Laser Eye Surgery: The Eye

Thousands of women are turning towards laser eye surgery to correct their vision, and are waving goodbye to glasses and contact lenses. But like all medical procedures, laser vision correction comes in different procedures with benefits and risks for each. But before looking at the common types of laser procedures, it's useful to understand how our eyes work and why people must wear glasses and contact lenses to improve their vision.

The Eye

The eye works similar to a camera. The main function of the eye is to focus light in order for us to see. The cornea, the window of the eye, works to focus the refracted light. Once focused, the light enters the pupil and lens before reaching the retina.

The retina, made up of a layer of nerves, connects the eye to one's brain. If the light is not focused correctly on the retina, the image you see blurs. Blurred vision commonly results from a refractive error, meaning the shape of the eye structures can't bend light properly for you to see.

Refractive errors such as myopia (near-sightedness) and are not seen as eye diseases, but as a common conditions. This is why most insurance companies see laser eye surgery to correct refractive errors as a cosmetic procedure and refuse to pick up the tab.

What does having 20/20 Vision Mean?

If you have 20/20 vision, it means you can see at 20 feet what a normal person (a person with no refractive errors) can see at 20 feet. So if a person has a vision of 20/40, it means they have to get 20 feet closer to see the same size letter that a person with 20/20 vision can see at 40 feet. A person with 20/40 vision may choose to wear glasses, corrective lenses or have laser eye surgery to achieve 20/20 vision.

Get 20/20 Vision with Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery is becoming a popular surgical procedure used to correct many types of vision problems. Some types of vision problems correctable by laser eye surgery include:

  • Myopia: or near-sightedness
  • Hyperopia: or far-sightedness
  • Astigmatism: is when objects appear blurry at any distance
  • Presbyopia: is the inability to see nearby objects, normally as you get older.

During the corrective surgery, a surgeon will use a laser device to alter the shape of the cornea to fix moderate refractive errors. One fairly used instrument in the procedure is the Excimer laser, which emits an ultraviolet light beam to vaporize tissue.

Find out if you make a good candidate for laser eye surgery and the common types of laser surgery.

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