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Types of Laser Vision Correction

By considering your ocular anatomy and personal lifestyle, we can determine whether LASIK or PRK is right for you.

LASIK

Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis

During the procedure, a special device creates a hinged flap of thin corneal tissue and the flap is gently folded out of the way. The laser reshapes the underlying tissue and the surgeon repositions the corneal flap over the treated area. There it bonds securely without the need for stitches.

LASIK patients recover very quickly and most experience little, if any, discomfort. Functional vision returns very rapidly, with the majority of patients seeing well enough to drive by the next day without glasses or contact lenses. Most patients elect to have LASIK on both eyes at the same time.

PRK

Photo-Refractive Keratectomy

PRK treats the surface of the cornea and does not require a corneal flap, as does LASIK. For this reason, it can be considered the safest form of laser vision correction. Using very powerful numbing drops, the epithelium, a thin layer of clear protective skin that covers the cornea, is removed. The laser reshapes the underlying tissue and a bandage contact lens (a contact lens with no power) is placed on the eye to keep it comfortable during the healing process. Usually, within three to five days the epithelium is healed completely. You should expect some moderate discomfort for the first 24-48 hours. You will be given instructions on how to manage the discomfort as well as eye drops to speed healing and prevent infection.

Most PRK patients notice an improvement in their vision immediately after surgery. However, vision usually is somewhat blurred while the epithelium is healing. Your functional vision should return in three to seven days while full visual results may not be recognized for three weeks to several months.  

There may be times when we do not recommend laser vision correction because you may not be a good candidate. Our primary concern is not the number of patients we bring in, but the quality of care we provide. That is why we offer complimentary consultations, so that you can find out if you are a candidate without any obligations.

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Are you an Ideal Candidate?

Ideal Candidates for Laser Vision Correction

Individuals who are over 18 years old and have…
– Healthy corneas
– No major vision related issues
– Stable glasses prescription

Ideal Candidates for LASIK

To be a good candidate for LASIK, the cornea must be of a sufficient thickness to allow for the flap to be made and still have enough tissue to achieve the chosen correction. LASIK is the procedure of choice for patients with a mild to moderate degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.

Ideal Candidates for PRK

PRK works well for patients with moderate to high amounts of nearsightedness. It is also used for patients who may not qualify for LASIK due to high degrees of myopia, thin corneas or corneal dystrophies. We also recommend PRK for those who are at a higher risk of dislodging a LASIK flap due to certain occupational or recreational activities (e.g., military, martial arts, etc.).

Is the procedure permanent? Laser vision correction produces irreversible alterations in the cornea and will be permanent.  However, it will not prevent your eyes from changing in the future.

When you reach your mid-forties most people require reading glasses for near tasks, this is called presbyopia.  In younger eyes, the lens is soft and flexible, allowing it to continually change its shape to focus on various distances.  As our eyes age the lens cannot change its shape to see things up close anymore. Therefore, reading glasses are required.  Some patients try monovision, meaning one eye is corrected to see best at distance and the other eye is corrected to see best for reading.  Usually patients try this technique with contact lenses before proceeding with surgery.

Another change that your eyes are expected to make is the progression of cataracts. This is the clouding of the normally clear lens inside your eye. Eventually cataracts will impair your vision and surgery will be necessary. Fortunately for most, cataracts do not develop until around age 65.

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Atlantic Eye Institute is ready to help you Live Your Vision℠

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