For the past 700 years, eyeglasses were the only way to help people see better. It wasn’t until contact lenses were invented in the 20th century that alternative methods were even considered. Now, there are other ways to correct vision; surgical treatment. Even in this field, there are several categories of surgical treatments available to help those with imperfect vision. Among them are PRK, LASIK and Keratoplasty.
What is PRK?
PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. This is a surgical treatment for vision problems that uses laser technology. In this procedure, the laser is used to remove or ablate tissue from the surface of the eye in certain places in order to change the curvature of the cornea. PRK is also sometimes called surface ablation. This treatment type was approved by the FDA in 1995 and is still widely used today to correct vision.
Benefits of PRK
One of the benefits of PRK is that regeneration, or healing of the surface of the eye seems to take place much faster than with some other surgical eye treatments; especially LASIK. This helps to reduce the occurrence of dry eyes during the recovery period following surgery.
Another benefit of PRK is the absence of risk of complications with a surgical flap. Unlike with LASIK, the PRK treatment doesn’t produce a surgical flap. This is why PRK is considered safer for patients who have a cornea that is deemed to be too thin to have LASIK.
What is LASIK?
LASIK is another type of laser surgery to correct vision problems. LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. This procedure is most often used to treat nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. The LASIK treatment reshapes the cornea so that the light that enters the eye can be properly focused to produce clear vision for the patient.
Benefits of LASIK
The biggest benefit to LASIK is that the patient experiences little to no discomfort immediately after the procedure. The recovery time can be as little as a few hours, as compared to other types of surgery treatments for vision that can take days.
Types of LASIK
There are a few different kinds of LASIK treatments. Your doctor will perform the one that is best suited for your particular circumstances.
LASEK treatment involves making a small, thin flap in order to reshape the eye.
epi-LASIK is the same treatment, but with a different tool.
Bladeless LASIK makes use of a laser to perform the treatment rather than a blade.
Wavefront LASIK uses wavefront analysis to measure how light behaves inside the eye. It’s a way to guide the procedure to give more detailed guidance during the LASIK procedure.
This is yet another surgical treatment for vision problems that utilizes a tiny probe to steepen the curve of the cornea by applying “spots.” This treatment is specifically for farsighted people, and has been shown to be excellent treatment, restoring near perfect vision. Conducive Keratoplasty received FDA approval back in 2002. Since then, it has been used extensively to help restore optimal vision.
There are surgical treatment options for almost all types of vision problems, including cataracts, astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. There’s no reason why you should have to suffer with any of these issues. Contact your eye doctor today to learn more about your options for improving your sight without the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses.