Curious about corrective eye surgery? Here are a few things you should know before you schedule an appointment.
While glasses and contact lenses have been a godsend to those with poor eyesight for hundreds of years, most would probably agree that, at least to some extent, they’re also a royal pain. Whether it’s your contacts constantly irritating your eyes or your glasses breaking at a particularly inopportune moment, the time has arguably come for a more 21st-century solution to vision loss.
That’s where corrective eye surgery comes in. For decades now, minimally invasive, highly effective treatments have helped hundreds of thousands of patients enjoy clear vision without the support of glasses or contacts. With few complications attached to it, it’s no surprise that eye surgery has become such a routine and common procedure. Of course, there are a wide range of options and techniques, each of which is ideally suited to a patient’s unique condition and circumstances.
What Exactly Is Corrective Eye Surgery?
Corrective eye surgery is any procedure designed to improve the refractive state of the eye while eliminating or decreasing dependency on glasses or contact lenses. Simply put, it’s any surgery that improves a patient’s vision to such an extent that they have less need — or even no need at all — for corrective eyewear. The most common and well-known procedure is LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileuses), which uses excimer lasers to reshape the curvature of the cornea.
Other common procedures include:
- Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
- Radial Keratotomy (RK)
- Bladeless LASIK
- Wavefront LASIK or PRK
- Conductive Keratoplasty
- Implantable Lenses
- Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
- Cataract Surgery
More common forms of corrective eye surgery are usually performed as a treatment for conditions such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Of course, you should always discuss the specifics surrounding your condition, including your vision-related goals and a general state of health, with a qualified specialist in order to determine the best option for you.
Who Is a Candidate for It?
While there isn’t a single candidate for corrective eye surgery, the best typically share the following features:
- They’re at least 18 years old
- They’ve had stable vision for the past several years
- They’re in relatively good health
In addition, if you are currently suffering from diabetes, an autoimmune disorder, or an eye condition like glaucoma, you may not be an ideal candidate for specific kinds of procedures or corrective eye surgery in general. Again, you’ll need to speak with your doctor to determine whether or not you meet the criteria for surgery.
How Quickly Will I Recover?
Since most corrective eye surgeries are minimally invasive, the majority of patients are able to go home on the same day. They may experience mild pain, irritation, or discomfort immediately following the procedure, but these effects should fade within several hours. Some patients may experience dry eyes in the days following the procedure, but this should subside within a week or two.
Corrective eye surgery enjoys a consistently high rate of success and patient satisfaction, but there are some precautions that every patient should take. Be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon in order to ensure that your corneas are healing properly. As you recover from the surgery, be careful to avoid exposing your eyes to irritants such as smoke or dust. You should also avoid rubbing your eyes, swimming, and wearing eye makeup until your eyes have fully healed.
At the Swagel Wootton Eye Institute, our surgeons have years of experience in every major form of corrective eye surgery, from LASIK to cataract surgery to PRK. If you’re tired of wearing glasses and/or contact lenses or are suffering from a more serious eye condition, get in touch and schedule a consultation today.