Sight is one of our richest, most exciting senses. It is also something many people take for granted. The fact is, our eyes deserve preventive health care stance as much as any other function of the body. Here at the LifeBridge Health Krieger Eye Institute we want you to be aware of the latest advances in eye care, particularly if your eyesight is suddenly changing. So whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatic or have a family history of glaucoma or cataracts, you should know that many corrective procedures have been improved to the point where there is much less pain, downtime and risk involved correcting the problem.
What Is Refractive Surgery?
During refractive surgery, the cornea is gently reshaped to better focus light rays on the retina. Depending upon the results of your full ophthalmic evaluation, your Krieger ophthalmologist will recommend the refractive surgery procedure that meets your specific needs. Refractive surgery is quickly gaining popularity due to the fact that it is an outpatient procedure which offers minimal time in surgery, fast and comfortable recovery times, as well as a diminished dependence on glasses or contacts.
Millions of Americans are affected by conditions that fall under a category called "refractive errors." Most commonly, these include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopla (farsightedness), astigmatism, as well as combinations of astigmatism and either myopia or hyperopla.
Laser Assisted Intrastromal Keratomileusis (LASIK)
During LASIK , a more recent procedure to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, the ophthalmologist utilizes a precise surgical instrument called an automated microkeratome to create a flap on the surface of the cornea. Then a laser vaporizes a micro-thin layer of corneal tissue beneath the flap. The flap of tissue is replaced and the cornea begins to heal without a need for stitches. Since the surface of the cornea is not treated, LASIK offers quicker recovery and improvement of vision. As with the other refractive surgery procedures, approximately 95 percent of patients achieve 20/40 or better corrected vision.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
PRK is specifically used to correct higher degrees of nearsightedness, and mild to moderate cases of farsightedness and astigmatism. The ophthalmologist uses a specially computerized laser to transmit gentle pulses of ultraviolet light to the cornea. Each programmed pulse vaporizes an infinitesimal layer of tissue that flattens the cornea to its proper shape. PRK's advanced laser technology provides a high degree of accuracy and takes no longer than 90 seconds to perform. In the weeks to months following PRK, patients experience gradual vision improvement. Overall results are comparable to RK, with approximately 95 percent of patients achieving 20/40 or better corrected vision.
A New Way of Thinking About Your Eyes
Since early detection is the key to successfully treating many diseases of the eye, it is important to schedule annual visits with your ophthalmologist at LifeBridge Health's Krieger Eye Institute. Krieger's ophthalmic services include routine and emergency eye care, glaucoma, corneal and retinal treatment, diabetic eye care, pediatric eye care, eyelid surgery, refractive surgery, reconstructive surgery, laser skin resurfacing surgery, low vision evaluations and contact lens fitting and care.
For appointments and more information, call 410-601-2020.