Refractive eye surgery is elective eye surgery to correct the eye’s ability to focus and see clearly. Many people choose to undergo this type of surgery each year so that they do not have to continue getting new eyeglasses or contact lenses all the time. While the surgery does an excellent job of correcting most vision problems, there is no guarantee that it will work perfectly or work indefinitely for each patient. It is important to keep this in mind as you research this option for yourself. Additionally, you should know the five causes that result in the need for refractive eye surgery, some of which are not as elective as others.
Correcting Vision Problems After Retinal Reattachment Surgery
Retinal detachment is a scary incident involving a partial to almost total detachment of the retina in one or both eyes. When it occurs, patients have a very narrow window of time to surgically reattach the retinas if they expect to regain their sight. Even after a successful reattachment surgery, some patients may experience poorer eyesight than what they had before the detachment of their retinas.
In this case, the refractive surgery used to correct these new vision problems is not an elective. It can have a very positive and restorative impact on someone’s life. As such, it may be considered medically necessary and insurance may cover the costs if the patient’s eye surgeon verifies that such surgery can and will restore sight and quality of life to the patient.
Trauma to the Eye
Punches to the eyes can change the shape of the eyes. The result is a change in vision. Traumatic car accidents may also be the source of traumatic injury to the eyes, as can cases of domestic violence. When the eyes are traumatized, restoring vision through refractive surgery can help. So long as there is not an excessive amount of scar tissue to the eyes, the doctor can perform refractive surgery Brisbane experts report.
Myopia is the technical term for shortsightedness. It means that far away things are too blurry and that your eyes cannot make the images focus onto the retina properly. Refractive surgery changes the shape of the eyeball, taking it from a sort of overly round shape to something more upright egg shape. The result is that the images now are projected onto the retina properly, and everything far away is clear. This is an elective surgery for people with myopia.
Astigmatism means that one or both of your eyes is shaped like an American football laying on its side. The surgery reshapes the eye again so that it is less an oblong shape and more like a true Aussie football instead. Astigmatism is usually genetic and doesn’t have a major impact on most vision when a person’s vision is already hampered by myopia or hyperopia. If the condition is extreme enough to the point where refractive surgery can completely correct astigmatism, it may be medically necessary. However, more often than not it is elective.
With hyperopia, or far-sightedness, you may have perfect distance vision but you can’t see a thing two feet in front of your face. You are safe to drive, fly a plane, etc., but you can’t read anything close to you or write without major difficulties. In this case, your eyeball is stretched, elongated upward to the point that up-close images don’t even come close to hitting the retina. In fact, close images end up behind the retina where the optic nerve can’t even interpret them!
Hyperopia is a treatable condition that can be completely reversed in young adults after the eyes have fully developed. As such, these younger patients can go on to have perfect vision their entire lives. They are some of the best candidates for refractive surgery, but it is still an elective surgery for most with hyperopia.
What Refractive Surgery Can’t Fix
Although laser eye/refractive surgery can fix all of the above, what it can’t fix is presbyopia. Presbyopia is the condition of the aging of the natural lenses in the eyes that causes problems with focusing and vision as a result of the lenses’ loss of flexibility. The laser eye surgery procedures only change the cornea, or the white part of your eye, to help with focus and vision problems related to the shape of your eyeballs.
Ergo, you will still encounter vision problems with your lenses the older you become. If you end up having cataract surgery, the lenses are replaced with artificial ones, and then your vision will be perfect or near-perfect once more. However, most people still feel that a few decades without glasses or contacts is worth having the laser/refractive surgery done.