CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — When considering vision correction surgery, it’s important to get a thorough understanding of all the options.
While LASIK surgery may be the most talked-about form of vision correction surgery, there may be other options that provide the best solution. Along these lines, Richens Eye Center is hosting a free virtual event on Nov. 19 to inform the public of the safety, affordability and recovery associated with the various procedures.
LASIK or iLASIK
There are two different types of LASIK: traditional and blade-free. The blade-free procedure is also called iLASIK. In either type of procedure, a laser is used to gently reshape the cornea and correct vision, but there are some distinct differences.
Blade-free LASIK uses a femtosecond laser to create the corneal flap, which is replaced to promote healing after surgery. Traditional LASIK uses a microkeratome blade handled by the surgeon to create this flap.
With blade-free LASIK, 3D mapping of the eye is performed before surgery. This analysis looks for imperfections of the eyes, comparing them to eyes with perfect vision. This enables a high level of precision and customization with the femtosecond laser creating the flap and the excimer laser that will reshape the cornea.
LASIK has been proven incredibly safe, but according to a press release from Richens Eye Center announcing their virtual event, blade-free LASIK is even safer. And because blade-free LASIK uses a femtosecond laser to create the flap rather than a hand-held blade, the procedure is extremely precise.
Because the thickness of the corneal flap affects the quality of the final outcome, the consistency of the laser in blade-free LASIK results in better accuracy and faster healing. In fact, 94% of patients have 20/20 vision or better six months after blade-free LASIK.
Implantable contact lens
If you’re not a candidate for LASIK, you may be a candidate for the Visian ICL implantable contact lens or clear lens replacement. The Visian ICL is placed behind the iris and in front of the eye’s natural lens. The lens implant is rolled into an injector and then inserted into the eye through a tiny incision. Once the lens is inside the eye, it opens up and the edges are tucked into place.
This procedure was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States in 2005. It is approved for patients older than age 21 who are nearsighted in moderate to severe ranges of -3.00 to -20.00 diopters. For many years before FDA approval, the Visian ICL was approved and marketed in Europe and many countries outside the U.S.
With Visian ICL surgery, there is no removal of corneal tissue. The artificial lens is also removable in the event of a significant prescription change or if newer options become available.
Refractive lens exchange
Refractive lens exchange is another type of vision correction procedure. During refractive lens exchange, the natural lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens implant. Refractive lens exchange is typically used for patients aged 45 and older who would like to reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
Some patients choose refractive lens exchange over iLASIK or the Visian ICL because the lens implant they select can be multifocal, providing better vision for distance, intermediate and near vision. There are various multifocal lens options available for refractive lens exchange.
Learn more at Richens Eye Center virtual event
Richens Eye Center will host the free virtual education session on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. Those who are considering vision correction surgery are encouraged to attend this installment of the inSight Learning Series, where they can learn more about the safety, recovery and affordability of vision correction.
Dr. Sharon Richens, a board-certified ophthalmologist and the founder of Richens Eye Center, will be presenting a thorough look at these procedures. Please register here and add the event to your calendar.
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