IMAGINE A WORLD FREE FROM GLASSES & CONTACTS
If you have a refractive error, you likely wear glasses or contact lenses to correct it. However, glasses and contact lenses aren’t ideal for every lifestyle. If you’ve ever wished you could say goodbye to glasses and contacts, you may want to consider laser eye surgery.
We can determine if laser eye surgery is a good choice for you, and help you make an informed decision.
TYPES OF REFRACTIVE SURGERY
LASIK stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis and can be used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Your surgeon will make a flap in the outer layer of your cornea (the epithelium) and use a laser to gently reshape the cornea’s inner layers. Based on your refractive error, they will either steepen the curve or flatten it.
After reshaping your cornea to better focus light, the flap is replaced and acts as a natural bandage. In most cases, you should be able to drive and return to work the day after the procedure; however, most patients require approximately 6 months to fully heal.
PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, uses a specialized instrument to gently remove the outer layer of your cornea so the underlying tissue can be reshaped with a laser. Your surgeon will place a “bandage” contact lens over the eye to protect it while it heals.
Your vision will gradually improve over the next 3 to 5 days but may take up to a month before you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses. You should take at least a few days off work following the surgery to relax and promote healing.
LASEK is a hybrid of LASIK and PRK surgery, standing for laser epithelial keratomileusis. During the procedure, the outer layer of the cornea is treated with alcohol to loosen it from the stroma (the central layer of the cornea) and gently roll it back. Once exposed, the cornea is reshaped by a laser in a similar way to LASIK, and then the epithelium is rolled back out over the cornea.
Usually, a “bandage” contact lens is required to keep the epithelium in place and to promote healing. Most patients require approximately 4 days to fully heal.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM REFRACTIVE SURGERY
Refractive surgery is becoming increasingly more common as individuals with refractive errors are looking to say goodbye to glasses or contacts.
Before choosing a refractive surgery to fine-tune your vision, we recommend that you visit us for a comprehensive eye exam so we can determine if surgery is a good choice for you. We’ll do this by measuring your current prescription and assessing the overall health of your eyes.
We’ll also dilate your pupils to have a better view of the back of your eye so we can pinpoint issues that may need to be treated before surgery or prevent you from undergoing laser eye surgery. We will also perform tests to rule out dry eye related complications.
Immediately following the procedure, you may experience mild discomfort or pain in your eyes. Your vision will likely be hazy or blurry, and you may feel compelled to rub your eyes.
However, you should avoid touching your eyes as you could dislodge the flap.
Over the next few days, your eyes will likely be sensitive to light and may appear bloodshot. It is important to note that if you experience severe pain or your vision does not begin to improve to contact your optometrist immediately.
Severe complications from laser eye surgery are rare, but there is always a chance something could go wrong. Most mild side effects can be treated with additional surgery.
The most common side effect of laser eye surgery is temporary discomfort and blurry vision. However, these side effects should subside after a few days.
In a small number of cases, you may experience complications with the flap created during surgery that may cause distorted vision. Flap complications could lead to astigmatism or an abnormal eye growth.
If you suspect you may be experiencing complications, please contact your optometrist as soon as possible.