Refractive errors of the eye are one of the most common types of visual impairment in the world today. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism are called refractive errors as they are caused by an improperly shaped eye which means the rays of light entering the eye do not bend properly and focus on the retina, resulting in visual impairment.
Prescription glasses are the most common solution to refractive errors of the eye, and more recently, contact lenses are also used by a significant portion of people with refractive errors in their vision. However, both contact lenses and glasses are temporary solutions and do not really “solve” the problem as much as they allow us to live with the problem.
In today’s world, laser vision correction procedures like LASIK can fix refractive errors of the eye permanently.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how lasers are used to treat refractive errors of the eye and why procedures like LASIK can be better than contact lenses for most people.
How Laser Vision Correction Works
- As mentioned before, refractive errors of the eyes are caused by an irregularly shaped cornea, which makes the rays of light entering the eye not focus on the retina properly.
- Laser vision correction procedures like LASIK use a specific kind of laser to make corrections to the cornea which fixes the refractive errors and ensures the rays of light that enter our eyes bend properly, resulting in sharp vision.
- Currently, the history of laser vision correction procedures is long, and they are considered highly safe and effective in treating vision impairment.
What is LASIK?
- LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses) is not the first laser eye surgery procedure to be invented, but it is arguably the most popular.
- It is a painless and quick procedure. The actual time spent on the surgery rarely exceeds ten minutes.
- During this procedure, the ophthalmologist using assistance from lasers and an automated computer system will make changes to the cornea of the eye, effectively reshaping it to ensure no refractive errors can occur.
- Most patients start seeing sharply right after the surgery. The aftercare for the surgery may extend to a few months, during which the patient is expected to use eye drops to protect themselves from dry eyes.
Why can LASIK be better than contact lenses?
Here are some reasons why laser vision correction procedures like LASIK can be better than contact lenses for treating refractive errors of the eye:
- LASIK provides a long-term solution to the problem, whereas contact lenses provide a temporary way to live with the problem.
- Laser vision correction procedures allow people to see without any visual aids, whereas contact lenses need to be maintained, replaced, and taken care of in general.
- Contact lenses increase the risk of eye infections and corneal ulcers while LASIK doesn’t come along with these risks.
Ask your ophthalmologist for a LASIK screening!
Even though LASIK sounds wonderful, some people with really thin corneas or other issues may not qualify for LASIK. However, other laser vision correction procedures like PRK and SMILE can be used to cure their visual impairment. If you’re interested in LASIK, you should ask your ophthalmologist for a LASIK screening.
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