Which laser eye surgery treatment suits you?
The type of laser eye surgery you should have depends on why you need it and what your eyes are like. From treating short-sightedness with refractive LASIK eye surgery to curing astigmatism with PRK laser eye surgery, read on to discover the different laser eye treatments and which type of surgery could suit you.
What do you need laser eye treatment for?
Are you short-sighted?
If you’re short-sighted (myopic), your cornea is either too steeply curved or your eye is longer than usual. This makes it hard for light rays to reach the back of your eye (the retina, where images are interpreted), resulting in blurred distant vision.
Are you long-sighted?
On the other hand, if you’re long-sighted (hyperopic), it’s the opposite – your cornea is either too flat, or your eye is shorter than average. This means light rays reach too far beyond the retina, resulting in clearer distant vision, but difficulty focusing on closer objects.
Do you suffer from astigmatism?
Your cornea might be oval-shaped rather than spherical. This condition (astigmatism) creates two different focal points, which causes blurred vision at any distance.
Refractive laser eye surgery can reshape the eye’s cornea to treat all of these types of refractive errors. Read on to discover the different types of refractive eye surgery.
Do you have cataracts?
If you suffer from cataracts, refractive laser eye surgery can help correct this too. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens that prevents light from passing through smoothly, which can cause poor, blurred vision.
Because cataracts affect another area of the eye, the laser surgery procedure is different.
During cataract eye surgery, the laser carefully cuts a very small circular shaped area into the lens, which is just the right size to let enough light in, whilst ensuring the lens remains safely intact.
Types of laser eye surgery
As the most popular type of laser eye treatment, LASIK eye surgery is such a common procedure, it’s often used as a generic term for laser eye surgery. Of course LASIK isn’t the only type of eye surgery you can have, as you’re about to discover.
LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a type of refractive eye surgery that’s used to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. In simple terms, LASIK surgery removes the eye’s corneal tissue, in order to reshape the cornea and improve vision.
During LASIK eye surgery, a hinged flap is cut in the cornea so it can be lifted and the tissue underneath reshaped by the laser. This procedure will either flatten or curve the cornea, depending on which correction is needed.
Wavefront-guided LASIK is an advanced type of laser treatment, which provides a more tailored procedure using a wavefront sensor. With its 3-dimensional measuring technology, wavefront surgery can deliver very precise corrections that might not always be possible with conventional LASIK surgery.
It sounds very similar to LASIK eye surgery, but no, we haven’t misspelt it.
LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis) is usually a treatment patients have if LASIK is unsuitable.
Someone who has a thinner cornea, for example, may be referred for LASEK eye surgery. Or, out of choice, they might choose LASEK surgery because it’s a less invasive procedure. Some perceive it as less risky, since it doesn’t penetrate the tissue bed as deeply.
As the predecessor to LASIK, PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) used to be the leading type of laser eye surgery before LASIK became so popular.
However, PRK is still available at many clinics and is one of the cheapest types laser treatment, with prices starting at around £700 per eye.
Patients who have low to moderate refractive errors tend to choose PRK, which removes a thin layer of the cornea’s surface that naturally replaces itself as it heals (unlike LASIK or LASEK). The cornea will take a few months to heal, during which time the patient will notice an improvement with their vision.
People who choose PRK surgery usually have one eye treated at a time, due to the longer healing process. With speedier recovery times, it’s understandable why LASIK and LASEK have become more popular options.
So which type of laser eye surgery suits you?
Although you now have a better understanding about the different treatments available, to find out which type suits you it’s best to see a professional practitioner. Contact The Eye Blog to let us help you find the best laser eye surgery UK.