Types of eye surgeries for refractive errors
How would you feel if you could just go out and play a game of football with your friends without worrying about your eyeglasses being broken or the contact lenses getting lost? Or if you can see the gift so painstakingly created by your grandchild without first having to search all over the house for the spectacles? Surely, there are hundreds of other similar scenarios most of us can relate to where we have faced minor or major inconveniences due to our vision.
The most common vision problems faced by people of any age group include
- Blurred Vision
- Double Vision
- Glare or Halos around bright light
- Difficulty in reading
- Dull but persistent headaches
As is evident these problems may be temporary, due to other factors like lack of sleep or stress or may actually have been caused by eye problems. In order to ensure that these issues are due to problems related to eyes or not, it is advisable to visit a trained healthcare professional and get their opinion.
Any specialized eye care clinic in Mumbai or other cities can guide you through the basic eye check-up as well as the different types of vision related problems. So what are these vision problems everyone keeps referring all the time? To understand them better, we need to understand how “Vision” actually works.
We have all seen magnifying lenses. When the light falls on a particularly small object, the object is magnified in proportion and appears much bigger making it visible. There is no magic behind this simple phenomenon. What is happening here is that the light travels through the magnifying lens on a specific angle depending on the curvature of the lens. As the light passes from air to glass to air again, the rays bend at different angles creating an image of the actual object in proportions different from the original one. So the appearance of an object depends on the lens that being used, the material and curvature of the lens and its focussing capabilities.
Our eyes are also super complex and sophisticated lenses. The cornea is a layer protecting the lens of our eyes. The light falling on to our eyes travels through the cornea on the lens, creating an image of the object on the retina. This is what we called seeing the object. Any deviation in the process is known as vision problem.
Together these are called refractive errors. Some of the common refractive error as any good eye care clinics would tell you are
- Myopia (Short sightedness)
- Hyperopia (Far sightedness)
- Presbyopia (Aging of the lens)
- Astigmatism (Lens having asymmetric curvature)
As the different problems are caused by different issues in the curvature of the lens, the corrective methods all have something to do with correcting the curvature by eye surgeries.
With the advance in Opthalmology, the eye surgery procedures have become more and more accurate and less painful. Below is a list of some of the most common eye surgery methods for refractive errors
1.Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
The most popular and latest procedure to correct refractive errors in vision is suggested for myopia, hyperopia and / or astigmatism. The basic procedure includes reshaping of the cornea using computer controlled precise lasers. The healing time here is very short and LASIK is one of the least painful procedures, thereby replacing many previous methods.
2.Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
Similar to LASIK, PRK is also performed to reshape the cornea using Lasers for the treatment of myopia. The procedure though is slightly different, making the healing process longer in case of PRK.
3.Radial keratotomy (RK)
This procedure has been used to correct mild myopia but is being fast replaced by LASIK. The procedure includes incisions made on the cornea using a diamond scalpel. The healing time is high in this case.
4.Astigmatic keratotomy (AK)
The AK procedure is quiet similar to RK, except for differences in the method of making incisions. This procedure is used to treat astigmatism.
5.Automated lamellar keratoplasty (ALK)
This procedure is used by eye care professional to treat cases of hyperopia and severe myopia.
6.Laser thermal keratoplasty (LTK)
7.Conductive keratoplasty (CK)
8.Intracorneal ring (Intacs)