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Can You Read This Article? If Not, You Might Need Laser Eye Surgery

Aug 17, 2007
LASIK or Laser-In-Situ-Keratomileusis is a type of laser eye surgery which has met with success in relieving people of their trials and tribulations with glasses, lenses and the like. This surgery has proved be a good and viable alternative for people who would like to do away with their glasses and lenses or at the very least reduce the number from thick soda bottle type glasses to their sleeker thinner counterparts. It is well advertised in newspapers, magazines and on the Internet. There is enough information available and people should make themselves aware of the pros and cons of this form of laser eye surgery.

The procedure involves altering the shape of the cornea which will reduce the refractive error and this is carried out for the treatment of different degrees of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Doctors like Dr O'Brien who is the director of refractive surgery at the Wilmer Eye Institute at the John Hopkins University at Baltimore cautions prospective patients of being taken in by the grandiose promises that the ads make to influence people to go in for this surgery. Delicate eye surgery should not be ruled by price alone and one should have a capable and experienced surgeon to perform this type of surgery.

Despite assurances by doctors that this is a surgery with little or no post-operative pain, very little pain otherwise and rapid recovery, there are some risks involved as is the case with any invasive type of surgery. Some of the risks include over or under treatment, permanent loss of vision, the fact that you may not be able to wear contact lenses which means that should you need some prescription glasses you will have to use only spectacles. There could also be a reduction in the quality of vision and trouble with driving at night and you may not be able to see properly in dimly lit conditions. Above all, this surgery is not reversible.

One would do well to consult an eye doctor as there are alternatives available like photorefractive keratectomy or PRK, used by normally less than 5% of the glasses wearing community. There have been some cases of eye surgery where PRK is seen to be more appropriate than LASIK. Here the shape of the cornea is altered by using microscopic bits of tissues from the outer surface itself by using a computer controlled cool ultra-violet beam of light and the best part about this surgery is that it takes only a few minutes and the recovery period is a week, at the very maximum.

Laser Thermal Keratoplasty or LTK is yet another lesser known option that is found useful in temporarily reducing hyperopia in people above the age of 40. Here 16 parts of the outer part of the cornea are zapped and shrunk. The chances of infection and loss of vision here are almost non-existent but this is a temporary procedure. Take it from the experts, laser eye surgery works best on those who are diagnosed with mild to moderate levels of refractive surgery and one should be aware of the risks before making a decision.
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