Vision Problems Corrected by LASIK
The natural shape of your cornea and eye dictates how clearly you see. If they are shaped just right, you will have clear vision at all distances.
However, if your cornea is too steep or flat – or your eye is too long or short – you will end up with blurry vision at near, far or all distances. This is because the cornea is not allowing light to properly bend (refract) and focus on the retina (the back of the eye).
These irregular corneal and eye shapes are called refractive errors and they are very common:
- Myopia (nearsightedness): blurry distance vision – caused by a steep cornea or longer eye so light focuses in front of the retina
- Hyperopia (farsightedness): blurry up-close vision – caused by a flatter cornea or a shorter eye so light focuses behind the retina
- Astigmatism: blurry vision at all distances – caused by an oval shaped cornea, rather than a round shape
LASIK is performed to permanently alter the shape of the cornea using laser technology. Only a minuscule amount of corneal tissue is typically removed to create the ideal shape so light focuses more precisely on the retina.
Presbyopia is Not a Refractive Error
The condition of presbyopia (the need for reading glasses or bifocals) is not a refractive error. By age 40, many people start to develop what they might think is farsightedness because they need glasses to read things up-close. Presbyopia is actually the stiffening of the natural lens inside the eye that occurs naturally over time – even to people who have had 20/20 vision their whole lives. As the lenses become less flexible, it becomes harder to focus on images like text messages, restaurant menus, medicine labels and more without some type of magnifier.
LASIK cannot correct presbyopia. However, a technique called blended vision LASIK, where one eye is corrected for vision distance and the other eye is corrected for up-close vision, may be an alternative to reading glasses or bifocals.
While LASIK can help many people achieve clear vision, it is not recommended for everyone. To find out if your refractive error, corneal thickness and overall eye health is right for LASIK, contact us today to schedule a free LASIK Consultation. Our LASIK specialist in Rapid City, Dr. Colin Brown, will perform a comprehensive exam and discuss your options.
Contact us at (605) 519-5071 or click here to request an appointment online.