If you’re living with a refractive vision problem (e.g., astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness), a refractive surgery could be a life-changing solution that can give you the freedom to do many things you previously couldn’t without reliance on corrective lenses.
Read on to learn more about refractive surgery: what it is and why it could be worth considering.
Defining Refractive Surgery
Refractive surgery is a blanket term encompassing a range of surgical modalities whose goal is to improve the refractive state of the eye and consequently reduce or eliminate dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses.
The following are the most common types of refractive surgery:
- Laser in-situ keratomileus (LASIK)- In this procedure, an eye surgeon makes a thin flap in the dome-shaped surface of the eye known as the cornea then reshape it to address the refractive problem.
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)- Unlike LASIK, only the outermost layer of the cornea known as the epithelium is removed.
- Refractive lens exchange (RLE)- Sometimes combined with LASIK, RLE involves replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to address severe refractive errors.
Why Consider Refractive Surgery
Outlined below are just a few of the benefits of refractive surgery—the very reasons millions of Americans have opted for it:
- Significantly improved vision- Refractive surgeries that involve corneal reshaping yield more than 90 percent success rate. With PRK surgery, in particular, up to 95 percent of people achieved 20/20 vision without corrective lenses.
Refractive lens exchange also yields good visual outcomes: more than 88 percent of people who underwent the procedure achieved visual acuity of 20/40 or better at all distances.
- Convenience – This is one of refractive surgery’s major drawing cards. Opting for the procedure means you no longer have to insert or remove contacts every day or keep your glasses or defog them in wet weather.
Also, it’s quite common for people to experience contact lens intolerance (CLI)—which can cause pain or discomfort—over time even if they never had any issues initially. Refractive surgery could be an excellent option for people with CLI but also want to avoid wearing eyeglasses as much as possible.
- Cost-effectiveness – While a refractive surgery can seem like a pricey procedure, it is more cost-effective over the long term compared to having to regularly pay for new eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Refractive Surgery in Coral Gables, FL
The benefits of refractive surgery are beyond question; however, it is worth noting that the only way to ensure it works for you is to pay your eye surgeon a visit and discuss the benefits, potential risks, and contraindications of each of its types. This way, you can make a well-informed decision as to which is the most appropriate option for you based on your eye condition, overall health, and lifestyle.
At the Laser Center of Coral Gables, our eye surgeons have become among the most trusted experts in refractive surgeries in Miami-Dade county, having performed countless successful procedures over the course of their career—and helping patients get an improved “outlook on life.”