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Short-sightedness, Long-sightedness and Astigmatism Explained

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5th September, 2012  

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Laser Eye Surgery is a procedure carried out to correct certain vision problems. These are: myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism. You may well be a sufferer of one of these, but how much do you  know about them and how does the laser treatment help correct them?

Myopia, which is also known as short-sightedness, is a condition in which someone has good, clear, close vision, but blurry distant vision. This means for close work, such as reading, watching television, etc they don’t have a problem, but can’t see into the distance very well without glasses or contacts to aid them.

The reason for the blurry distance vision is due to how the light is focused. In a normal eye, light is focused directly onto the retina, resulting in clear vision all around. However, in a myopic eye, the light is focused in front of the retina. This is caused by either the eye being too long, or the cornea too steeply curved.

Myopia can be corrected by laser eye surgery. When the cornea is being reshaped, the laser will shape the cornea to be slightly flatter, allowing light to focus directly onto the retina rather than in front of it.

Hyperopia is the direct opposite of myopia, in the sense that is when someone has poor, blurry, close vision, but good distance vision. This means they would require glasses for reading, or computer work.

As with myopia, hyperopia is due to the light not being focused directly onto the retina, as it should be. It is caused by the eye being too short, or the lens too flat, meaning that light is focused just behind the retina, which is what causes the blurry close vision.

Hyperopia can also be corrected by laser eye surgery. The cornea is reshaped to become more curved, allowing the light to focus forwards of where it would without correction, and therefore reducing or fully correcting the hyperopia.

Astigmatism is a vision problem in which someone finds their vision blurry, and can often occur alongside myopia or hyperopia. It is cause by an abnormality in the curvature of the cornea. In a normal eye, the cornea is usually round, like a football, but in an eye of someone with astigmatism, the cornea has more of an oval shape, more like a rugby ball. This means that the light cannot be focused correctly onto the retina as the rays of light do not reach a single point, which results in a blurry image.

Like with myopia and hyperopia, astigmatism can be corrected with either glasses, contacts, or with the help of eye laser treatment. The laser will smooth the cornea into a regular, more rounded shape to help focus the light into a single point, correcting the blurry vision.

Of course, if you do have any of these vision problems, it is important to go speak to your eye doctor to see the best possible solution for you. If you do decided that this life changing operation is the most suitable treatment, then Laser Surgery Eyes will be happy to help you find local and qualified practitioners. All you have to do is contact us and we will put you in touch.

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