If you have problems seeing clearly, you are not alone. In the United States, about 12 million people over 40 have vision problems, with 75% of those due to uncorrected refractive errors. However, your options are numerous. There are several surgical and non-surgical treatments that you can receive for vision correction. Each of these options is corrective in a specific way. Your Las Vegas ophthalmology team can help you to decide which type of vision correction is right for you. In the initial first appointment, they can explain the many surgical and non-surgical methods, provide an exam, provide realistic goals, evaluate your expectations, and provide the cost of the vision correction option.
Vision Correction Surgery Types
ICL- EVO implantable collamer/interocular contact lens is a surgical option. An eye surgeon permanently implants a contact lens into your eye. This type of surgery is for patients who have bad nearsightedness and are not a candidate for LASIK. The contact lens implant is placed between the iris and the cornea so the eyes can better focus. Tiny stitches close your incision and stabilize the lens. Overall, function with this particular lens goes down with age. Later in life, you may need reading glasses. If you have an intraocular lens and eventually develop cataracts, you will have to have the lens taken out to have corrective surgery.
PRK- Photorefractive keratectomy is a refractive surgery that uses lasers to treat vision problems. It corrects refractive errors when your eye does not properly bend or refract light. Your eye surgeon will use the laser to reshape your cornea. This will help with how the light rays are focused on your retina. PRK can be used to correct ailments like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The goal is to improve your vision by correcting your refractive error. It could reduce your need for contact lenses and glasses and sometimes allow you to get rid of them completely.
Clear Lens Exchange- Clear lens extraction is like cataract surgery. Also known as refractive lens exchange or refractive lensectomy, it involves removing your natural eye lens and replacing it with another synthetic lens. Usually, the synthetic lens repairs distance vision that requires reading glasses. There are different options for near vision, far vision, and astigmatism.
LASIK– Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is an eye procedure that fixes vision problems using a laser. It treats problems caused by refractive errors that lead to vision deficiencies like blurriness, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. Your surgeon will alter the shape of your cornea so that light hits your retina properly.
Do you need vision correction?
Laser surgery is a good choice for people with no unusual vision problems and a moderate extent of refractive error. Your ophthalmologist will ask questions about your eye health history and ensure you don’t have conditions that can complicate your results. These results are factored in based on refractive error and more. If you have mild nearsightedness, you will likely benefit from corrective surgery. If you have a greater degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness or have astigmatism, you can benefit from surgery, but the results are more variable. Other things that you may want to consider before having surgery are:
- If your nearsightedness is severe or if you have a high refractive area
- If you have age-related eye changes
- If you have good overall vision and only need glasses or contacts part-time.
- If you participate in contact sports and regularly receive hits to the face like boxing or martial arts
If you are in overall general good health, surgery is usually of benefit to you. Some specific medical conditions unrelated to your eyes can make the surgical outcomes less predictable. You may not be the best candidate for corrective surgery if:
- You have a disease that hampers your immune system, decreases your ability to heal, or increases the risk of infection. This includes lupus, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions with deficient immune systems
- You have uncontrolled diabetes
- You take any immunosuppressive drug, regardless of the reason
- You have hormonal fluctuations due to pregnancy or nursing
- You have very dry eyes/dry eye syndrome
- You have unrealistic expectations
Who is corrective vision surgery for?
Regular exams from your eye doctor are the only way to determine when and if you have a vision problem. Vision problems are widespread but can go unnoticed for a while. An eye doctor can diagnose when something is worsening in your eye and intervene to protect your long-term vision. Treatment during the early stages of vision loss is most successful. Non-surgical intervention may be all that is needed for eyesight changes or an updated prescription. If not, it may be time for a consultation for surgical treatment.
Age is important when picking which procedure is best for your condition and when to get it. Vision fluctuates in your teens, so you have to be 18 years or older to get some surgeries like LASIK. You are also unable to have the surgery if you are pregnant, using steroids, or breastfeeding. You are at risk of complications from surgery if you have one of the following conditions:
- Impaired immune system
- Specific conditions of chronic pain
You are a good candidate if the following conditions apply to you:
- Have a stable prescription and are over the age of 18
- Do not have an elevated degree of refractive error or highly impaired visual acuity
- Do not have disorders like keratoconus or dry eyes
- Don’t have bad systemic illnesses
Brimhall Eye is your Las Vegas premiere ophthalmologist. We have numerous locations in the area under the direction of Dr. Brett Brimhall and his very experienced surgical team. Our practice does not provide typical services like glasses or contacts. Instead, we perform eye procedures like PRK, LASIK, cataract surgery, and more. In addition to vision correction, we also treat eyelid disorders, macular degeneration, eye allergies, and itchy eyes. We are ready to serve your corrective surgical needs.