Your cornea (the transparent outer layer on the front of the eye) serves as a fixed-focus lens; the cornea is responsible for around two thirds of the eye’s focusing power. Therefore vision can be improved by permanent reshaping of the cornea. The kind of reshaping needed depends on the eye condition that is being treated.
Refractive surgery aims to reduce a person’s dependence on glasses and/or contact lenses, by treating myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and/or astigmatism. Refractive surgery does not enable perfect vision for every patient, some may still require weak prescription glasses or/and contact lenses afterwards. However in some cases results can be modified by further treatment.
Refractive Surgery Options
Refractive surgery involves using an excimer laser; this laser uses ultraviolet light and energy pulses to reshape the cornea. There are several different procedures available:
- LASIK (Laser in situ keratomileusis)
- This procedure involves the surgeon partially separating the top layer of the cornea. The corneal flap is then folded back and the excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea. The corneal flap is then put back into position
- LASEK (Laser epithelial keratomileusis)
- This procedure works the same as LASIK except that this procedure makes a thinner flap, meaning that it is more suitable for people with thin corneas
- PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy)
- This procedure differs in that no corneal flap is made; the excimer laser removes tissue from the corneas outer layer
- Wavefront LASIK, LASEK or PRK
- Light is passed through the eye and a sensor graphs the corneas unique shape into a 3D map. The laser is then used to reshape the cornea
If you are interested in learning more about refractive surgery to improve your eyesight, or would like to discuss your options then please call us today (02) 9868 2333.