The Latest And Greatest In Vision Correction

A) Understanding Lasik Eye Surgery: Lasik eye surgery is by far the most common form of vision correction available. Lasik, which is actually an acronym for Laser In Situ Keratomileusis, is a specialized form of refractive laser eye surgery. Dr. Jose Barraquer first created this surgery, which can only be performed by ophthalmologists, in 1970.

With Lasik eye surgery, the ophthalmologist first creates a map of the surface of your cornea. This allows him or her to identify any irregularities of the cornea, such as those created by astigmatism. Using this information, the ophthalmologist is able to determine what corneal tissue will need to be removed in order to improve vision.

Most ophthalmologists will also prescribe antibiotics prior to the surgery in order to help prevent an infection from occurring. Your ophthalmologist will probably instruct you to also stop wearing contact lenses for a period of time prior to the surgery in order to allow the cornea to absorb oxygen and function at its optimal level.

During the actual surgery, you will remain awake and alert. A mild sedative is sometimes used, however, in order to help you remain calm and still while the procedure takes place. In addition, anesthetic eye drops will be added in order to minimize pain. Using a special laser or a microkeratome, which is a special cutting tool, the ophthalmologist will then cut a flap into your cornea. He or she will then pull this flap back in order to access the middle portion of the cornea, called the stroma.

Once the stroma is exposed, the ophthalmologist uses a different type of laser to reshape the cornea. This helps it to properly reflect light and, therefore, improves vision. There is potential for complications following Lasik surgery, though these complications are rare. Some of the possible complications include halos or sunbursts appearing in the vision while around light sources, dry eyes, and sensitivity to light, over or under correction, double vision, induced astigmatism, and wrinkles or debris being left underneath the “flap” created during surgery.

Some complications also arise due to the flap becoming detached from the rest of the cornea. This is why it is especially important for patients to rest their eyes after surgery and refrain from rubbing their eyes.

B) Lens implants: Another form of vision correction surgery is the Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) implantable lenses. These lenses, which were just approved by the FDA in December 2005, are able to be implanted into the eyes through tiny incisions. This amazing implantable contact lens is beneficial to those who suffer from myopia, or nearsightedness. The incision made in order to complete this surgery is tiny because the lens can actually be folded prior to being inserted.

Corrective lens implants are attractive to those who desire the freedom of never wearing glasses again or having to insert contacts, but who are nervous about the long term effects of Lasik eye surgery. In fact, implantable lenses are not permanent like Lasik eye surgery and can actually be more beneficial to those with high degrees of myopia who may otherwise be ineligible for corrective surgery. In fact, if something goes awry with implantable contact lenses, they can be simply removed or replaced.

This form of corrective surgery has also been shown to be highly effective. In fact, the FDA performed a clinical trial during which they focused on 526 people who had undergone surgery for implantable contact lenses. Three years after undergoing the surgery, 59% of patients had 20/20 vision or better at 95% had at least 20/40 vision.

Some of the side effects associated with Lasik eye surgery, such as halos, glares, double vision and problems with night vision, were found in patients receiving implantable contact lenses. For all of the patients, however, these problems either stayed the same or did not worsen over the same three-year period. As a result of the success of this procedure, 97% of patients said they would have the procedure again if given the choice.