REFRACTIVE SURGERY: IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?
Resolving Vision, One Eye at a Time
Refractive Surgery Evaluation
Refractive surgery could mean no more corrective lenses but it may not be right for everyone. A visit with your Optometrist will help you find out if you have a refractive error. After a series of tests, you will learn about the types of treatments available and whether surgery is right for you.
Refractive error occurs when the shape of your eye prevents light from focusing correctly on your retina. In fact, it is one of the most common vision problems that impacts more than 150 million Americans. Eye exams are vital, as many don’t realize they could be seeing better with treatment. If you experience blurred vision or just have difficulty seeing certain distances, your optometrist can prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery to help you see clearly.
Do You Need Refractive Surgery?
Refractive errors are a very common eye disorder that causes your eyes to not clearly focus on images. If you experience any of the following, refractive eye surgery is a method for correcting or improving your vision.
Blurry or distorted vision
Trouble seeing at night
Refractive Errors Types: Are You Impacted?
With nearsightedness (myopia), distant objects are blurry. When your cornea curves too sharply, light rays focus in front of your retina and blurs your distance vision.
With farsightedness (hyperopia), nearby objects are blurry. When your cornea is too flat, light focuses behind the retina instead of on it resulting in blurry near vision.
How Refractive Surgery Helps
If blurred vision is impacting your life, or you want to stop using contact lenses or glasses, refractive eye surgery may be right for you.
Refractive eye surgery involves reshaping the cornea (front surface of the eye) to correct its curvature. When the eyeball is shaped like a perfectly round ball, light is able to enter the eye and bend evenly to give you a clear image. However, if your eye has a curvature imperfection (or more oval shape), light is angled more in one direction than another which provides only partial focus on an object. This curvature and non-ideal refraction of light causes objects to look blurry, wavy or distorted.
By reducing the curvature of an overly angled cornea, surgery balances your focusing power.
Surgery increases the eye’s focusing power on near objects by achieving a steeper corneal angle.
Selective reshaping irregular portions of the cornea makes it symmetrical, resulting in clear images.
Types of Refractive Surgery
Based on your specific needs, our optometrist will recommend the best treatment following your assessment.
Laser-assisted surgery similar to LASIK.
Laser vision correction with corneal flap creation.
Intraocular Lens Implant
A lens implant inside your eyes.
Is Refractive Surgery Right for You?
The type of surgery and results depend on your refractive error, corneal thickness, ocular health and other factors. Mild to moderate nearsightedness tends to have the most success with refractive surgery. Higher degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism have less-predictable results in some cases.
A refractive surgery evaluation is advised to determine which method is best for our patients.
What to Expect During Your Refractive Surgery Evaluation
- Refraction: You look through a series of lenses to find the ones that give you the clearest vision. This will determine your refractive error.
- Corneal Curvature: A keratometer or topographer uses a circle of light to measure the curvature of your cornea.
- Corneal thickness: A specialized instrument will determine how thick your corneas are. This will determine refractive surgery eligibility.
- Comprehensive ocular health evaluation: An optometrist will take an indepth look at the front and back of your eyes to ensure adequate health before surgery can take place.