Laser Eye Treatment Technologies

There are actually many different technologies used for laser eye treatment, with new ones constantly being developed. There are essentially two steps to the procedure. First, the surgeon gains access to the cornea, which is the part of the eye that bends the light entering it, producing our vision.

Here are a few ways that the surgeon accomplishes this:
  • During LASIK eye surgery , the surgeon uses a tiny handheld blade to cut a flap in the surface of the eye.
  • IntraLase LASIK lasers use a computer-guided beam of light to create the access flap. It is more precise than the blade technique, so it heals better than traditional LASIK flaps.
  • LASEK eye surgery involves the lifting of the outer layer of your eye with a fine blade. Then, alcohol is used to loosen the tissue so that the laser can access the underlying cornea.
  • PRK eye surgery “vaporizes” the outer surface of the eye using a special laser. This method takes a little longer to heal than other laser eye treatment methods.
Once the surgeon can access the cornea, it is precisely reshaped to change your vision. Usually, this employs a computer-guided laser beam. Current technologies include:
  • Excimer lasers . These have been used since the early 1990’s. This type of laser uses light to vaporize a small amount of tissue from the center of the cornea. This is a cool beam of ultraviolet light, unlike other surgical lasers that burn tissue using heat, or produce a shock wave to separate the tissue. By vaporizing the tissue one layer at a time, the Excimer laser is very accurate for changing the shape of the cornea.
  • Wavefront Custom LASIK is an even more personalized form of vision correction, using Wavefront-guided lasers. This technique uses special lasers to measure eye irregularities on a 3D map, which then guides the computer in reshaping your cornea. This is much more accurate than traditional laser eye treatment.
There are new methods being developed every year, making laser eye treatment more accurate than ever before. The decision of one procedure over the other should involve careful consideration and discussions with your doctor to figure out which method would work best for your eye condition and personal preference. The technologies vary in the specific eye conditions they are able to treat, as well as the recovery time. A good surgeon will explain all of the options to you and help you choose the best one for your situation.


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