As time passes and medical technology develops, eye surgeries gain more and more popularity. Eye specialists have at their disposal devices, which allow for quick and painless vision correction.
Vision correction surgery involves the eye surgical procedures called refractive or laser eye surgery used to fix vision problems. There have been huge advances in this field, especially for recent years. These surgeries are so important because of allowing many people to see better than before.
Corrective eye surgery stopped to be an excessively expensive service, and it is a popular alternative to wearing glasses or lenses. Currently, there are many types of eye surgery, including laser eye treatments. This plurality only increases the confusion of some patients, who ask: how does laser surgery work? Which laser eye surgery is the best? What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?
In this article, we will try to provide you the answer of these and also this type of any other questions on corrective eye surgeries.
1. LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK eye surgery is one of the most popular laser eye surgeries and also one of the newest techniques available. Its name stands for laser assisted in situ keratomileusis. Instead of removing epithelium, during laser eye surgery procedure, ophthalmologist creates a flap in it and then proceeds to shape the cornea by laser.
In the case of LASIK surgery, recovery time is relatively quick, and most of the patients enjoy improved eyesight almost immediately. Side effects and possible complications in case of LASIK eye surgery are possible but unlikely and can be corrected after the initial period of six months. The surgery involves reshaping the cornea to improve visual acuity as an alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses. Although it is rare to develop glaucoma as a result of LASIK eye surgery, patients who are at risk of developing glaucoma or already have glaucoma need to follow special instructions before, during, and after surgery.
This can also be an effective solution to astigmatism, especially for patients who do not want the wear glasses or contact lenses.
High success rate coupled with instant laser eye surgery recovery, both impacted lasers assisted in situ keratomileusis’ high position among corrective eye surgeries. However, in some cases of untypical eye shape or thickness of the epithelium, doctors recommend classical PRK over LASIK.
2. PRK Eye Surgery
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is another type of eye surgery with the laser to correct the common vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. PRK which was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction is considered as the predecessor to the popular LASIK eye surgery procedure.
During PRK treatment, ophthalmologist removes the epithelium totally instead of creating the flap, and it regrows again. For this reason, the PRK recovery is rather long and more painful than LASIK eye surgery recovery. Still, PRK laser eye surgery is recommended for some of the patients who cannot decide for another refractive surgery.
3. LASEK Eye Surgery
LASEK (Laser epithelial keratomileusis) eye surgery was thought to be a middle ground between PRK and LASIK eye surgeries. In this procedure, the epithelium is removed just for the period of corrective eye surgery and then reinstalled. It is also used to treat astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness by combining many of the benefits of two most commonly performed procedures -- LASIK and PRK. LASEK needs longer recovery time compared to LASIK eye surgery but, it causes less pain than PRK surgery and dry eye less frequently than LASIK eye surgery.
4. Corneal Transplant Surgery
Corneal transplant surgery is a solution for various eye diseases and defects. It is also commonly used as keratoconus treatment. Keratoconus is a medical condition causing a change in the shape of the cornea. As a result of this and other conditions, the patient experiences difficulties with proper seeing because the angle or amount of light reaching the eye becomes insufficient. During cornea replacement surgery a whole or just a part of the cornea (so-called partial corneal transplant) is removed, and the donated one is placed instead of it. The corneal transplant recovery time varies depending on the scope of operation defined according to the eye problems and technique used. During your recovery time after the corneal transplant surgery, these are things you need to do:
• You should use the eye drops as your ophthalmologist prescribed.
• You need to be careful for not to press on or to rub your eye.
• If you feel pain, you may take pain medicine.
• You may use eyeglasses or an eye shield to protect your eyes.
• Follow-up appointments with your ophthalmologist and all the instructions he or she give are the keys to turn back to your daily routine as soon as possible.
5. Cataract Surgery
The medical condition called cataracts means that one’s lenses are getting cloudy and therefore the sight gets increasingly impaired. What causes cataracts? The lens which lies behind the iris and the pupil causes cataracts. The most part of the lens involves water and protein. The protein keeps the lens clear. But as we age, some of the protein may cluster together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. The cataract may become larger and cloud more of the lens over time.
Cataracts are usually related to aging, but they are also observed in young age or even in newly born children’s eyes. The only possible solution is cataract removal through cataract eye surgery. Throughout the cataract operation, eye doctor makes a small incision in the cornea and removes a lens and positions a new, artificial lens in its place. Removal of cataracts takes no longer than an hour and is a classical, safe procedure. In case if cataracts are present in both eyes, the second operation takes time a few weeks after the first eye surgery for cataracts.
When your eye problems begin to affect your quality of life negatively, it is time to consult an optometrist or an eye clinic. With a simple eye test or a short examination, you can learn the permanent treatment you need, be directed to an ophthalmologist for eye surgery. Eye surgeries described above can improve your quality of life by helping to correct your problems with the help of technology and the cost appropriate to your budget.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in April 2019.