Correct Vision Defects with Advanced Refractive Surgery
Author: Kathryn Dawson
Refractive eye surgery aims to improve the refractive index of the eye by correcting defects in the cornea. LASIK surgery and reflective lens exchange are the most popular methods to correct the refractive state of the eye. When conducted using advanced equipment, under the supervision of an expert ophthalmologist, refractive surgery should pose no severe complications. According to a study published in the Ocular Surgery News in May 2008, 95% of the patients achieve satisfactory vision correction through refractive eye surgery. Refractive surgery can lessen or totally eliminate the need to wear eyeglasses or contacts.
Different Types of Refractive Surgery
There are different forms of refractive surgery used to correct visual impairment, such as:
- Flap procedure: In laser eye surgery, the flap procedure is used to allow treatment of the inner layers of cornea. In this procedure, the refractive surgery is conducted after removing a flap from the top layer of cornea through the use of a laser beam. This flap is then replaced.
- Surface procedures: These procedures utilise laser technology to reshape the cornea. Conducted by highly experienced eye surgeons, they do not need a cornea flap.
- Corneal incision: There are three types of corneal incision procedures - radial keratotomy, arcuate keratotomy and limbal relaxing incisions. All three procedures involve an incision on the cornea to correct different visual defects. The incision is made on different layers of the cornea to correct specific problems.
Apart from these three types, there are several other vision correction procedures, such as lens implantation and laser thermal surgery, which fit in the refractive surgery category.
Most Popular Forms of Refractive Surgery
The most popular forms of refractive surgery used across the globe to correct different forms of visual imperfections are:
LASIK: LASIK (which stands for laser in situ keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure to treat vision errors such as myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism. LASIK surgery should be conducted by a specialist eye doctor. This process involves the use of an excimer laser to correct vision defects by treating the corneal tissues. Conventionally, the outer layer of the cornea is cut to create a flap so that laser beam can penetrate to the inner tissues. A Concerto excimer laser is used to reshape the structure of the cornea. The flap is then replaced after the operation.
With the development of Wavefront optimization technology, laser eye surgery has become even more effective. Wavefront technology is available only at select eye care facilities across the world and promises better vision correction. A kind of light map is created of the patient's eye. This is compared to the map of an eye with perfect vision and used to guide the laser correction.
Refractive lens exchange: This is a less complicated procedure as compared to laser eye surgery. It is used to cure vision blurring and other minor vision defects. It is specifically performed for defects arising from the hardening of the eye lens due to injury or damage. In this process, the hardened or cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial lens, which can be customized according to the requirements of the patient.
People who have had a refractive surgery should opt for another refractive procedure only after consulting a highly experienced eye doctor. Those who suffer from inflammation of the eyelids are also not good candidates for a refractive surgery.
For information about the risks associated with refractive surgery, browse the internet for resources on eye surgery. To decide on which eye hospital, look for specialist providers of ophthalmic services. Make sure they have state-of-the-art facilities, enabling them to specialise in vision correction (refractive surgery and laser eye surgery) cataracts, glaucoma, retinal disease, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cosmetic eye surgery. You'll also want to check that your eye doctor and surgeon will be a highly experienced specialist, so check the information available on the consultants.