What is Refractive Surgery?

what are refractive surgeries

LASIK and Intraocular Lenses can Restore Focus to Your Blurry Vision

Refractive Surgery can reduce or eliminate your need for contact lenses or glasses.

You have clear vision when images are brought into focus on your retina.  This occurs when the light from images is bent, or “refracted,” just the right amount so it is in good focus.

Consider a camera that has to bend or refract the light so it is in good focus on the film.  Your eye works in a similar fashion.

If you were born with perfect eyes, light is naturally refracted just the right amount so you can see without glasses.

Most of us (including me before I had refractive surgery) weren’t so lucky.  Our eyes need help focusing or “refracting” the light for clear vision.

Refraction to Treat Blurred Vision

You can solve your refraction problems with contacts, glasses, or refractive surgery.  Refractive surgery uses laser or intraocular implants to restore good focus.

Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery uses a very precise laser to gently sculpt your cornea to correct the refractive imperfections of your eye. LASIK and PRK are the two most common forms of laser eye surgery. Millions have had their eyes improved by eye laser.

Intraocular Lenses

Intraocular lens implants can solve refractive problems.  Intraocular lens refractive surgery can be divided into two categories: phakic or pseudophakic.  Phakic means your natural lens is left untouched and an implant called a phakic IOL is placed to restore focus.

Pseudo-phakic means that the natural lens in your eye is removed and an intraocular lens is implanted to take its place.  Cataract surgery is a form of psuedo-phakic refractive surgery.

Cataract Procedures

If your natural lens has become cloudy it is called a cataract. Removing it and placing an implant is called cataract surgery. This can either be done by hand (standard cataract surgery) or the eye surgeon can use a laser (laser cataract surgery) for greater precision.

Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome

As you age, the lens in your eye starts to malfunction.  First your it stops focusing and blurs your near vision so you need reading glasses and then later in life it turns into a cataract and blurs your distance vision.  This process is called dysfunctional lens syndrome. Some choose to have their lens replaced for dysfunctional lens syndrome before it turns into a cataract.  This is called Dysfunctional Lens Removal (DLR), Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) or a clear lens extraction (CLE) depending on the part of the country where you live.

Which Refractive Eye Surgery is Ideal for Me?

Each of these forms of refractive eye procedures has its own advantages and risks.  Your eye surgeon will help you determine which approach is the most likely to help you reach your individual goals.

Please contact me if you would like to further consider your options for solving your refractive eye problems.

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