Laser vision correction

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
Wearing glasses or contacts is quickly becoming a thing of the past thanks to new developments in eye surgery. Almost a million people each year are electing to have some form of laser vision correction to eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. There are three methods of laser vision correction surgery that improve the focus of the eye: RK (R-K), PRK (P-R-K), and LASIK (LAY-sick). Radial keratonomy (care-uh-TAWN-uh-mee), or RK, is the oldest method and involves cutting incisions within the cornea. Photorefractive keratectomy (fow-tow-ree-FRAKT-ive care-uh-TEKT-uh-mee), or PRK, uses the excimer (X-ih-mer) laser to re-sculpt the surface of the cornea. LASIK, or laser assisted in keratomileusis (care-uh-toe-mih-LEW-sis), a procedure that cuts a flap in the cornea, then re-sculpts the eye underneath. The purpose of these procedures is to reshape the cornea in a way that allows it to focus light rays better. All three of these surgeries are performed in a microsurgery center, and the entire procedures usually take less than 20 minutes. The procedures are relatively painless, and most patients notice improvement within hours. Laser vision correction is not for everyone, however. If you have a vision problem that involves something other than the cornea or lens, then another solution must be arranged. Nevertheless, for most people with standard vision problems, laser vision correction offers a quick and accurate solution to an age-old problem.
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