For anyone who has been diagnosed with an eye problem, there will be a range of options suggested depending on the type and severity of the problem. Any optician will explain in full what the choices are, and then it’s time to choose your preferred treatment.
For the simple problems of long-sightedness or short-sightedness, a lot of people will decide on glasses or contact lenses. Naturally, this is the easiest solution as a lot of opticians now give a same day service. However, these problems can also be resolved by surgery, and it is possibly a realistic suppostion to say that a minority of people, for whom surgery might be the best option, may refuse to think about this option as ‘surgery’ is still very much viewed as ‘going under the knife’. The concept of somebody using a metal blade to heal such a delicate part of the body as the eyes is, understandably, quite frightening.
But this is 2011 and surgical procedures have progressed greatly in recent years. Our parents and grandparents would definitely have faced the knife if they had even been offered such an option as eye surgery for long or short sightedness, but for these vision defects now, Laser eye treatment is an simple, safe and popular choice.
This is how things proceed if you decide that Laser eye surgery is the best route to take for you and your eyes. To start with, the procedure is normally carried out under a local anaesthetic, unless the patient is particularly nervous or has other health complaints that could affect the process. The eyelids are kept open with a specialised instrument so that there is no risk of them being in the way of the procedure. The surgeon then makes a tiny cut in the surface of the cornea (the front of the eye). This is the only instance when a surgical instrument is used on the eye, and it is merely so that a small flap can be created to give the surgeon access to the inside part of the cornea.
When the centre of the cornea is exposed, a laser is utilised to vaporise the cells that are causing the defect. If the patient is short-sighted, the cornea is probably too curved in shape, so that what they see doesn’t quite hit the retina (the back of the eye) and therefore looks out of focus. For someone who is long-sighted, the cornea is too flat, so the light getting to the eyes tries to focus beyond the retina. For someone who has astigmatism, the cornea is oval shaped rather than shaped like a sphere, which can cause the light to bounce off two different places in the eye and will cause blurred vision on objects situated both near to and far from the patient. In all three of these situations, the surgeon is able to alter the shape of the cornea to resolve the problem.
When the surgeon is happy that the shape of the cornea has been rectified, the small access flap that was created is put back in place and the eye will start to heal. The entire process generally takes less than an hour and both eyes can be have the treatment at the same time if the surgeon thinks it necessary.
The surgery has a very respectable success rate. It is estimated that, in the UK, complications occur in less than 5% of cases, and almost all people who have Laser eye surgery are back to doing everything in their normal lives within a week or so.
At the moment, Laser eye treatment is already available for some other eye complaints, and advances in medical science mean that there are always going to be new procedures created to help cure other problems.
Tags: Health and Fitness