Out of FocusFor most people, the world gets out of focus when the eye loses its shape. When this happens, the eye can no longer take a good picture. It cannot hit the retina at the correct angle. Thus, it causes refractory errors like:
- Nearsightedness- is when the eye is too long. It is convex.
- Farsightedness- is when the eye is too flat. It can’t become round enough to take a good picture.
- Astigmatism- is caused when the cornea, the lens covering the eye, is misshapen. It often occurs in conjunction wither nearsightedness or farsightedness.
How Corrective Lens WorkWhen the optometrist sends your prescription and frames off, so your lens can be made, it is actually two pieces of glass that are fused together, in order to help get the world back in focus. Both the angle and depth of the lens is determined by what is needed to send the right message back to your retina.
Your retina is actually what processes the image you see, instantaneously. In order for corrective lenses to help facilitate perfect vision, this part of the eye must still be working properly. It is cannot properly develop what the eye sees, glasses will not fix the problem. But, they can change how the light is refracted.
Refractive Eye SurgerySurprisingly, doctors have been trying to develop surgical procedures for correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism since 1896. Naturally, the first attempts were not quite successful, because too much damage was done to the cornea. However, opthemologists understood that if the cornea could be reshaped to allow for the right light to reach the retina, they could correct many vision problems. As a result, it would eliminate or reduce the need for corrective lenses.
In the 1960s, a doctor introduced the procedure of actually removing the cornea, freezing it, and then reimplanting it in the eye. As knowledge and understanding of the eye increased, the procedure was improved; because, the cornea no longer had to be frozen, in order to be manipulated.
But, the true improvement in refractive eye surgery came when lasers were developed for use on organic tissue. Lasers had already been used for approximately a decade for industrial use. In the 1980s, the same technology was used to make a small cut, reshape the cornea, and put it back over the eye. The procedure eliminated the need to remove and replace the cornea, in order to correct refraction errors in vision.
Lasik SurgeryToday, the procedure, also known Lasik surgery, is used to remove cataracts and potentially prolong the devastating effects of macular degeneration. Physicians continue to study new ways to use the wonders of Lasik, in order to prevent patients from become legally blind.
Like any other surgical procedure, there are no guarantees. But, many patients have reduced or eliminated their need for glasses. In some cases, corrective lens are no longer necessary. However, other patients may still need glasses for reading, or it may reduce the strength of their prescription. For those individuals who are virtually blind without their glasses, this is a vast improvement in their vision.
In short, refractive eye surgery will not correct every vision problem. But, it is definitely helping many patients to see well. In the past, the development of cataracts often meant the patient would eventually go blind. Today, thanks to Lasik surgery, they can often be removed, restoring good vision. In many cases, patients previously diagnosed with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or a stigmatism had to wear glasses, expecting the refraction errors to get worse as they aged. Today, a surgical procedure has the potential of restoring perfect vision for some patients. Some people who have worn thick glasses since they were children are undergoing the procedure and throwing away their glasses. Others may only need to use them for close-up vision like reading. It is a miracle of modern science.