by Harriet Bond
(San Francisco, CA, USA)
Everyone is not a candidate for laser eye surgery. However, this doesn’t have to discourage you in your quest for better vision. You can still correct your vision with the following alternatives.
Laser eye surgery is a wonder. It uses laser light to change the shape of the cornea for clearer vision. It has helped people with myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
But even with all of its indications it is not recommended for all people.
These are not all true contraindications. Some of them add risk to the surgery and it will be up to the doctor and the patient if an attempt atlaser eye surgery is still in order.
* Thin corneas – The cornea needs to be a certain thickness for the procedure to work as it should. A thin cornea can pose problems later.
* Previous surgery – Some people have had RK (radial keratotomy) surgery in the past. Here, small cuts are made in a circular pattern around the cornea to correct vision.
If the vision wasn’t corrected satisfactorily, the patient may come back for possible laser surgery to correct what was done before.
* Dry eyes – People with dry eyes may find the eyes very irritating after surgery. Your eyes may even get drier. Whether to continue with a laser procedure would be up to the doctor.
* Large pupils – This is the opening in the iris. Pupils that remain large even in normal light are subject to vision problems after surgery such as double vision and halos.
Surgically Implanted Lenses – Since you already have a lens in your eye, what is this one for? This lens is placed in front or behind the iris to correct your vision problem. There is no damage to the cornea itself so complications are few.
There is also no maintenance needed because the corrective piece is totally implanted. Right now there are two lenses for vision correction that are approved by the FDA.
Replacing the natural lens – This is usually done for patients with vision-altering cataracts of their natural lens. It is said that every person who lives long enough will have to have cataract surgery.
In this procedure, the natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens that improves focus. Not many surgeons are performing this procedure and you will have to discuss if it is even an option for you.
PRK – This stands for “photorefractive keratectomy.” It is similar to RK and a laser procedure. Here instead of a flap being cut into the cornea using the laser or a keratome, the top layer of the cornea is scraped off and the under layer, the stroma is exposed.
There are alternatives available if conventional laser eye surgery is not right for your eyes. Discuss them with your doctor.
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