As important as knowing the ins and outs of each corrective procedure is knowing exactly what it is they correct. With all the different types of refractive surgery available, there are procedures available to improve vision problems caused by a wide variety of optical imperfections. Click any of the links below to learn more about these common eye disorders.
Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses.
A cataract is a clouding of the normally-clear lens in your eye. Though painless, cataracts can blur your vision by restricting the amount of light that enters your eye. In addition to hazy vision, indications of cataracts include unusual glare, poor night vision, and a change in how your eyes perceive colors.
In a healthy eye, the iris (the colored part of the eye) regulates the amount of light that enters the eye through the pupil. The light passes through the lens, where it is focused onto the retina at the back of the eye. Signals are then sent from the retina to the brain via the optic nerve, where they are translated into the images you see.
An eye with a cataract functions normally except that the lens has grown cloudy. Light enters the eye as usual, but the clouded lens disperses the light, causing the retina to have difficulty transmitting a clear image. Therefore, because the light that the retina receives is patchy, the retina’s transmissions to the brain are also affected, resulting in hazy, blurred vision.
Most people’s lenses will naturally become at least a bit cloudy as they age, and because cataracts tend to develop slowly, surgery may not be immediately necessary. But when your ability to read, drive, or carry out other normal activities is hindered, cataract surgery will likely be the best possible solution.
Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common problems treated by eye physicians. Over 10 million Americans suffer from dry eyes. It is usually caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes, and can be treated with drops or punctal plugs.
- Blurred vision that improves with blinking
- Excessive tearing
- Increased discomfort after periods of reading, watching TV, or working on a computer.
Learn the symptoms and get a Team Film Chemistry Analysis from Vance Thompson Vision
You strain your eyes on the computer screen. You feel fatigued. You have dry, irritated eyes. If this sounds familiar, you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome.
As the region's leading vision correction specialists, the Vance Thompson Vision team is committed to offering you the industry's latest technology and the very highest standards in patient care. That's why we provide tear film chemistry analysis and treatment in addition to our full slate of laser vision correction procedures.If you think you may suffer from dry eye syndrome, call us to schedule a free consultation or contact your local eye-care provider.
Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina unless the natural lens can compensate fully. Near objects require even greater focusing power to be seen clearly and therefore, blur more easily. LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange and Contact lenses are a few of the options available to correct farsightedness.
In general, people with keratoconus are not good candidates for laser vision correction. At your consultation, we will rule this out with a test called corneal topography.
Keratoconus is a disease that creates a thinning of the cornea (the clear front window of the eye). The word "kerato" means "cornea," and the word "conus" means "cone-like," so people with keratoconus have a cornea that progressively bulges into a cone-like shape. The change in the cornea’s shape can have a dramatic impact on one's vision. In more severe cases, normal everyday activities such as driving and reading can be difficult to perform.
Nobody knows the cause of keratoconus for certain, although there is evidence that the disease has genetic origins and is possibly triggered and worsened by environmental factors. It normally affects both eyes, although at differing points of onset and rates of progression. In most people keratoconus begins during their teen years and progresses at varying rates until stabilizing in their 30s or 40s.
Keratoconus is estimated to affect one in 2,000 people across all races. It is normally treated with rigid contact lenses that reshape and flatten the pronounced bulge in the cornea while improving one’s vision. A proper contact lens fit is crucial to insure optimal vision, comfort, and eye health. Poorly prescribed or outdated contact lenses can lead to additional complications like corneal abrasions, scarring, and infection. Twenty percent of all keratoconus patients will at some time undergo a corneal transplant, according to medical experts.
Intacs provide an effective option to improve one’s vision prior to considering a cornea transplant. Intacs were originally designed and FDA approved to safely correct mild nearsightedness, but have emerged as a new therapy for patients with keratoconus. For more information on the benefits of Intacs, visit www.getintacs.com.
Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance and are forced to wear glasses or contact lenses. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred. There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness.
Presbyopia is a condition that typically becomes noticeable for most people around age 45. In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily focus on distant and near objects. With age, the lens loses its ability to focus adequately.
Although presbyopia is not completely understood, it is thought that the lens and its supporting structures lose the ability to make the lens longer during close vision effort. To compensate, affected individuals usually find that holding reading material further away makes the image clearer. Ultimately, aids such as reading glasses are typically needed by the mid-forties.
Besides glasses, presbyopia can be dealt with in a number of ways. Options include: monovision and multifocal contact lenses, monovision laser vision correction, and new presbyopia correcting implant lenses.
The LASIK procedure is the right answer for most patients who are considering refractive surgery to improve their vision. However, in patients with higher degrees of nearsightedness or farsightedness, the cornea may be too thin to allow full refractive correction.
In these cases, surgical implants may be the best alternative. These special devices are placed in the eyes to improve their focusing ability.