LASIK Eye Surgery (cont.)

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What happens to vision when we age?

During our youth, the natural lens has the ability to change shape and power. This allows us to focus on close objects through a process of lens power change called accommodation. As we age, the natural lens becomes stiffer and loses the ability to change shape. This is termed presbyopia, which is the loss of accommodation, and the need for reading glasses, bifocals, or other visual aids to facilitate near work. LASIK cannot directly "fix" accommodation, but there are a variety of strategies that can be successful, including blended vision or monovision, in which one eye is corrected for better distance vision and one eye is corrected for better near vision.

Are there different types of LASIK?

There are a variety of different types of lasers used in ophthalmology. All LASIK procedures are performed with a specific type of laser (excimer laser), so in one sense, all LASIK procedures are similar. However, there are a variety of different laser manufacturers, including Visx, Wavelight, Alcon, Bausch & Lomb, and Nidek, among others, that have all designed specific excimer lasers. Further, there are different types of laser ablations that can be performed (see below), including conventional laser treatments, wavefront-optimized treatments, and wavefront-guided treatments. Finally, a completely different type of laser (femtosecond laser) can be used instead of a mechanical microkeratome to create the LASIK (corneal) flap.

What is conventional LASIK?

Conventional LASIK is the ablation pattern available on most lasers that treats directly based upon the patient's glasses prescription, with fixed treatment parameters for each patient. This type of treatment is effective for most patients but can result in more visual aberrations such as glare, halos, and night vision issues than other forms of laser treatment.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/24/2014

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