1. What is Refractive Surgery?
Refractive surgery is a procedure to correct a misshapen cornea or an aging lens that bends light incorrectly. These kinds of refractive errors cause blurry vision because light waves don’t focus properly on the retina.
A refractive error may also develop when your eye is too short or too long. As a result, light that’s properly focused by the cornea and lens still doesn’t directly hit the retina.
2. What are the different types of refractive errors?
The refractive errors most often corrected with refractive surgery are:
Nearsightedness (myopia)Close objects are clear, while distance vision is blurry. The cornea’s curve is too steep, which causes light to focus in front of the retina.
Farsightedness (hyperopia)Distant objects are clear, while close-up vision is blurry. In this refractive error, the cornea is too flat, causing light to focus behind the retina.
AstigmatismNear and distant images appear blurry because the light is scattered by an irregularly shaped cornea.
PresbyopiaCauses farsightedness when your lens loses elasticity with age and can no longer bend light properly.
3. What type of refractive surgery corrects vision problems?
About 90-95% of all refractive surgeries are performed using LASIK surgery. LASIK, or laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, uses a laser to sheer away micron-sized pieces of your cornea, reshaping it so that it bends light properly.
At UltraVision, LASIK is a bladeless procedure, which means a flap in the outer layer of the cornea is cut with a femtosecond laser rather than with the traditional mechanical blade. As a result, the flap maintains a uniform thickness. After the flap is folded back, your doctor uses the WaveLight® EX500 excimer laser to reshape your cornea.
Throughout the procedure, which only takes about seven seconds, Allegretto Wave® technology tracks the position of your eye hundreds of times each second, adjusting the laser to ensure precision.
When the cornea has been reshaped, your doctor places the flap back over your eye. Since it was cut using a laser, it fits perfectly into its original position, which speeds up your recovery.
4. Are there other types of refractive surgery?
Other types of refractive surgery can also correct issues with your cornea or lens, including:
Conductive keratoplastyYour doctor uses radiofrequency energy to correct farsightedness by shrinking part of the cornea.
Phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs)When your refractive errors can’t be corrected with other surgeries, you may get a phakic IOL, which is a contact lens that’s implanted over your existing lens.
Refractive lens exchangeYour doctor corrects the refractive error by removing your natural lens and replacing it with a new lens.