The term laser treatment for eyes often conjures up images of discarding those glasses or contact lenses once and for all - that’s how widely known refractive surgery (the umbrella term for laser treatments) has become. The treatment utilises highly concentrated lasers to correct near-sightedness and far-sightedness and has high success rates, contributing to its immense popularity.
Most people typically associate laser treatment with LASIK; however, the latter is only a type of laser treatment. Your ophthalmologist may recommend a specific type of laser treatment based on your medical history and requirements. With that in mind, it’s time to find out more about laser treatment for eyes, who is eligible for it, and whether there are risks associated with it.
What are the types of laser treatment for eyes?
The following are the different types of laser treatments for eyes that your ophthalmologist may recommend:
- LASIK: Short for Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, LASIK is perhaps the most widely known treatment. It is used to treat conditions like Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism, and Presbyopia.
- SMILE: Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) is a newer refractive surgery used to treat high-myopia. In other words, if you have a very high number, your ophthalmologist may recommend SMILE as the chances of restoring the best possible vision are higher with this.
- PRK: Photorefractive Keratectomy is used to treat Myopia, Astigmatism, and Presbyopia. It is the first type of laser treatment for eyes that was developed and is considered the predecessor to LASIK.
- LBV: Laser Blended Vision is used to treat vision problems in those who are 45 years old and above. It can help treat issues with reading and distance-related issues.
Are there any risks associated with laser treatment?
As with any medical procedure, there are a few risks associated with laser treatment for the eyes. While they may sound a little scary, most doctors say that these risks only last for a few weeks or months at the most. The likelihood of incurring permanent side effects after laser treatment for the eyes is incredibly rare. Here are some of the risks of laser treatment:
- Under Corrections: This is when the vision is not sufficiently corrected.
- Dry eyes: This is when the eyes feel dry after the surgery.
- Slow flap healing: This is when the surgical incisions take longer than usual to heal.
- Over Correction: This is when the vision is corrected too much, causing further vision problems.
- Astigmatism: This is when distance and near-vision are both blurry.
- Glare, halos and double vision
- Regression, Vision Loss (this is extremely rare)
Who is eligible for laser treatment?
As detailed above, different types of laser treatment are used to treat different conditions. Thus, your medical history impacts your eligibility for laser treatment. However, if you’re wondering whether you’re eligible for LASIK or SMILE to get rid of your prescription number, then it depends on whether you have had a stable number for a minimum of 6 months or a year.
Your ophthalmologist will start by conducting a basic vision test to determine your eligibility.
CFS is one of the leading chains of eye care hospitals in the country, with the latest technology at our disposal to offer you the treatment you need. We specialise in all types of refractive surgery, including the newest SMILE treatment for those with incredibly high myopia. With leading surgeons associated with our centres, we can assure you of excellent bedside manner, quick diagnoses and timely care.
Article: A Beginner’s Guide to Laser Treatment for Eyes
Author: CFS Editorial Team | Nov 11 2021 | UPDATED 02:00 IST
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his privatecapacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.