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Is Laser Eye Surgery For You?

Sep 24, 2007
The laser eye surgery is just one of the many methods of refractive eye surgery. This form of surgery is a surgical procedure to correct common eye disorders such as, short sightedness, long sightedness, and astigmatism which is a form of vision distortion.

Although there are many methods to correct refractive eye disorders, laser eye surgery is the most advanced method available at the moment. It is also most popular surgery to correct refractive eye disorder in developed countries because of its precision and predictability.

The FDA first approved the excimer laser eye surgery in 1995 for correcting mild to moderate short sightedness or myopia. The approval comes with a restriction that only surgeons trained in laser refractive surgery and in the calibration of such equipment can perform the surgeries. Recently, the laser eye surgery had also been approved for photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), and Keratomileusis (LASIK) surgical procedures.

PRK is an outpatient eye surgical procedure done with local anesthetic eye drops. This form of eye surgery gently reshapes the cornea by removing microscopic amounts of tissue from the outer surface with a cool, computer controlled ultraviolet light. The beam of light is very precise and each pulse can remove 39 millionths of an inch of tissue in 12 billionths of a second.

PRK method is clean, efficient and fast and takes only a few minutes to complete. Patients will usually recover within 1-3 days and be back at their daily routines.

Studies conducted by the FDA showed that about 5 percent of patients continued the need to wear glasses after a PRK surgery and up to 15 percent needed glasses occasionally, such as when one is driving a car or playing golf.

Also, many PRK patients experienced mild corneal haze following the surgery of which there is nothing to worry about as the symptoms are part of the post surgery healing process. Some patients are expected to experienced glare and halos around lights. Again there is no cause for alarm as the symptoms will disappear in due course.

As a result of these studies the FDA along with the Federal Trade Commission issued a letter to the eye-care industry in 1996 to warn that unrealistic advertisment claims, such as "No more eyeglasses forever" and unsubstantiated claims about success rates could be misleading to potential PRK patients and may give rise to expensive medical legal suits.

As with any surgery, patients are best advised to do some research and read up about the types surgery available over and above consultations with their surgeons.
About the Author
Chris Chew is a researcher. More articles at Laser eye surgery and Weight loss surgery programs
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