Laser Eye Surgery: A Clearer View
Over the past 15 – 20 years, huge advances in technology have allowed millions of people around the world to have laser treatment for their vision problems.
Laser vision correction involves reshaping the cornea, the front surface of the eye. Most people have vision issues and are dependent on corrective eyewear because there is something wrong with the shape of their corneas.
Oddly shaped corneas
If a cornea is not as close to a prefect sphere, the light entering the eye doesn’t get bent (refracted) evenly and doesn’t end up focusing nice and neatly on the retina the wall at the back of the eye.
Instead, the light gets bent in a few directions, and the image projected onto the retina is a blurry one. Problems with the shape of the cornea, whatever they may be, are called refractive errors – problems with the bending of the light to form a clear image.
Laser eye surgery essentially shaves minute pieces off the cornea to improve its shape; this helps to focus the light rays all together on the retina. The concept is a relatively simple one, but your eyes are as individual as fingerprints.
There are limits to the degree of each condition that can be treated with the laser. If your prescription falls outside the “treatable” range for laser surgery, alternative surgeries may be suitable.
What’s the difference between LASIK and LASEK?
Fundamentally, the cutting of a flap or not.
In LASIK: a thin layer of the cornea is lifted back after being cut with. At Optilase, we use a high-energy laser to cut this flap, called a ‘femtosecond’ laser.
Then, another type of laser, called a ‘cool-beam excimer’ laser is used to reshape the internal cornea. After the tissue has been reshaped, the flap is replaced in its original position and heals quickly.
LASEK surgery is used when someone has quite thin corneas and it’s too difficult to cut the little flap. Instead, a thin superficial layer of corneal cells is removed, using a specialised alcohol solution. Unlike in LASIK, there is no “flap” created.
The cornea is then reshaped with the ‘cool beam’ excimer laser. After laser treatment, the eye covered with a bandage contact lens to allow it to heal.
Eyes are all Unique
The methods used and the degree of reshaping depends entirely on the patient – every eye is utterly unique. Your Optilase Optometrist and Ophthalmic Surgeon will review you very carefully, mapping out the eye and programming all of its tiny details into a computer.
The information they glean will help them to determine the best surgery for you to ensure optimal results.
To book a free consultation at Optilase and discover if you are a candidate for laser eye surgery, call 1890 301 302.