Some people don’t like the hassle of wearing and maintaining glasses. Others find contacts too much upkeep to be the right corrective option. For these patients, corrective laser eye surgery is definitely worth pursuing. You can correct your vision, and spend the day without giving a single thought to your eyes!
Since we refer to most corrective surgeries as “laser eye surgery”, it’s easy to understand how many people assume there’s really only one procedure. But the reality is, every eye is different, and will respond to surgery differently.
Since the invention of laser corrective surgery, doctors have been consistently working to perfect the operation for different kinds of patients. As a result, there are a number of different procedures; each one, for the most part, achieving the same results despite being conducted differently.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) was one of the first laser corrective operations available. Using lasers, ophthalmologists remove tissue from the surface of the eye, changing the shape of the cornea. Despite being one of the oldest procedures, some doctors still prefer PRK to LASIK for some patients.
LASIK is the most commonly performed corrective surgery. Rather than cutting tissue directly from the surface of the eye, the surgeon will cut a flap in the surface of the eye and fold it back. From there, they’ll reshape your cornea using a laser, and then replace the flap. The main advantage LASIK has over PRK is there is little to no discomfort during or after the procedure.
LASIK is not ideal for every patient. Some people’s corneas are too thin to have LASIK performed. Instead of cutting a thicker flap, LASEK involves cutting a very thin flap, which is lifted back with alcohol. The ophthalmologist will then reshape your cornea just as they would in LASIK, replacing the flap when they’ve finished.
IntraLase combines the safety of PRK with the reduced recovery of LASIK. A computer controlled infrared beam makes a custom flap with the most precision and accuracy. The lens can be better customized to the patient’s eye for a perfect fit.
Refractive Lens Exchange is not a laser corrective surgery, but rather a way to replace a patient’s natural lens with a manufactured lens implant. The lens implant then stays in the eye, and requires no further care after surgery.
Although laser eye correction is very common and very safe, it is still a surgery. And just like any medical procedure, there is a risk of complications.
Your eyes may be overcorrected or undercorrected, meaning you still need to rely on a prescription, or your eyes may eventually return to their original condition. You may experience an increase in dry eye symptoms, as well as light halos or glare, especially in the dark. In some cases, the flap created to conduct the procedure causes problems after the surgery. It could become accidentally folded back, opening your eye up to infection. Occasionally, the tissue under the flap may grow incorrectly while it’s healing.
Laser eye surgery could offer you a great increase in freedom and enjoyment. If you’re interested in exploring laser correcting, book a consultation with us. We’ll make sure you have all the information you need to feel comfortable and confident in your decision.
Come see us for yourself. We’re located Kelowna’s Pandosy Village District, across from Raymer Elementary School.