Understanding Laser Eye Surgery

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Understanding Laser Eye Surgery

Over the last decade, laser surgery has become an increasingly popular option with those looking to correct their eyesight. Different laser refractive surgery techniques are used to correct conditions such as myopia, astigmatism and hypermetropia, and the results are generally very positive.

It is important to note however, that not all eye issues can be corrected by laser surgery, and that often, those who have undergone the operation may still need to wear glasses or contact lenses to see clearly. That being said, it is an excellent option for suitable candidates and can improve a patient’s quality of life dramatically.

How Laser Eye Surgery Works

Laser surgery is a quick procedure, but it’s an intensive one. Essentially, when a surgeon performs the surgery a thin flap in the cornea is created using a femtosecond laser or microkeratome blade. The flap is then folded back and corneal tissue is removed or reshaped using an eximer laser. It’s this reshaping or restructuring of the cornea that alleviates eye conditions and improves people’s sight.

This type of surgery is very precise and but the advantage is that when the flap is replaced, it will reattach itself and there’s no need for sutures or surgical adhesives, and the difference in sight is evident almost immediately.

Benefits And Downsides

Since laser eye surgery first became available in the 1990’s, millions of people have opted for this option. Over the years technology has improved and advanced, and today’s operations are far easier, quicker and accurate than those performed 2 decades ago.

As with any surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages, but studies show that over 90% of surgery patients say they are happy with their results. There are of course some patients who have reported negative side effects, with halos (rings of light around a light) or poor night vision being the most common complaint.

Many patients who have had laser surgery may have to wear glasses again at some point, but more than likely will not be reliant on them to see. Additionally, in certain cases, a second round of surgery, or what’s termed as ’retreatment’ may be required if the eyes deteriorate over time. Those who have had laser surgery still need to have regular eye exams to keep tabs on their eyesight and to potentially adjust their glasses or contact lens prescription.

Surgery Candidates

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for this type of surgery and it’s less suited to those who have extremely poor vision, nor can it address gradual deterioration in vision that’s caused by ageing. In order to be considered as a candidate, you must also be over the age of 21 and not had any changes in your prescription in at least 2 years.

Anyone who considers laser surgery also needs to realise that although the actual operation is quick, it is a major one, and the healing time can be extensive and potentially painful. Patients must protect their eyes carefully after the operation by wearing sunglasses and by avoiding putting any strain on their eye.

Unlike switching from glasses to contacts, the after effects of laser surgery take a while to get used to.

If laser surgery doesn’t sound like an option for you, there’s absolutely no need to worry. EyeQ can address any eye issues you may have and help you choose glasses or contacts that will suit you and your lifestyle!

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