Overview Of Refractive Eye Surgeries
Patient information on refractive eye surgeries
It used to be that when a person had blurred vision because of a refractive error, the only choice was to correct the problem with eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, with new developments in eye surgery, dependence on these options may be reduced. Refractive surgery includes several surgical techniques, with LASIK eye surgery being the most well-known, designed to improve problems in focusing the eyes. While clearly not for everybody, some individuals certainly may benefit from refractive surgeries such as those offered by LASIK procedures.
In order to understand how the eye works, think of your eye as a camera. When you look at an object, light is focused, or refracted, by the cornea and the lens inside your eye. When the cornea and lens combine to focus an image precisely on the retina, then your vision is clear.
However, your vision may be blurred if the cornea, lens and the front-to-back length of the eye place the focal point of an image in front of the retina or behind the retina.
If the focus is in front of the retina, then a patient is nearsighted or myopic.
If the focus is behind the retina, then the patient is hyperopic or farsighted.
In addition, the image may be distorted if the cornea has unequal curvatures. This is called an astigmatism.
Refractive problems are solved by helping the eye focus light using glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. The goal of surgical techniques, like LASIK, is to improve the eyes’ focus by changing the shape of the cornea, and there are several ways that this can be done.
It is important for any person considering refractive surgery at our St. Louis or other Missouri locations to realize this is a relatively new area of medicine which is continually evolving as new techniques and instruments become available. Many people want to know if refractive surgery is safe, or if one method is better than another. It is important to understand that all surgery involves some level of risk, and no surgical procedure has a guaranteed outcome. These factors, as well as complications and alternative procedures, should be explained fully by the surgeon as they apply to your particular circumstances. The following refractive surgery techniques are currently performed at our Missouri locations: PTK (photo therapeutic keratectomy), RK (radial keratectomy), CK (conductive keratoplasty), PRK (photo refractive keratectomy), and LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis).
LASIK Surgery St. Louis
If you have questions about LASIK laser vision correction or are searching for a Board-Certified LASIK surgeon, we encourage you to contact us here at Ophthalmology Associates- The Cornea and Laser Vision Institute. With three locations in the Central Eastern Missouri region, we are proud to serve the surrounding communities of St. Louis, St. Peters and Sullivan.