Many people who are tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses seek the help of refractive surgeons. Refractive surgery improves vision by correcting refractive errors such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. A high percentage of patients enjoy 20/20 vision or better after their procedure.
Common refractive procedures include LASIK, PRK, LASEK, and refractive lensectomy (clear lens replacement or CLR)..
LASIK stands for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis. During the procedure, a thin flap is created on the cornea using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. This flap is then lifted, and an excimer laser reshapes corneal tissue to alter the way light enters the eye. The flap is then replaced. The entire procedure takes only 15-30 minutes per eye. Recovery time is also short, and improvement in vision can be seen within a day. Vision often continues to improve and stabilize for a few weeks.
During cataract surgery, your doctor replaces the clouded, blurry lens with an artificial one to correct vision. However, after surgery, many people experience a gradual clouding on the covering of the new lens, a condition known as after-cataract or secondary membrane. Clouding commonly occurs after cataract surgery and can cause blurred vision to return, but a solution is available to treat this side effect.
A procedure called a posterior capsulotomy, using an Nd: YAG laser, can be performed to remove the back lining of the lens capsule and let light pass through to the retina. The laser creates an opening in the back lining and helps remove cloudiness.
The capsulotomy is a painless procedure that only requires the same numbing drops used during a routine eye exam. It is considered a safe procedure and most people experience improved vision and reduced glare right away.