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Newest Advances In Vision Correction Surgery

Dr. Alkesh Chaudhary

What is vision problem

In our countries thousands of Indians have vision problems due to refractive errors. In India, as many as 550 million people, almost half of India’s population estimated to be suffering from vision problems and correction. Fortunately, the majority of these issues can be addressed with prescription eyewear or laser vision correction. People wanting to get rid of eyeglasses can immensely benefit from the latest technology without having to experience any side-effect or discomfort.”

The most common vision or refractive errors are nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. All of these are caused by light not bending — or refracting — correctly as it hits the eye. Nearsighted individuals have difficulty seeing objects far away. Farsighted individuals have difficulty seeing objects up close. Those with astigmatism have football-shaped eyes, which causes objects to appear blurry.

Most children have clear distance and up-close vision. Starting in adolescence, some develop a refractive error and need corrective lenses. The prescription for these lenses may change often from adolescence into early adulthood. In adulthood the prescription stabilizes and varies little thereafter.

As many people enter middle age, they develop a condition called presbyopia. This is caused by the natural lens of the eye becoming inflexible, which affects the ability to see up close.

Vision is Corrected

Glasses are the oldest method of refractive vision correction and have been around for hundreds of years. Contact lenses have been available since the 1950s. Both glasses and contacts change how light focuses on the retina, which corrects the refractive error and improves vision. Reading glasses help those with presbyopia see up close.

Since the 1990s, a laser vision correction method called LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) has been available as a third option to correct refractive vision problems. LASIK reduces or eliminates refractive errors by changing the structure of the cornea, which is located on the front surface of the eye. This restores visual function.

LASIK is a two-step process. First, the doctor uses a laser to create a flap in the eye’s cornea to preserve the skin of the eye called the epithelium. In the second step, the doctor uses another laser to etch an individual’s own corrective lens prescription on the cornea below the flap. The flap is then put back in place.

No stitches are used in LASIK, and healing is fast for the majority of patients. In fact, many are able to return to work the next day. Numbing drops are used, so patients experience very little discomfort. While side effects and complications may occur, they are rare and usually temporary.

Patients with presbyopia may benefit from monovision LASIK. Monovision corrects one eye’s distance refractive error, while the other eye is left mildly nearsighted for near vision.

Advantages of lasik

Glasses and contact lenses only improve the symptoms of refractive errors. LASIK reshapes the surface of the eye, therefore addressing the structural cause of blurry vision due to refractive errors. This allows the eye to focus without the use of glasses or contacts. LASIK addresses the cause of refractive errors, not just the symptoms. Each person’s eyes are different. Always consult with a trusted, experienced ophthalmologist to determine which vision correction solution is best for you.

latest advancement in the field of vision correction surgery

Tremendous advances have been made in refractive surgery for vision correction, and technology continues to be refined, making more options available for more and more people who want to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses or contact lenses.

Refractive eye surgery uses non-thermal lasers to shape the cornea—the “window” that focuses light on the surface of the eye. The laser removes microscopic bits of tissue to flatten the cornea (to correct nearsightedness), steepen the cornea (to correct farsightedness), or smooth out irregularities (to correct astigmatism). Reshaping the cornea allows more focused light to enter the eye, which provides clearer vision.

LASIK and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) are two of the most common types of laser vision correction. In LASIK, surgeons make a thin corneal flap and then focus an excimer laser on the exposed cornea to remove tissue before replacing the flap.

But one should be aware that LASIK cannot correct presbyopia, the age-related loss of close-up focusing power. Some patient may not fit for LASIK procedure, then there is a new way that is called ICL (IMPLANTABLE CONTACT LENSES).

What is ICL

The ICL (Implantable Contact Lens) is a state-of-art refractive error solution that is ideal for anyone who has the need or desire for removal of power with high quality of vision correction. ICL or Implantable Contact Lens, as the name suggests, is a kind of lens which is implanted into the eye and does not require frequent removal like a normal contact lens. This phakic intraocular lens has numerous advantages including its correction of the widest range of myopia (near sightedness), hyperopia (far sightedness) and astigmatism (cylindrical power).

When ICL is needed

Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK surgery. People with extremely thin corneas, for instance, those prone to dry eye syndrome or those who have extreme prescription correction needs may not get the vision correction results they seek. But there are significant technological developments in other aspects of eye surgery that can help these and other patients.

One of the newest technologies available actually has its roots in the treatment of an old condition: cataracts. A cataract happens when the natural lens we are born with get clouded over, affecting the clarity of our vision and our impressions of light and color.  In cataract surgery, tiny incisions are made near the edge of the cornea, allowing the surgeon to remove the clouded lens and insert a new, clear lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL). The lens takes over where your old lens was, refracting light back toward the retina. Your sight improves immediately, because the clouded lens is gone.

For a long time, the only lenses used in cataract surgery were monovision lenses – in other words, “single vision,” or lenses that simply focused on one focal point, that being distance. This meant that after surgery, people still needed corrective lenses – eyeglasses or contacts – for their near vision. But the development of multifocal lenses – lenses which improve vision at all distances – actually made it possible for cataract patients to leave their surgeries needing no further vision correction at all. It was the equivalent of having a prescription contact lens implanted in your eye instead of wearing it on the outside.

Now, these implantable contact lenses (ICL) are available to people who do not have cataracts, but want to improve their vision. Instead of altering the outer surface of the eye, as in LASIK surgery, implantable contact lenses correct a patient’s vision from inside the eye. No change takes place on the cornea.

Is a renowned ophthalmologist based in Delhi. He is founder Director of M.D. Eye Care and Laser, Greater Kailash, New Delhi.He was also associated with the Moolchand Hospital in New Delhi for 10 years from 1996 to 2006 as a Honorary Consultant, and continues to visit the Saket City Hospital in Similar Capacity.

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