As the time passes and the medical technology develops, eye surgeries gain more and more popularity. Eye specialists have at their disposal devices, which allow for quick and painless vision correction. Corrective eye surgery stopped to be an excessively expensive service, it is a popular alternative to wearing glasses or lenses. Currently, there are many types of eye surgery, including laser eye treatments. This plurality only increases the confusion of some patients, who ask: how does laser surgery work? Which laser eye surgery is the best? What is the difference between PRK and LASIK? We will try to fill this information void with our article on corrective eye surgeries.
1. LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK eye surgery is one of the most popular laser eye surgeries. Its name stands for laser assisted in situ keratomileusis. This refractive eye surgery is one of the newest techniques available. Instead of removing epithelium, during laser eye surgery procedure ophthalmologist creates a flap in it and then proceeds to shape the cornea with a laser. As a result, in the case of LASIK surgery, the laser eye surgery recovery time is relatively quick and most of the patients enjoy improved eyesight almost immediately. Side effects and possible complications in case of LASIK eye surgery are possible but unlikely and can be corrected after the initial period of six months. High success rate coupled with instant laser eye surgery recovery, both impacted laser assisted in situ keratomileusis’ high position among corrective eye surgeries. However, in some cases of untypical eye shape or thickness of the epithelium, doctors recommend classical PRK over LASIK.
2. PRK Eye Surgery
PRK laser eye surgery is a classical laser eye treatment and a predecessor to both LASIK and LASEK eye surgery. Instead of creating the flap, ophthalmologist during PRK treatment removes the epithelium totally and it regrows again. For this reason, the PRK recovery is rather long and more painful than LASIK eye surgery recovery. Still, PRK laser eye surgery is recommended for some of the patients who cannot decide for another refractive surgery.
3. LASEK Eye Surgery
LASEK eye surgery was thought to be a middle ground between PRK and LASIK eye surgeries. In LASEK eye surgery epithelium is removed just for the period of corrective eye surgery and then reinstalled. However, eye surgeons observed that the recovery period is longer in LASEK eye surgery than both PRK and LASIK. Still, it is performed by some ophthalmologists.
4. Corneal Transplant Surgery
Corneal transplant surgery is a solution for various eye diseases and defects. It is also commonly used as keratoconus treatment. Keratoconus is a medical condition causing a change in the shape of the cornea. As a result of this and other conditions, the patient experiences difficulties with proper seeing because the angle or amount of light reaching eye becomes insufficient. During cornea replacement surgery a whole or just a part of the cornea (so-called partial corneal transplant) is removed and the donated one is placed instead of it. The corneal transplant recovery time varies according to the scope of operation and technique used during it. If the whole cornea is replaced (for example due to keratoconus) and the stitches are used, this may take several months.
5. Cataract Surgery
The medical condition called cataracts means that one’s lenses are getting cloudy and therefore the sight gets increasingly impaired. What causes cataracts? Usually, they are related to aging but cataracts in young age or even in newly born children’s eyes were also observed. The only possible solution is cataract removal through cataract eye surgery. Throughout it, ophthalmologist makes a small incision in the cornea and removes a lens and positions a new, artificial lens in its place. Removal of cataracts takes no longer than an hour and is a classical, safe procedure. In case if cataracts are present in both eyes, the second operation takes time few weeks after the first cataract surgery.