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Is Refractive Surgery the Same as LASIK?

LASIK and other refractive eye surgeries are designed to treat problems affecting the eye’s focus. If things near you or those far away appear blurry, LASIK and refractive surgery are your options to improve or correct your vision. These treatments are sought-after and usually have a high success rate.

Refractive Surgery vs. LASIK

When you hear about LASIK, you will likely hear about refractive surgery as well. While these two have the same purpose, they are not entirely the same.

Refractive Surgery

Refractive surgery refers to any surgical procedure used to correct refractive errors. Refractive errors are a common vision problem affecting more than 150 million Americans. These eye problems are caused by irregular corneal shapes, long or short eyeballs, and lens aging. People with any of these conditions have a tough time seeing things clearly.
Several refractive errors exist. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia are the most common. Eye doctors can correct these refractive errors with contact lenses and glasses.

But if you do not like wearing corrective eyewear, the following surgeries may help reduce your dependency on glasses and contact lenses:
  • Astigmatic keratotomy (AK).

  • Automated lamellar keratoplasty (ALK)

  • Conductive keratoplasty (CK)

  • Intracorneal ring (Intacs).

  • Laser thermal keratoplasty (LTK)

  • Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)

  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)

  • Radial keratotomy (RK)

Among all these types of refractive surgery options, LASIK is the most widely performed type of refractive surgery.



As mentioned above, LASIK, or laser in-situ keratomileusis, is a type of refractive surgery. It involves using a particular type of cutting laser to change the shape of your cornea. The procedure is minimally invasive and fast (typically taking only 15 minutes per eye). Also, patients do not feel any pain during the surgery. But the eye may feel gritty or itchy after the surgery.

LASIK can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It cannot fix presbyopia.

Even if you have the refractive errors this surgery treats, you must be at least 18 to qualify for the procedure. You need to have healthy eyes and good overall health. You also should not have eye injuries, dry eyes, large pupils, chronic conditions, or severe cases of refractive error.

Most patients who undergo the LASIK procedure experience improved vision. Out of 10 people who have undergone surgery, 8 of them no longer need to use their corrective eyewear for most of their activities. However, as you grow older, you may eventually need glasses for driving or reading.


What Should You Know About Getting LASIK?

LASIK is an appealing treatment option for correcting your vision. While it is the most common type of refractive surgery, that does not mean it works for everyone.
If you are considering LASIK, learn more about the requirements. You can find many reliable resources discussing everything about LASIK online. Do your homework so you can have realistic expectations about the procedure. You can also talk to your eye doctor to determine whether you are a viable candidate for the procedure.
If LASIK is not for you, do not worry because there are many other types of refractive surgeries that you may qualify for.

To learn more about LASIK vision correction and other eye care services, visit Fier Eye Care & Surgery Center offices in Port St. Lucie or Stuart, Florida. To set up an appointment, call 772-400-2400 or 772-286-0007.

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