LASIK treats a broad range of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism in people at least twenty years of age, who are in good health, and have no eye diseases. To understand Laser Vision Correction, it’s necessary to understand the underlying conditions
To see clearly, with normal vision, the light rays must focus directly on the retina. In a myopic, or nearsighted eye, light rays focus in front of the retina.
In a hyperopic, or farsighted eye, light rays focus behind the retina. In an astigmatic eye, light rays focus at a number of different points.
LASIK uses a laser to sculpt the shape of the cornea, to bring the light rays to one point on the retina to give clearer vision without the aid of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
LASIK is a wonderful procedure for the right patient. At the Northwest Eye Center, using our state of the art technology, we perform a thorough pre-operative evaluation to assess whether LASIK is appropriate for you. Every patient is an individual case and treated accordingly. Our pre-operative evaluation entails a complete medical and ocular history, refraction to determine the current eyeglass prescription, keratometry to measure corneal curvature, pachymetry to measure corneal thickness, pupillometry, and corneal topography to rule out abnormal corneal shapes that may affect LASIK outcome.
If our doctors determine the patient is a good candidate for LASIK, the patient discontinues contact lens wear for 2 weeks, and returns to repeat all the tests done at the initial evaluation for stability and accuracy. In addition, our doctors perform a full eye exam including refraction, intraocular pressure, and dilated fundus exam.
Every patient is evaluated personally by our doctors pre-operatively, and at every post-operative check during the one year following the procedure.
With Bladeless LASIK, the surgeon uses the laser to create the corneal flap. This technology allows the surgeon to customize the corneal flap for every individual patient. Intralase may make it possible to treat some patients with LASIK who were previously dismissed as candidates due to thin corneas.
IntraLase has other benefits as well. Studies have shown the incidence of dry eye symptoms may be reduced with Bladeless LASIK. Many experts suggest that the long term stability of LASIK with Intralase may be better due to the thinner, more uniformly shaped flap.
Once the flap is created, application of the cool excimer laser is then directed onto the “bed” of the cornea, the duration of which is only a matter of seconds. The flap is then replaced.
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is another laser vision correction procedure. LASIK is usually preferred over PRK because of the quicker recovery rate. However, PRK has an excellent success rate and may be the preferred procedure in some patients. With PRK, a flap is not created, but rather the laser is applied to the surface of the cornea. Because there is no flap, the outer cell layer must heal before clear vision and comfort is achieved, which may take up to a week. This procedure may be preferred in patients with thin corneas. That is, in patients who are not candidates for LASIK, PRK may be an option.
If you have been told that laser vision correction was not an option for you because of high myopia and thin corneas, PRK may be an option now.
Wavefront technology produces a detailed automated map of your eye. The measurements are 25 times more precise than those used for prescribing glasses or contacts. Therefore, the treatment provided is individualized to your specific visual requirements. Our doctors use the Custom Vue Wavescan technology to gather the information which is then transferred to the VISX Star S4 laser for treatment. Because Custom Vue can measure and correct the unique imperfections of each individual’s vision, it has the potential to provide better vision than is possible with glasses or contact lenses.