Glasses-Free Through Life?
This is possible with refractive surgery, which is available as two different techniques: laser treatment (PRK or LASIK) or lens surgery. Which technique is most suitable for you is determined by your specific case and depends on the age, your expectations and the refraction-deviation as well as the thickness of the cornea. A preliminary examination is always recommended to see which treatment is best suited for you.
With “Laser in Situ Keratomileusis” (LASIK) laser treatment, the Femtosecond laser a superficial flap in the cornea is cut and then folded, after which the Excimer laser evaporates a thin layer of the cornea. Afterwards the flap is put back in its original position. Due to the change in the curvature of the cornea, the refractive force of the eye changes.
This relatively recent technique allows to correct larger refractive abnormalities due to its increased accuracy, precision and safety. This technique is virtually painless.
With photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) the top layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed after which an Excimer laser performs a treatment of the underlying cornea layer. It is a very reliable technique that has been around for a long time; the healing process is not without pain. This technique is mainly used in patients with mild to moderate refractive error. Both healing and visual recovery are somewhat slower with this technique.
Refractive Lens Surgery
If you already need reading glasses, it is likely that a laser treatment is less interesting for you. It is often better to choose a lens change (clear lens extraction). A refractive lens exchange is technically comparable to a cataract operation in which your own natural lens is removed and replaced by an artificial lens. This technique can be used for high deviations (from -20D to +10D). With unifocal implant lenses, the accommodative capacity of the eye (reading vision) is lost, but can be remedied with reading glasses. With progressive implant lenses a normal reading vision is achieved.