it may cause problems.
- If corneal flap is displaced, be it partially or wholly, vision may be blurred both qualitatively and quantitatively. Corneal flap displacement may take the individual prone to epithelial growth and infection. Patients may also develop corneal irregularities, i.e. cornea heals in irregular pattern which may permanently affect the quality of visuals.
- Technology has provided many options for you to improve or correct vision, so choose your type after consultations with the ophthalmologists, weighing advantages and disadvantages of all types of surgeries, risk factors involved and also your budget.