5 Eye Surgery Options for Correcting Refractive Errors

If you have a refractive error, such as farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), or astigmatism, refractive eye surgery can help correct or improve your vision.

There are various procedures for adjusting your vision by adjusting the shape of the cornea.

Eye Surgery Options

Here, we discuss different surgery options for correcting refractive errors.


Lasik eye surgery is the most effective laser refractive surgery to correct vision problems. The surgery is preferred by people who look for an alternative to glasses or contact lenses.

This surgery includes the use of a special type of cutting laser to change the shape of the cornea ( the clear dome-shaped tissue) to improve vision. Doctors use wavefront technology, a type of computer imaging, to get a detailed view of your cornea, which they use as a guide at the time of surgery.

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)

During photorefractive keratectomy, a special type of laser is used to adjust the cornea’s shape to improve how light rays reflect on your retina.

Patients with Myopia, Hyperopia, and Astigmatism are more likely to get this surgery. Moreover, if you have thin corneas and dry eyes and are thinking of having refractive surgery, PRK can be your option.

However, in order to meet the requirements for PRK, you must have healthy corneas, you should be 18 or older, and have an eye prescription.

Radial Keratotomy

A radial keratotomy is used to correct cases of mild myopia. The surgeon uses a diamond scalpel to make tiny and precise cuts in the cornea. The cuts help flatten the center of the cornea, which helps reduce refraction.

It’s a common surgery that might take a few weeks to heal as the incisions are made in the cornea.

Complications associated with RK could be infection, discomfort, trouble fitting lenses, and changing vision in the first few months of the surgery.

Astigmatic keratotomy (AK)

This is a modified form of Radial Keratotomy and is used to treat astigmatism. In astigmatic keratotomy, tiny scratches are made on the cornea surface to flatten its steepest part.

This turns the cornea into a more spherical shape which helps to achieve sharper retinal focus. The surgery takes only a few minutes and can be performed in conjunction with Visian ICL or cataract surgery.

Automated lamellar keratoplasty (ALK)

ALK is used to help people with hyperopia and severe cases of myopia. For hyperopia, the surgeon makes a deep cut into the cornea with a blade (microkeratome) and makes a flap.

This causes pressure in the eyes, which allows the cornea to stretch and bulge. The bulging of the cornea enhances the optical power, which corrects hyperopia.

For myopia, the surgeon again makes the use of a microkeratome to cut a flap across the cornea and is folded to the side. Then a thin layer of tissue is removed from the cornea surface, which helps reduce refraction. The flap is put back in place, which reattaches itself without stitches.

Bottom Line

Refractive surgeries are minimally invasive however may cause discomfort for a certain period of time. Although the recovery time depends on the type of surgery, yet full recovery may take a few weeks, or months.









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