March 08, 2010

Great Information On Laser Eye Surgery

By Staff in Categories: Laser Eye Surgery Info

Laser eye surgery is a medical procedure consisting of the use of laser for reshaping the surface of the cornea. It is used to improve myopia (shortsightedness), hypermetropia (long sightedness) or astigmatism. The first information on laser eye surgery dates back from over twenty years ago.

During laser eye surgery, an excimer controlled by a computer is used to remove tiny amounts of corneal tissue. The aim of the procedure is to restore normal vision, relieving the patient from wearing glasses or contacts.

In one type of laser eye surgery, the outer layer of the cornea, also called epithelium, is removed and an excimer laser is used to reshape underneath tissue. This procedure is called photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).

In a newer procedure, a microkeratome is used to cut a flap in the corneal tissue, which is then lifted and an excimer laser is used to reshape underlying tissue. In the end, the flap is put back to its place. This type of laser eye surgery is called laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). Nowadays, it is more commonly used than PRK.

Information on Laser Eye Surgery Procedure

The excimer laser is a special type of laser that does not burn the corneal tissue, but vaporizes a small quantity of the cornea each time a beam is pulsed onto the eye surface. The number of pulses and diameter of the beam are carefully controlled by a computer to enhance accuracy.

Local anesthetic eye drops are used before the surgery. The procedure takes a few minutes per eye. The actual time when the laser is used for reshaping the corneal tissue is generally less than a minute.

Various eye conditions require different types of treatment:
l Myopia - the central peak of the cornea has to be flattened in order to reduce short-sightedness and improve vision.
l Hypermetropia - the central peak of the cornea has to be made steeper in order to improve vision. The laser is applied to the edges of the cornea.
l Astigmatism - this is a condition where the cornea is not evenly curved. The laser is applied more linear to improve vision.

Information on Laser Eye Surgery - Post Surgery

After laser eye surgery, you should expect some minor discomfort. However, you should be able to see, although not very clearly. You won't be able to drive on your own, so you need to have someone drive you home or take a cab.

Information on Laser Eye Surgery Possible Side Effects

Just like any operation, laser eye surgery involves a few risks as well. You should have some information on laser eye surgery and its possible complications and side effects before deciding you want to have this type of surgery.
l Treatment not successful - this may be the result of either under treatment and over treatment. You may need another surgery to enhance vision.
l Dry eyes - you might have to use eye drops.
l Delayed healing - the flap or the outer layer of the cornea might not heal properly and require follow-up treatment.
l Infection - in case of an infection, you may need to follow an antibiotic treatment.
l Superficial scarring - a second procedure might be needed to repair scarred tissue.
l Excessive thinning of the cornea - vision problems may return and you might need to use contacts or have another surgery.
l Sensitive eyes - some patients experience excessive sensitivity to glare, which makes driving more difficult.
l Blurred vision - 'halos' might result from the surgical procedure, but usually they fade out over time.

Before deciding on a certain type of laser eye surgery, you should consult a doctor to examine your eye condition thoroughly, provide you with information on laser eye surgery risks and benefits and give you some advice on which procedure is best for your specific problems.

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