What is refractive surgery?

By Kristina Oneill on May 06, 2014


What is refractive surgery?


In a nutshell, refractive surgery is when you have a refractive error, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism or presbyopia, refractive surgery is a surgical technique for correcting your refractive error in order to improve your vision. There are different surgical procedures available for correcting or adjusting your eye's focusing ability by reshaping the cornea. LASIK, PRK and CK are surgical procedures that reshape your cornea.  Your cornea is the clear, round dome at the front of your eye.   There are other refractive surgery procedures which involve implanting a lens inside your eye.  Refractive procedures such as cataract surgery or IOL’s involve implanting a lens inside the eye.

The most widely performed type of refractive surgery is LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), where a laser is used to reshape the cornea.    If you are considering having a refractive surgery procedure here is a good checklist to review:

Refractive surgery might be a good option for you if you:

Want to decrease your dependence on glasses or contact lenses;

Are free of eye disease;

Accept the inherent risks and potential side effects of the procedure;

Understand that you could still need glasses or contacts after the procedure to achieve your best vision;

Have an appropriate refractive error.


When you do make the decision to have refractive surgery such as LASIK or PRK you should ask your surgeon how many LASIK or PRK procedures he or she has performed.  


Source: Eyesmart


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