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Glasses, Contact Lenses, Laser Vision Correction, Possible Risks Still in Edit Mode!

1. Glasses

You have many choices for vision correction. All have benefits and drawbacks. These are described in detail in the following section.

Glasses are the most common solution to correct refractive visual problems.


The advantages include:

The disadvantages include:

* easy maintenance
* relatively low cost
* versatility

* change in cosmetic appearance
* restriction of peripheral vision
* interference with recreational,

 sporting and work-related activities
* easy to lose or damage
* continual dependence

2. Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are another common solution for correcting refractive visual problems.

The advantages include:The disadvantages include:
*no change in cosmetic appearance
* more freedom during recreational and sporting activities
* better peripheral vision than with glasses
* high maintenance
* easy to lose
* less comfortable for patient with dry eyes
* more difficult to fit for patients with higher degrees of astigmatism
* risk of infection

Infection is actually more common with contact lenses than with vision correction procedures, such as RK, ALK, PRK or LASIK.

3. OrthoKeratology

Ortho K is a technique utilizing a series of rigid contact lenses to progressively flatten your cornea, in order to treat myopia.

The advantages include:

* the effects are reversible
* the procedure is suitable for adolescents

4. Radial Keratotomy (RK)

RK is a surgical procedure that corrects myopia by altering the shape of the cornea.

This is accomplished by placing incisions in a "radial" pattern along the outer portion of the cornea using a hand held, diamond-tipped blade. These very fine incisions are designed to help flatten the curvature of the cornea, thereby allowing light rays entering the eye to properly focus on the retina. The number and length of the incisions determines the degree of correction attained. The incisions are invisible to the naked eye and take only minutes to perform. RK leaves approximately a three to four millimeter central area of the eye untouched, and the incisions penetrate approximately 90% of the cornea. A variation of RK, called Astigmatic Keratotomy or AK, is used to correct astigmatism. During the past 20 years, over one million myopic people worldwide have reduced their dependence on glasses and contact lenses through the use of Radial Keratotomy. Today, in most countries throughout the world, Laser Vision Correction has largely replaced RK as the vision correction procedure of choice.

5. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

PRK is the most common procedure utilizing the excimer laser. It is used to correct myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia.

With PRK, no scalpels are used and no incisions are made. Your doctor prepares the eye by gently removing the surface layer of the cornea, called the epithelium. This layer naturally regenerates itself every few days. Computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light are then applied to the surface of the cornea to delicately reshape the curvature of the eye. Deeper cell layers remain virtually untouched. The whole PRK procedure itself is usually completed in under five minutes and is painless. Since a layer about as slender as a human hair is typically removed, the cornea maintains its original strength.

6. Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)

LASIK is similar to ALK, but the excimer laser is utilized for improved precision.

The doctor uses a microkeratome to create a corneal flap, as in ALK. The cool laser beam then gently reshapes the cornea, and the flap is closed. LASIK is an extremely effective outpatient procedure that is suitable for higher prescriptions. It can be used to correct even the most severe 1%, of prescriptions, and has generated significant excitement in the eye care community around the world.

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