Laser vision correction is an alternative to using contact lenses and glasses. The procedure aims to enable the patient to see more clearly and naturally. There are two main types of methods used for laser eye surgery. These are LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy).
What Happens During LASIK?
At most, LASIK takes about ten minutes to complete on each eye. Your eye doctor will first give you anesthetic eye drops to numb your eyes. A femtosecond laser is then used to cut a flap on the epithelium. This creates an opening into the inner layers of the cornea. After reshaping the inner layers with the laser, the created flap is then put back in place.
What Happens During PRK?
PRK also begins with the numbing of the eyes to prevent pain during the procedure. The ophthalmologist then removes the epithelium, which is the top layer of the cornea. This allows for the reshaping of the other layers using an excimer laser. This usually takes between half a minute to one minute, in which any irregularities are fixed. Afterward, the doctor places a special lens bandage over the cornea. This helps begin the healing process of the eye’s inner tissues.
What Is the Difference Between LASIK and PRK?
The two procedures are almost identical. But with PRK, the top layer of the cornea is removed permanently. With LASIK, only a section of the epithelium is cut away during the surgery, after which it is set back in place.
What Conditions Are Laser Vision Correction Procedures Used to Correct?
LASIK and PRK are refractive surgeries used to correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. Farsightedness means you cannot see objects that are close clearly. With nearsightedness, you cannot see objects that are far away clearly. If you have astigmatism, the eye shape is irregular, leading to blurred vision.
Am I Eligible for LASIK or PRK Surgery?
To be a good candidate for either LASIK or PRK, you need to at least 18 years of age. Other requirements considered include:
- If you have been using contact lenses or glasses to improve your vision.
- Good eye health, with the absence of any eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts.
- Stable vision for at least a year before the procedure.
- If you have had a failed surgery, your eye doctor may recommend you not having another one.
What Are the Risks Associated with Laser Vision Correction?
Some of the side effects that you may experience after laser vision correction surgery include:
- Poor night vision characterized by seeing starbursts or halos around lights.
- Bleeding beneath the conjunctiva
- Dry eyes, which are usually temporary
- Visual distortion in cases where the doctor removed excess corneal tissue. Distortion results from increased intraocular pressure, which causes the eye to bulge. This may lead to loss of vision if not treated
- Astigmatism can occur if the curvature of the eye becomes irregular. It may occur when the epithelial tissue is not removed evenly
Interested in Laser Vision Correction?
At Optometrists of Lansing, we work closely with a network of top laser surgeons. This is to ensure a high success rate for LASIK and PRK. Laser surgeries are sensitive procedures. It is vital you enlist the services of experienced and well-trained eye doctors. With us, your eye care comes first, and we strive to give you the best results for any procedure.