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Common Types of Eye Surgery

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Before the 1950s when contact lenses became popular, eyeglasses were ultimately the only practical way to correct refractive vision errors. However, over the last 25 years, surgical techniques, tools, and vision correction procedures have evolved substantially. As a result, there are now several modern approaches to eye surgery that range from using a laser to reshape your eye’s surface to inserting artificial lenses surgically to correct your eyesight. During laser procedures, an ophthalmologist uses laser energy to reshape the curvature of your cornea to alter the way light rays enter your eye. Eye doctors can also insert artificial lenses surgically into your eye to refocus light rays and sharpen your vision. There are several types of eye surgery, and it can help to know some of the ways ophthalmologists can help correct your vision.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) Eye Surgery

PRK eye surgery is one of the earlier types of successful procedures for laser vision correction and helps you see better by removing tissue directly from your eye’s surface to change the curvature of your cornea. Because PRK is a surface procedure, there is no risk of surgical flap complications, as it does not involve creating a thin, hinged flap on the surface of your eye. While PRK is one of the older methods of laser vision correction, it has recently become more popular due to the lack of complications that can occur.

Laser-assisted in situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) Eye Surgery

Probably the most common type of laser surgery is LASIK, which is similar to PRK but involves an ophthalmologist making a thin, hinged flap on your eye’s surface. The eye doctor lifts this flap and focuses laser energy underneath it to reshape your eye. The surgeon then replaces the flap and it functions as a natural bandage. The main advantage that LASIK offers over PRK is that there is little to no discomfort immediately following the procedure and vision is usually clear within hours rather than days.

Eye Surgery Involving Implantable Lenses

In addition to laser eye surgery, another popular procedure to correct your vision is implantable lenses, which are most useful for higher levels of nearsightedness. During this procedure, an ophthalmologist places lenses in your eyes surgically while leaving your eyes’ natural lenses in place. These lenses have a long track-record of success, including more than 13 years in Europe.

The most common types of eye surgery are PRK and LASIK, both of which involve using a laser to reshape your cornea, which can help improve your eyesight. Implantable lenses can also help correct your vision in some cases, especially if you are extremely nearsighted. There are both advantages and disadvantages to having eye surgery, and you should consult with an eye doctor for a proper exam, diagnosis, and treatment plan before determining whether any type of surgery is a good option for you. If you are experiencing any type of eye discomfort of think you may benefit from corrective laser surgery or artificial lenses, you should visit an eye care professional.

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