If your vision is less than perfect, you may wear glasses or contact lenses to help you see more clearly. But for many people, vision correction (refractive) surgery is an option, too.
Refractive eye surgery can improve your eyesight and decrease your dependence on glasses or contacts.
Refractive surgery adjusts where light focuses in the back of your eye so it more precisely hits your retina. This technique sharpens your vision so you can depend less on glasses or contact lenses.
There are many types of refractive surgery.
Some involve reshaping the cornea — the clear dome in the front of the eye. Other methods involve implanting a lens (much like a contact lens) in the eye.
Refractive surgery can help improve your vision permanently.
But you may still need to wear corrective lenses at certain times. You might need them when driving at night or reading small print (if over the age of 40).
It can help correct:
Your eye doctor can discuss what type of eye surgery is best to correct your vision. They may suggest a form of laser or non-laser surgery.
The types of laser eye surgery include:
Ways to correct vision without using lasers include:
Only your eye doctor can tell you if refractive surgery is right for you.
To start, you'll need a baseline eye exam. Be sure to tell your eye doctor about any past and present health issues and any medicines you take.
After this exam, your doctor can suggest the best type of surgery — if any — for your sight issue. They can also explain the pros and cons of each technique.
Vision correction surgery can help many people, but it's not for every person.
You might be a good candidate for refractive surgery if you want to decrease your dependence on glasses or contacts.
Other factors include if you:
Refractive surgery is an outpatient technique, so you won't spend the night in the hospital.
Here are some of the things you can expect when you have vision correction surgery.
If you use contact lenses, stop wearing them 2-3 weeks before your baseline exam and a few days before surgery. Contact lenses can cause a reversible change in the shape of your cornea. That's why it's vital to keep them out.
The day before surgery, you should stop:
Your doctor will numb your eye, but you'll be awake during the treatment.
Doctors perform LASIK and PRK in the office, while they do ICL surgery in the operating room.
Post-op, as the eyes heal, you may:
After your laser eye surgery, you'll need to:
It's best to take a few days off work to help your eyes heal.
For at least 6 months after surgery, you'll have routine visits with your eye doctor. They will check your eyes and test your vision.
Questions about refractive eye surgery?
Call us at 412-647-2200 or 1-800 446-3797.