Refractive Surgery & the Excimer Laser

Performed since the early 1970's, refractive surgery procedures improve vision due to nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. With the advent of the laser for refractive surgery (photo-refractive keratectomy or PRK), a new era in eye care is unfolding. In 1983, it was found that the Excimer Laser could be used to reshape the surface of the cornea. The efficiency and accuracy of refractive lasers allows for extremely precise removal of tissue with minimal damage to adjacent cells.

What is a refractive error?

In normal vision, light enters the eye through the cornea and is focused at a single point on the retina at the back of the eye.
With a refractive error such as myopia, shown above, the light rays are not bent properly to achive good focus on the retina.

With a refractive error, there is a defect in the way light passes through the eye. Light rays do not refract (bend) properly to achieve a single focus point. Instead, light rays focus in front of the retina, behind the retina, or at two different points. Refractive errors usually result from a defect in the length of the eye or shape of the cornea.

Refractive Errors

Myopia

Hyperopia

Astigmatism

People with myopia are nearsighted and have good close vision and blurry distant vision. People suffering from hyperopia are farsighted. They can see distant objects clearly but close objects are out of focus Vision for people with astigmatism is blurred or distorted at any distance.

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