Laser Eye Surgery

What is it?

Laser eye surgery is an elective procedure to lessen or eliminate one's need for glasses.  It is typically performed on people who are near-sighted or have an astigmatism but can sometimes be used for those who are far-sighted.  There are a few different laser procedures that are currently performed, and your Laser Vision Correction Centre will determine which, if any, is best for you.

What does it do?

During the procedure, a laser is used to change the shape of the tissue at the very front of your eye ("cornea").  This change alters the prescription of your eyes and usually leaves you no longer needing glasses.  The results are permanent but just like with glasses, prescriptions can change a bit over time so a touch-up surgery or "enhancement" is sometimes required.  

What does the procedure involve? 

The most common laser vision procedure is LASIK (Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis).  Here, a laser or microkeratome (blade) cuts across the cornea to make a flap.  The flap is then moved aside and a laser applies energy to the underlying tissue and changes its shape based on your prescription.  The flap is then put back into place and the surgery is complete after only a few minutes.  Vision recovers quickly after LASIK, but fogginess for the first day or two is common.  At one month is when most people really appreciate their new, glasses-free vision.

The second most frequently used laser vision surgery is PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy).  In this procedure, no flap is made in the cornea; instead the thin front layer of the cornea is removed with a special instrument or chemicals.  Like LASIK, a laser is then used on the cornea, but a contact lens is placed on the eye after surgery since there is not flap to cover back over the surgery area.  This procedure also takes only a few minutes to complete.

Regardless of the surgery type used, frequent follow up is required to make sure the eyes are healing properly and that medications are being used properly.  Vision takes longer to recover and more appointments are required after PRK than with LASIK, but there are a few conditions where PRK is the only safe laser vision surgery.  Complications such as infection, inflammation and structural weakening of the eye are possible with either procedure, so any surgery should be performed at a reputable Centre and the schedule of appointments, whether with your regular Optometrist or at the Centre, should be strictly followed to allow you to enjoy years of great vision.  Book an appointment with Dr. Sonya Frank today to discuss your laser eye surgery options.

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