Laser vision surgery can help improve your vision and completely eliminate any need for contacts or spectacles. Generally, it’s an outpatient procedure that uses laser beams to correct eyesight. There are several types of laser vision surgery but only three of them work by reshaping the cornea. These are LASEK, PRK, and LASIK. Two other types of laser vision surgery work by opening up the cornea, and inserting a new lens, but these are mostly suitable for people with glaucoma and eye cataracts. By learning about the different types of laser vision correction, you can determine if you’re the right kind of candidate and which particular procedure is suitable for you.
The Ideal Candidate
To determine whether you’re a candidate for the procedure, visit an ophthalmologist who has specialized in laser vision surgery, for a thorough eye examination. The physician will first assess the condition of your eyes, to ensure you don’t have any eye diseases or conditions that could interfere with the surgery. You will have to conduct some research on ophthalmologists that do laser surgery, before picking the right one. Find people who’ve undergone the procedure and talk to them for references. Alternatively, you can search online for the right doctor located close to your home area. They must be known for reliable work, and be very well respected.
After finding the right doctor, discuss with them whether the eye surgery is the right course of action and if it will correct your vision. Find out if there are any conditions you harbor that may prevent you from being a good candidate for the procedure. Such conditions may include inflammation of the eyelids, large cornea, glaucoma, and thin cornea. If the doctor feels that you’re not the right candidate, take their word for it. Going ahead with the procedure may be dangerous. Ensure the doctor is well aware of your past eye diseases as this could affect the whole procedure.
Type of Laser Vision Surgery
After undergoing the eye examination and getting the go-ahead, discuss with your doctor what surgery options you have. The ophthalmologist will inform you what options you have, and which of those options will work best for your condition. If they present several options, you will have to go through all of them and research properly before deciding.
The most common surgery is LASIK surgery. In this procedure, a laser beam is used to remove any imperfections of the outside surface of the cornea. You need a thick cornea to have this procedure. Undergoing the surgery with a thin cornea could cause blindness. The procedure takes about half an hour to complete. You’ll be able to see immediately after the surgery but it may take a few months before your eyes heal completely and your vision stabilizes. LASEK is similar to LASIK except it’s ideal for patients with corneas that are too thin. The procedure is less likely to cause eye dryness after as it destroys less cornea tissue than LASIK. PRK surgery has largely been replaced by LASIK. With PRK, you may need to wear a bandage over your eyes during recovery.
Your ophthalmologist will give you pre-surgery and post-surgery instructions, which must be followed closely. The doctor might recommend that you keep the contacts out of your eyes for about two to three weeks before surgery. You’ll also be instructed to refrain from rubbing or touching your eyes after surgery.