Patients with near-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism can now eliminate or reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses by undergoing Laser Vision refractive surgery using the Excimer Laser.
The idea behind refractive surgery is to produce small changes in the surface layers of the cornea, which in turn produce significant changes in the way the eye focuses light.
LASIK can be performed on patients with low, moderate and higher prescriptions. Here at Blackrock Clinic we use the very latest generation of the Intralase Femotsecond laser on all LASIK patients to create a micro thin flap in the cornea. The flap is lifted back and the underlying surface is reshaped with the VISX excimer laser. As LASIK results in less surface disturbance there is less discomfort than with PRK/LASEK as well as a speedier recovery. Worldwide, this is the safest and most precise technique available.
In PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy) the centre of the surface of the cornea is re-shaped using the excimer laser by removing microscopic amounts of tissue. In PRK the outer layer of corneal cells are removed. These cells (known as the epithelial layer) repair themselves by growing back over the cornea within a few days. PRK offers an excellent alternative to LASIK for certain patients.
LASEK is a further refinement of PRK. In LASEK the surface cells are not removed (as in PRK) but are instead gently moved to the edge of the cornea. After the laser has reshaped the exposed corneal surface, the cells are moved back into place.