Am I a Candidate for Laser Vision Correction?
Laser vision correction has been on the scene for quite some time. The FDA approved LASIK eye surgery in 1999, while PRK hit the market in 1987. There are other laser eye surgery options for different conditions, but these two are the most popular. Of the two, LASIK is newer and more popular because of its quick recovery.
Eye doctors use laser eye surgery to correct various eye conditions like:
Astigmatism (blurry eyesight)
Laser surgery usually works by reshaping the shape of the cornea using a laser.
Types of laser eye surgeries:
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) has been the most performed eye surgery since its approval by the FDA. It works by first creating a corneal flap of partial thickness. Then the surgeon uses the laser to erode the corneal bed and reshape it. They then replace the flap to its original position and leave it to heal. There is usually minimal discomfort after the procedure, though recovery takes one or two days.
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
In PRK, the surgeon scrapes off the top surface of the cornea, causing a corneal abrasion. It will usually take three or four days to heal. You will usually have blurred vision and moderate pain during the healing period. PRK is not better than LASIK due to the recovery time and the technique. However, some eye doctors may recommend PRK for some vision conditions.
LASEK (Laser-assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy)
LASEK surgery is very similar to LASIK, though a microkeratome device creates the corneal flap in this case. The surgeon exposes the cornea to ethanol, which is not the case in LASIK. This technique leads to the surgeon removing less of the cornea, making it ideal for people with thin corneas. However, LASEK and LASIK have the same effect if you are at a greater risk of eye injury.
Candidacy for Laser Vision Correction
You Should Be Over 18 Years Old
It would be best if you are over 18 years old to qualify for laser vision correction. This age is ideal because the eyes and vision have most commonly stopped changing.
Have a Stable Prescription
There are some people whose prescription continues to change even after 18 years. This type of patient has a new prescription every six months. The eye doctor will not recommend laser vision correction because you might need another surgery in the future. The eye doctor prefers to wait until the prescription stabilizes for at least a year.
Have Refractive Vision Errors
Laser surgery corrects refractive errors of various magnitudes. However, surgeons will suggest other options if you are beyond specific parameters. Also, you might need a different set of solutions if you have other vision conditions other than the common refractive errors.
It Would Be Best If You Are Not Pregnant
Pregnancy hormones produced in a woman’s body can alter their vision. This can interfere with the effectiveness of the surgery. Commonly, these vision changes stabilize after giving birth. You can have laser vision correction after pregnancy and a few months to allow the balance of postpartum hormones.
For more on laser vision correction, visit Maple Eye and Laser Center at our office in White Plains or Manhattan, New York. You can also call 914-948-5157 to book an appointment today.