Laser vision correction refers to a group of minimally invasive procedures that reshape the cornea with laser energy to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, leaving patients with 20/20 vision or better after treatment. These procedures are customized to provide the best possible results for each individual patient, allowing your surgeon to correct the very specific refractive errors that obscure your vision.
Laser vision correction procedures help patients eliminate the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses, a costly and bothersome hassle that millions of people deal with everyday. By reshaping the cornea, these procedures change the way that the eye focuses light and allowing you to enjoy clear vision.
There are several different laser vision correction procedures available to help patients achieve clear vision without glasses or contacts. Please call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors to figure out which procedure is best for you.
Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a safe, reliable and painless way to improve vision by changing the way light is bent, or refracted, as it passes through the cornea, so that is properly focuses on the retina and allows objects to be seen clearly.
During the LASIK procedure, the surgeon creates a thin flap in the surface of the cornea with a device called a microkeratome blade. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia so that pain is minimized. The corneal flap is then lifted and an excimer laser beam reshapes the cornea’s curvature to improve vision. Finally, the flap is closed and covered with a protective contact lens. The entire procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes per eye.
The ideal LASIK candidate includes someone who is over 18 years old, has stable vision and has a healthy cornea that is thick enough for a flap. After undergoing the procedure, patients experience immediate vision improvement and can often return to work the very next day.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) uses an excimer laser to burn away a small amount (about 5 to 30 percent) of the top of the cornea. Instead of cutting a flap into the cornea with a blade, this method preserves the strength of the cornea and avoids the risk of perforation and other flap errors commonly associated with the blade method. During the PRK procedure, the surgeon also has greater control in the location and amount of tissue being removed, allowing patients to enjoy a much more accurate treatment.
The PRK method involves gently sculpting the cornea rather than cutting, allowing your surgeon to treat greater degrees of nearsightedness, as well as farsightedness and astigmatism. Up to 95 percent of patients with a correction of up to -6.00 diopters achieved vision of 20/40 or better after PRK, with up to 70 percent achieving 20/20.
Before LASIK was available, PRK was the most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure. LASIK brought about several advantages over PRK, including less discomfort and faster results, but PRK is still preferred for patients with large pupils or thin corneas. The PRK procedure takes less than a minute to complete, and is performed with only anesthetic eye drops.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)
Corneal refractive therapy (CRT) is a nonsurgical treatment that reshapes the cornea while you sleep for a temporary correction of myopia and astigmatism. During the CRT treatment process, patients wear specially-designed contact lenses while asleep, which reshape the cornea overnight and are removed upon waking. Patients can then go through the day with no need for glasses or contact lenses.
CRT is most effective for patients with low to moderate nearsightedness (up to -6.00 diopters) with or without astigmatism (up to 1.75 diopters). There are no bifocal prescriptions currently available for CRT, but some patients may be fitted for monovision correction in order to achieve a full range of clear vision. Patients with an eye infection, disease, injury or abnormality should not wear CRT lenses.
Once CRT treatment begins, patients may experience rapid improvement during the first few days, with full vision correction achieved after 10 to 14 days. Before full vision correction is achieved, patients may need to wear the CRT lenses or temporary soft lenses in another prescription during the day. If the contact lenses are not worn regularly during sleep, vision will return to its original state in as little as 72 hours.