Benefits of Refractive Surgery
Refractive surgery can give you freedom from glasses and contact lenses by correcting refractive error. If you are hampered by nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or the need for reading glasses, laser vision correction may be the solution for you.
Refraction is bending of light. Refractive errors occur when light cannot be focused correctly on your retina. This can be due to the shape of your eyeball, the shape of your cornea, or problems with the lens of your eye due to aging. Common refractive errors include:
- Myopia – nearsightedness, eyeball is too long causing light to focus in front of the retina
- Hyperopia – farsightedness, eyeball is not long enough, causing focal point of light to be behind the retina
- Astigmatism – eyeball is irregularly shaped, not spherical, creating multiple focal points
- Presbyopia – inability to focus up close, due to changes in the lens of the eye
It is not unusual to have more than one type of refractive error, such as a combination of myopia and astigmatism.
Reshaping Your Corneas
Most refractive surgeries, including LASIK, reshape your cornea. The cornea is responsible for about 60% of focusing. It bends light before it passes through the pupil and lens of the eye. Then lens is responsible for fine tuning the focusing of light onto the retina. The cornea does not move or change shape to focus light, but the lens does in a process called accommodation.
LASIK, and most other laser vision correction procedures, reshape your cornea so that the light is focused properly and you can see clearly without having to wear glasses or contact lenses.
Laser vision correction procedures that reshape the cornea to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism include:
Refractive Surgery if You Need Reading Glasses
Presbyopia affects most people over 40, even those who have never had vision problems. It happens when the lens of the eye can no longer make the fine adjustments necessary to see close details clearly.
There are advantages and disadvantages to all three options. The first two are laser eye surgeries that reshape the cornea. Lens replacement replaces the natural lens of your eye with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). If you have cataracts, lens replacement is often the preferred procedure, because it removes the cataract while correcting presbyopia. If you have not yet developed cataracts, lens replacement prevents them from developing in the future.
If you would like to be free from dependence on glasses or contacts, contact an experienced ophthalmologist near you.