Information on laser eye surgery: the methods at a glance

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No need for glasses or contact lenses despite poor eyesight. This is what laser surgery aims for. Laser eye surgery really works wonders. Because with eye lasers, those affected can hopefully regain up to 100% of their vision. But not everyone who is visually impaired should have hope. After all, not all ametropia can be treated with ocular lasers. Those affected usually suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism when undergoing laser surgery.

The chances of success of treatments are not comparable for all diseases. For example, the chances of success in the treatment of myopia are better than those of hyperopia.

What happens during laser eye surgery?

During eye lasers, ophthalmologists use refractive surgery to adjust the refractive index of the eye so as to correct ametropia.

If the laser procedure is successful as expected, then sight should be restored to such an extent that optical aids such as spectacles are either completely eliminated or their diopter numbers are at least significantly reduced.

In laser surgery, surgeons strive to remove, in seconds, one-thousandth of tissue from the corneal layer of the eye to withdraw. The part to be eliminated is precisely calculated in advance and then programmed. When treating hyperopia, the cornea bulges out more clearly. In the case of myopia, the cornea is flattened with a laser. It usually doesn’t take long after the procedure for those affected to be able to see normally again.

What requirements must patients meet for laser surgery?

For an ocular laser intervention to promise the expected success, patients must meet certain requirements regarding the condition of the cornea and the refractive power of the eye.. An important condition is that the cornea of ​​the eye is also thick enough. In other words:

The higher the ametropia in a patient, the higher the likelihood that those affected will suffer from side effects after the eye operation.

Therefore, there are now limited values ​​that provide information on when eye laser therapy is particularly promising. According to the statements of this commission, Lasik is the most common laser method and is considered a particularly safe method of obtaining Hyperopia at +4 diopters, myopia at -8 diopters, and astigmatism up to -3 diopters.

What are the methods of laser eye surgery?

In general, laser eye surgery as part of refractive surgery is a minimally invasive operation. There are three procedures to choose from for laser eye treatment – Lasik, PRK or Lasek and ReLEx Smile.

Peculiarities of the Lasik method

Experienced Lasik providers perform the treatment with the most used procedure. Lasik is the abbreviation for in situ laser therapy for keratomileusis. First, an ophthalmologist cuts a semicircle in the cornea of ​​the eye with a femtosecond laser in order to then fold the corneal flap. The deeper layer of the cornea is then lightly abraded with a second laser.

Although only a few thousandths of a millimeter of the cornea are removed, the refractive power changes significantly. The ametropia is corrected. After the eye surgery is complete, the corneal flap is folded back.

Diagram of Lasik eye surgery

Peculiarities of the PRK / Lasek method

PRK/Lasek is the oldest method. While this form of therapy was initially reduced to photoreactive keratectomy (PRK), it was later developed into Lasek as laser epithelial keratomileusis. This therapeutic method is an alternative to the Lasik method for all patients whose cornea is too thin for this.

Particularities of the Relax Smile method

THE Relax Smile procedure was first applied in 2011. Refractive lenticule extraction has proven to be a much gentler procedure, in which the femtosecond laser beams remove small amounts of the upper stratum corneum directly under the skin. These studs are then eliminated with a small cut.

Advantages and disadvantages of laser eye surgery

If laser eye surgery does indeed deliver the hoped-for success, people with visual impairments will stop wearing contact lenses or glasses overnight (progressive lenses) addicted. This newly acquired “freedom” is certainly the most important reason why so many affected people decide to have their eyes lasered. However, it is not always possible for the procedure to completely treat ametropia. Sometimes patients still need glasses after treatment. If presbyopia sets in between the ages of 40 and 50, vision is automatically reduced.

Additionally, patients should expect the treatment to inflame the cornea and cause problems with the local anesthetic. However, the most common side effects are dry eyes, which often require the use of eye drops after the operation. Nevertheless, for most patients, the positive effect that laser eye surgery offers prevails. Because better eyesight automatically contributes to a better quality of life.

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