An Overview of Refractive Eye Surgery
- Author Kathryn Dawson
- Published March 4, 2011
- Word count 632
Refractive eye surgery is a very broad term and covers several types of surgery for correcting eye problems. Many people don't realise that there is life after glasses, and in just a few shorts weeks you can have eyes that provide perfect sight. There are many reasons why a person might need to wear glasses, but the majority of the problems can be corrected with some form of refractive surgery. If you want an overview of refractive eye surgery then you have come to the right place. Read on to find out all about the different treatments available for correcting eye problems.
To start with there is laser eye surgery available. A whole range of conditions can be treated with this type of surgery. Lasik or "Laser in situ Keratomileusis" breaks down further still however. Advanced surface ablation is one form of lasik surgery that is done without having to make an incision in the cornea. This is only done in a rare number of cases. Another form of lasik surgery is blended vision. During this procedure one eye may be treated for shortsightedness whilst the other is treated for longsightedness. When a laser is used to make an incision on the cornea, this is known as Intralasik surgery and Wavefront is a tailor made form of the procedure that involves creating a 3D map of the patient's eye before carrying out a custom made laser eye surgery plan.
Another common type of refractive eye surgery is Lasek surgery. This is used for similar problems as those helped by lasik surgery, but usually when the problems are less severe. For example if the cornea only needs slightly flattening or slighting curving to correct near and farsightedness problems. It is also suitable for people who have thin corneas. Lasek is short for "laser assisted epithelial keratomileusis". Rather than creating a flap with an incision the fine surface of the cornea is instead loosened and folded back. An excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea and therefore correct the refractive error in the eye. There is slightly longer recovery periods with lasek surgery than lasik although not usually more than a week or two.
Finally there is refractive eye surgery known as a Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). This has helped thousands of people across the UK and beyond have their sight restored by removing their hardened eye lens and replacing it with an artificial one. The new lens can be customised too, so if you were previously long sighted, this will be corrected or if you were short sighted, the lens would be created so this was no longer a problem. There are many types of lens available and your eye doctor will be able to tell you the most appropriate type for your needs. This is excellent surgery for anyone suffering from cataracts in particular. As we age the lens of the eye becomes quite hard. When it also becomes a little cloudy, this is known as cataracts. By replacing the lens of the eye this problem can be removed altogether and a person's eye sight is restored. The cataracts can't come back either with an artificial lens in place.
As well as refractive problems and cataracts, there are other conditions that can be cured through surgery. Glaucoma is another common affliction that causes many people to become partially sighted. When the drainage canals in the eye become blocked they cause pressure to build. This pressure if not dealt with can cause blurriness and double vision, in some cases resulting in blindness.
Refractive eye surgery is a broad term covering a range of eye surgeries. From eye glaucoma to cataracts and everything in between, there is laser vision correction surgery available that can restore sight, or at least halt the deterioration.
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