Which Laser Eye Surgery Procedure is Right For Me?

26 May 2012

Vision problems have long been a problem for several individuals. Whether it is through age, a genetic predisposition or some other causative factor, the search for the best treatments is the number one priority in the minds of those who suffer from a form of impairment in vision. "Which laser eye surgery procedure is right for me?" This is a question that is most often asked by sufferers as advancements in technology in recent decades have allowed for effective treatments using lasers to be applied in correcting vision.

Assessing the Problem

To answer the question effectively, one must realize that there are certain conditions that warrant laser eye surgery treatments. A client who suffers from a form of vision problem must first undergo comprehensive testing and consultation to arrive at the best solution. A full assessment involves tests that zero in on the various parts of the eye and determines a client's unique qualities regarding the anatomy.

Laser Eye Surgeries

The existing laser eye surgeries involve the alteration of the corneal region of the eyes. The procedures all aim to refocus the light into the retina properly to come up with an improved sense of vision. The different surgeries are classified into how the procedure accomplishes this task.

LASIK or (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a procedure that involves the creation of a flap on the corneal surface. With that in place, the small lasers are then used to alter the tissue covered by the flap which is then repositioned afterwards. The eye is then allowed to heal and the client is given post operative instructions on proper care to speed up the recovery.

With LASEK or PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), no flap needs to be made. What the surgeon does is displace the epithelium or outer surface of the cornea. With the use of a specific solution, this epithelial surface is temporarily weakened and moved to the side. Laser beams are then directed onto the cornea. If the epithelial layer is permanently weakened, it will be removed. This layer will eventually regenerate within a few days. Once it is removed, the procedure becomes PRK. Compared to LASIK, the vision correction may not be immediately apparent. Some clients may experience improvement within a few weeks while others may have to wait for months before changes can be recognized.

LASIK and LASEK are both applicable for anyone suffering from near sightedness (myopia), far sightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. While both are effective, it is evident that the improvement can come much earlier in LASIK as compared to LASEK. While both procedures a relatively safe, there are still some mild risks involved. New improvements in laser eye surgeries like Wavefront and Intralase are now becoming more popular as these advancements increase the effectiveness of the surgeries while consequently reducing the risks.

In the end, the answer to question, "Which laser eye surgery procedure is right for me?" depends on the findings of the assessment, the surgeon's discretion and the client's choice. The surgeries discussed above apply to the most common vision problems. It is within the client's responsibility to seek all available information on these treatments to come up with an informed decision.

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