Eyeglasses have been a traditional solution for correcting vision problems for many centuries. When contact lenses arrived on the scene, they offered a new practical solution for restoring vision. Now an increasing number of eye surgery options have displaced glasses or contacts as the only solutions for healthy vision.
Laser correction surgeries offer a snapshot of evolution in eye surgeries. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) became the first successful surgery to change the shape of the cornea through removing tissue. The FDA approved PRK in 1995 and it is still widely used early in the 21st Century. With PRK, it only takes a few days for vision improvements to be realized.
LASIK followed on the heels of PRK. It involves cutting a thin flap in the outer covering of the eye to reshape the cornea. Unlike PRK, it only takes a few hours to gain sharper vision with LASIK surgery. There is some risk of suffering dry eye and other complications such as halos around bright lights until the flap fully heals. LASIK can be done with the aid of a mechanical cutting tool, using all lasers or incorporating wavefront technology that measures how light hits the eye.
Some eye surgeries require implanting new artificial lenses to produce vision improvements. Implantable lenses similar to contact lenses can correct more severe levels of nearsightedness. These artificial lenses go permanently over the natural lens on the eye. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) takes it a step further and replaces the natural lens with an artificial lens of a different shape. RLE is done to correct extreme farsightedness.
Cataract surgery is the most commonly done surgery in the United States and is also the most successful surgery. When the cataracts in your eyes get to a point where glasses are no longer of benefit to you or the glare becomes unbearable at night, we might consider cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a simple, 15 minute out-patient procedure done by our trusted surgical referral center. The surgeon uses lasers and other equipment to remove your natural lens and insert an artificial lens with your glasses prescription in it.
In some cases, and depending on the type of artificial lenses put in the eye, people do not need glasses after cataract surgery. This is not the case all the time, however. Sometimes glasses are needed to see well after the surgery, but the bottom line is that you will be able to see again!
Our eyes change as we age, so some corrective surgeries are not a good option for everyone. People under 18, for example, are not good candidates for laser eye surgeries because their eyes change rapidly as their bodies are growing.
Health also factors into eye surgeries. If you have diabetes or other medical conditions that impact eyesight, certain eye surgeries may pose serious risks.
Post operative care is determined by the type of eye surgery that was performed. Some surgeries require multiple post operative visits to monitor the eye and diagnose/ determine a course of action for any complications that may arise from the surgery.