The use of computer technology in medical science has been extending during recent years. Laser eye surgery has become more and more popular, while non-laser procedures have also improved. Although many people think that LASIK is the only type of refractive surgery, there are in fact various types of eye surgery for correcting vision.
Laser Eye Surgery
These procedures involve the use of a laser to reshape the cornea in order to improve the eye’s ability to focus. There are several types of laser eye surgery, such as LASIK, LASEK, Intralense or PRK.
Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
This procedure is used to treat astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. The surgeon removes a flap through the outer and middle layer of the cornea and then uses an excimer laser to remove tissue under the flap. This type of eye surgery usually takes about one minute per eye.
Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)
LASEK is very similar to LASIK, except for the fact that the flap is cut only from the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium). It is used mostly for patients with thin corneas, who are not eligible for LASIK. It is a newer procedure with a few drawbacks, such as more discomfort and slightly longer healing period.
This type of eye surgery is also very similar to LASIK, except that the surgeon uses an extra laser instead of a blade to create the flap in the outer layers.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
This procedure is used to treat astigmatism, nearsightedness and mild to moderate farsightedness. A laser is used to remove tissue from the outer layer of the cornea and correct vision. The surgeon doesn’t cut any flap in the cornea. The surgery usually lasts less than a minute.
Non-laser Eye Surgery
These surgical procedures involve improving vision by cutting into the surface of the eye, reshaping the cornea or using low heat radio waves. Astigmatic keratotomy incisions, intraocular lenses and implantable contact lenses are among the most common non-laser eye surgery procedures.
Astigmatic Keratotomy Incisions
This procedure is used to correct mild astigmatism. Bulgy areas of the cornea are reshaped by using a blade. Many patients undergo such a treatment in conjunction with other types of eye surgery. However, it is now less frequently used than laser eye surgery procedures, such as PRK or LASIK.
Implantable Contact Lenses
These are implantation devices used to treat severe farsightedness and nearsightedness. The lens is placed behind the iris, in front of the natural lens of the eye. Unlike normal contact lenses, you can’t feel them and they don’t need maintenance. The procedure can take from 6 to 20 minutes.
Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
This type of eye surgery has been around for many decades now and the lenses are usually implanted during a cataract surgery to replace the natural lens of the eye. Years ago, these lenses used to help only with distance vision and patients needed to wear glasses for close vision. However, the method has been improved and now helps with close and intermediate vision as well.
While many surgeons prefer laser procedures and the newest technologies, some still advise a small number of patients to choose a non-laser surgery instead. All eye surgery procedures involve certain risks and have possible side effects, so it is best to consult a physician to fill you in with all the details about each treatment.