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Different Types of Corrective Eye Surgery

Corrective Eye SurgeryMany millions of people have one type or another of difficulty with their vision. For much of history, the only treatment option for vision problems was the use of eyeglasses, but in recent years a variety of different surgical procedures have been developed, giving patients many different options in correcting their vision. According to the Ohio State University Medical Center, clear vision depends on how well the cornea and lens focus light rays onto the retina, which is the light sensitive portion of the eye. When the shape of the cornea becomes abnormal, the light is not properly focused on the retina and vision becomes blurry. The goal of most of these surgical procedures is to reduce the need for eyeglasses or contacts.LASIKLaser In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is the most popular form of corrective eye surgery today. It is a laser surgical procedure that attempts to correct the shape of the cornea allowing for proper focusing of light on the retina. LASIK surgery utilizes a cold, computer-controlled, excimer laser and the surgeon creates a thin flap in the center of the cornea, allowing for the removal of a small amount of tissue. This tissue removal causes the cornea to be reshaped and allows the light to be properly focused. According to Mayo Clinic, LASIK surgery may be performed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. Recovery is generally quick and rarely involves more than mild discomfort. Potential side effects include scarring, glare or night vision, worsening of the condition, infection and loss of vision.Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)According to, Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) was the first laser vision correction procedure used to remove tissue directly from the surface of the eye to reshape the corner. This procedure does not involve creation of a thin flap on the cornea, as with LASIK, which is beneficial for individuals who have a thin cornea. It does involve reshaping of the cornea and can cause recovery to last several weeks, making LASIK more popular. According to the US food and drug administration, PRK has a 95 percent success ratio.Radial KeratotomyRadial keratotomy (RK) is a procedure that involves a surgeon making microscopic incisions in the outer surface of the eye in a radial pattern. These incisions allow the cornea to reshape and refocus. It has been a successful procedure for many years but has fallen out of favor with the development of laser procedures. One great disadvantage of RK is the long healing time that is required. RK also can cause structural weakening of the eye, which is not the case with laser procedures.Other Laser ProceduresThere are many different named procedures that each attempt to reshape the cornea by creating a corneal flap with a laser. The difference resides in the laser hardware or eye mapping software used, but the outcome and methods are essentially the same. Some of these named procedures are Custom Vue IntraLasik, Conventional IntraLasik and Custom Vue Lasik.Original Source: