Nearsightedness, clinically known as myopia, is one of the most common eye conditions. In fact, according to an article published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, about 42 percent of the U.S. population suffers from nearsightedness. Many of these patients rely on glasses and contact lenses to see clearly. However, there is a permanent treatment option that can eliminate the need for visual aids: LASIK. LASIK surgery has effectively treated nearsightedness for two decades, helping the vast majority of patients who undergo treatment with 20/20 vision. At Peña Eye Institute, Dr. Raul Peña also offers custom LASIK surgery, which can treat nearsightedness and improve the quality of your vision. To learn more about LASIK for nearsightedness, contact our McAllen practice today.
Nearsightedness Symptoms and Causes
Nearsightedness is caused when the cornea, the clear, protective outer layer of the eye, is too steep, or curved. This causes light to focus in front of the retina, rather than directly on it. As a result, distant objects appear blurry. Nearsightedness can make it difficult to read road signs when driving, watch TV or movies, or recognize faces from far away.
How LASIK Treats Nearsightedness
With LASIK surgery, surgeons can remove some corneal tissue to produce the ideal corneal shape. First, Dr. Peña will create an incision in the outermost layers of the cornea, creating a three-sided flap. The flap is opened, and the underlying stromal cornea is reshaped. With a computer-guided laser, precise amounts of tissue are removed to flatten the cornea and produce the ideal rounded shape. The flap is then closed, and will naturally close within a few days of surgery. Once the surgery is complete and the patient heals, light should reflect directly on the retina, bringing distant objects into clear focus.
Can LASIK Treat Higher Degrees of Nearsightedness?
High-degree, or severe, myopia includes patients with a prescription of -6 diopters or higher. Patients with higher degrees of nearsightedness can undergo LASIK surgery. However, the most ideal candidates are those with low to moderate degrees of myopia. When patients with higher degrees of nearsightedness undergo LASIK surgery, the results are more variable. These patients also face a higher risk of complications, such as post-LASIK ectasia.
Visual Aids vs. LASIK
When making the decision to treat your nearsightedness with visual aids such as glasses or contact lenses, or LASIK, it is important to weight the pros and cons of each treatment option. Those who wish to avoid a surgical procedure, as well as those who are more likely to suffer from post-LASIK side effects or complications, may prefer to stick with visual aids. However, if you are sick of dealing with glasses and contact lenses, the permanence of LASIK surgery may be appealing to you. With LASIK surgery, you no longer have to wear cumbersome glasses or uncomfortable contact lenses to see clearly. Instead, you will wake up every morning with the ability to see distant objects such as your alarm clock.
If you suffer from nearsightedness and want to learn more about LASIK surgery, contact our practice today.