Laser Vision Correction Surgery

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LASEK Vision Correction SurgeryImagine being able to work, drive, and play sports without having to depend on glasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgery may make this a reality for
you. You and your eye doctor can determine whether you’re a good candidate for refractive surgery.


Clear vision depends on how well the cornea and lens permit light rays to fall onto the retina. Light rays must be refracted (bent) to focus on the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive nerve layer that lines the back of the eye, which creates impulses from the light rays that are sent through the optic nerve to the brain.

If the cornea or eye shape is abnormal, vision can become blurry because light does not fall properly on the retina. Called a refractive error, an abnormal cornea shape can often be corrected by refractive eye surgery, which, in turn, corrects the vision problem. Refractive errors can include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (an irregularly shaped cornea which causes blurring), and presbyopia (similar to hyperopia, a condition which causes the lens to harden).

The goal of most refractive eye surgeries is to reduce or eliminate a person's dependency on eyeglasses or contact lenses. Refractive eye surgery is not for everyone. One type of surgery may be more suitable for one person than another. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis and to discuss which type of surgery, if any, may be appropriate for you.

There are several types of corrective surgical procedures for refractive errors, including, but not limited to:
•    laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) surgery
•    photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
•    radial keratotomy (RK)
•    astigmatic keratotomy (AK)
•    automated lamellar keratoplasty (ALK)
 

About the Eye

Sharp vision depends on many factors. The parts of the eye work together to refract (bend and focus) light rays. If the cornea or the eyeball as a whole is not the right shape, light doesn’t focus correctly, and vision is blurry.

The cornea is the eye’s clear, dome-shaped window.

The thin outer layer of the cornea is called the epithelium.

The pupil changes shape to control the amount of light entering the eye.

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It contains muscles that dilate (open) or constrict (close) the pupil.

The lens is a clear disc of tissue that changes shape (accommodates) to help focus light.

The retina lines the inside of the eye. It turns light into signals that are sent to the brain.

The optic nerve carries signals from the retina to the brain.

How the eye works

Sharp vision depends on many factors. The parts of the eye work together to refract (bend and focus) light rays. If the cornea or the eyeball as a whole is not the right shape, light doesn’t focus correctly, and vision is blurry.

Recovery

For the first few days, your eyes may water, burn, or itch. You may also feel as if you have something in your eyes. Your vision may seem worse at first. This should improve in about 5 days and become stable within a few weeks.

To promote healing:

  • Protect you eyes from injury. Don’t scratch, rub, or touch your eyes. You will be given an eye shield to wear for a few days.
  • Use prescribed eye drops as directed. These are vital to healing.
  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors and restrict your use of makeup as advised.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice about driving, swimming and other activities.
  • See your doctor for follow-up visits. These help ensure you’re healing well.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Increasing pain after surgery
  • Worsening vision
  • Increasing redness or irritation
  • Thick or cloudy discharge from the eyes

Risks and Complications

  • Dry eyes
  • “Halos” or “starbursts” in your vision
  • Infection
  • Blurry vision
  • Undercorrection or overcorrection
  • Loss of best corrected vision

Types of vision

  • Emmetropia (normal vision) occurs when light is focused on the retina. This helps maintain sharp vision.
  • Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when light focuses in front of the retina. Distant objects appear blurry.
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness) occurs when light focuses behind the retina. Nearby objects appear blurry.
  • Astigmatism occurs when light focuses in more than one place. Both near and distant objects are distorted.

Lasek surgery can treat myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

 
 
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