Overview on Laser Eye Surgery: Is it For You?
Waking up in the morning and being able to see clearly is
refreshing, but for many it's not possible without the aid of corrective lenses.
But, with the advent of laser eye surgery, many women are liberating themselves
from wearing glasses and the hassle of putting in contacts daily. So, if you're wondering: What are the types
of laser eye surgeries available? What are the benefits and risk of laser eye surgery? Or if laser eye correction treatments are suitable for you? Continue to read on to find the answers to your questions about laser eye surgery.
There are four different types of laser procedures you can choose from. These laser eye treatments include:
PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy): The PRK is a classic laser eye surgery procedure that was introduced in the nineties. During this procedure, your eye surgeon will remove the outer layer of your cornea with a surgical blade. Then he or she will use a laser beam to correct the shape of your cornea. Recovering from this procedure takes up to a week.
LASIK (Laser Assisted in situ Keratomileusis): LASIK was introduced in the mid-nineties and involves your eye surgeon using a computer-guided laser to cut a flap in your cornea. You surgeon will lift the flap and use the laser to reshape your cornea to correct your vision. Then she pull the flap over your cornea to allow it to heal. Recovery time for LASIK is shorter than for PRK.
LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis): This procedure is a combination of the PRK and LASIK procedures. Your surgeon will remove the outer layer of your cornea (epithelium) with a sharp surgical knife. He will lift the epithelium in a single layer and will use a laser to correct the shape of your cornea. Once, the vision correction is completed, your surgeon will place the epithelium over your cornea. Healing from LASEK takes up to two weeks.
Epi-LASIK: This procedure is almost identical to the LASEK procedure. But, the main difference is your eye surgeon will use a blunt mechanical device instead of a sharp knife to cut your epithelium.
Benefits of Laser Surgery
Some of the benefits of undergoing laser eye treatment include:
- Putting away your eyeglasses
- Stop wearing your contacts
- Being able to pursue a career that requires applicants to have perfect vision (e.g. police officer, pilot, etc)
Each laser eye treatment procedure will vary slightly in the kind and number of risks. Some common risks associated with each procedure include:
- Mild pain during the recovery period
- Unclear vision for up to a week after laser treatment
- Regression of vision within six months following surgery
- Corneal infection, which can seriously affect your vision
It's important to go over the risks associated with the procedure you choose for your eyes in detail with your eye surgeon. Make sure you know and understand all the potential risks and possible complications that can arise before undergoing laser treatment.
Is it For You?
You may qualify for laser eye surgery if you:
- Are at least 18 years old, however some procedures require you to be at least 21 years old
- Have healthy eyes with minor vision errors
- Show no history of eye diseases, retinal problems or corneal scars
- Are able to finance your laser eye treatment, because most insurance companies will not pick up your tab
- Understand and know all the risks associated with laser eye surgery