LASIK surgery is the best-known procedure for correcting vision problems for individuals with mild to severe near-sightedness and other vision issues. There are side effects, however, which cause some individuals to opt out of the procedure; while some people simply are not considered candidates.
Doctors will not recommend that certain patients undergo LASIK surgery because the lifting of the flap of the cornea could potentially be problematic for them, or because their eye condition is too severe and unlikely to respond to the treatment. In such cases, patients will need to look to other alternatives to LASIK.
In this non-invasive procedure, the peripheral part of the cornea is heated and tightened using a radio frequency instead of a laser. This thermal tightening improves focus, but is not a permanent solution to myopia or near-sightedness.
Another alternative to LASIK surgery is to have lenses implanted. The patient’s natural lenses remain in place while synthetic ones are secured over them. This option is often considered safe and effective for people who have too many problems with refraction across their eyes to experience success with laser reshaping.
This sounds like LASIK, but LASEK surgery is wavefront guided. A machine interprets the shape of a patient’s eye. LASEK procedure also treats common vision problems of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. With LASIK surgery, doctors determine treatment based on a patient’s prescription instead.
Surgeons use a laser to change the shape of a person’s eye without lifting a flap of cornea. Recovery takes a little longer with PRK than LASIK; however, with patients requiring several days to experience sharpened focus as opposed to 24 hours.
Blend LASEK with PRK and only a thin layer of tissue has to be lifted on the cornea. Wavefront guided methods chart the shape of a lens and show doctors where the cornea should be replaced and smoothed against the eye once more.
Your optometrist is the best guide in your search for better vision. He will help you reach a safe choice based on your goals, eye condition and stabilization needs, age, and personal health.