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Refractive Surgery

Laser Vision Correction in Orlando

Although glasses and contact lenses are excellent options for correcting vision, there is nothing quite like being able to function without them. Playing sports, swimming, and even waking up in the morning take on a completely different picture when your vision is crisp and sharp. You don’t dream any clearer, though it may seem like it!

The process of refractive surgery has evolved over the years. Once radial keratotomy was the standard of care, but it has since fallen out of favor to laser vision correction. The two major groups of laser correction are LASIK and surface ablation. In the former, a flap in cut into the cornea, the flap is lifted, and the laser is used to change the shape of the cornea. In PRK, the type of surface ablation we perform at Orlando Eye Institute, the “skin” of the cornea is gently removed and the laser is applied. Last but not least, the Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is a soft, flexible lens that is placed inside the eye to help correct the patient’s vision. Unlike laser vision correction, there is no permanent change to the cornea, thereby decreasing problems like dry eyes and glare at night.

For those who really just want a treatment for presbyopia, which is the aging of the lens that causes difficulty focusing at near, there are two options. One is doing refractive surgery for monovision–where one eye is for up close and one is for near. The other is the Raindrop, a new FDA-approved device where the non-dominant eye has this implanted through a laser flap. This helps patients see at distance and near in that eye.

As people age, cataracts can develop. This typically may start in the 50s or 60s. At this point, the aforementioned refractive options are no longer optimal because the cataract may change the vision a little bit annually. What good is refractive surgery if you can’t enjoy it for a number of years! For that reason, patients with cataracts, even mild ones, who want to be glasses free should have a Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). This is essentially cataract surgery before the cataracts are ready to come out by insurance standards. Once the cataracts are replaced, the vision should be quite steady thereafter.

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