If you wear glasses or contacts, you know how difficult poor vision makes everyday life. Eventually, you get used to the routine of constantly replacing and maintaining your glasses and contacts, but you don’t have to live that way anymore. Today, there are vision correction procedures that will not only treat your vision but cure it. But how do you know which vision correction procedure is right for you? An ophthalmologist will need to be consulted to make a decision, but this resource can help you get started.
Solutions to Poor Vision
The first step an eye doctor will take in helping you choose a vision correction procedure is to determine the cause of your poor vision. The most common cause of poor vision is an irregularly shaped eyeball or cornea. Some people are born with eyeballs that are elongated and others develop this elongation over time. These irregularities are what cause myopia and hyperopia (nearsightedness and farsightedness), as well as astigmatism — a misshapen cornea. The following are the most common vision correction procedures.
Solution 1: Laser LASIK Surgery
- Pain Level: Low
- Incision: No
- Laser: Yes
LASIK is the most common of these procedures. Before LASIK, a surgeon would make a corneal flap with a mechanical blade to reshape or alter layers of the cornea, restoring vision. Today, the same results can be achieved much more easily using laser technology. LASIK surgery, also referred to as “laser eye surgery,” takes measurements of the eye and then relays that data to an excimer laser, which then reshapes the cornea.
In general, this procedure doesn’t take long and has a relatively low recovery time, which is why it’s so popular. Reported pain levels experienced are usually described as minor irritation that dissipates after a day or two.
Solution 2: Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
Pain Level: Low
Many people make the false assumption that they aren’t a good candidate for LASIK. Though, more people qualify for the procedure than people realize, there are other procedures that can have the same results. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), for example, might be better suited for those who have thin corneas, corneal scars, or a condition called “recurrent corneal erosion.”
Unlike LASIK, PRK uses the laser to reshape the surface of the cornea, rather than the deeper tissue under the cornea. This procedure has similar operation time and recovery time.
Solution 3: Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
- Pain Level: Very Low
- Incision: No
- Laser: No
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK), uses heat to shrink corneal tissue. This heat is produced by releasing radio waves over the eye. The shrinking of the cornea allows light to properly focus on the retina.
This procedure is completely non-invasive and is a popular choice for those who have a fear of lasers or incisions. Though only an ophthalmologist can determine if this procedure is right for you, it is becoming increasingly common.
Solution 4: Implantable Collamer Lens Surgery (ICL)
- Pain Level: Low
- Incision: Yes
- Laser: No
Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) is another vision correction procedure that involves implementing an IOL (intraocular lens) into the eye. The IOL is meant to work in combination with the natural lens to permanently improve vision.
Unlike LASIK or PRK, ICL surgery does not use a laser but instead relies on a small incision. Although recovery times for the procedures mentioned above are quite short, ICL surgery can have an almost instantaneous effect on eyesight. Through the use of medicated eye drops, most patients only feel a slight pressure on their eye during the procedure and don’t feel pain at all.
Choosing the right vision correction procedure isn’t as easy as choosing what movie to go to, or what to have for dinner. This type of decision should involve careful research and planning. You can do yourself a favor by consulting an experienced professional at Williamson Eye Institute. At Williamson, we can help guide you toward the best procedure with your needs in mind.
At Williamson Eye Institute, we are committed to preserving and protecting our patients’ eye health throughout their lives. To find out more, visit our website or call our office to schedule a personal consultation. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.