Many men and women think their eyeglass or contact lens prescription is too extreme to qualify for laser eye surgery. LASIK and PRK can safely correct a wide range of refractive errors, but there are some limitations to what these procedures can do for your vision. The degree of correction with laser eye surgery depends on your prescription but also the thickness of your cornea and the overall health of your eyes. Our ophthalmologists at Clarity Eye Group will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine if laser eye surgery is right for you.
Correcting Nearsightedness with Laser Eye Surgery
People with nearsightedness (myopia) can see objects nearby, but things in the distance are blurry. Myopia affects approximately 25 percent of people and has a genetic component. Most people who are nearsighted qualify for LASIK eye surgery. However, people with high myopia (severe nearsightedness) may not be eligible for the procedure because your vision would require too much removal of corneal tissue to achieve perfect eyesight.
Eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions are measured in diopters. The higher the diopter, the stronger your lens prescription and the blurrier your eyesight. High myopia is generally considered to be -6.00 diopters or higher in refractive measurement. While some FDA-approved excimer lasers used for LASIK can treat nearsightedness up to -11.00 diopters, doing so may increase your risk of complications such as corneal weakening, dry eyes and visual disturbances.
Correcting Farsightedness with Laser Eye Surgery
Farsightedness (hyperopia) causes blurry near vision, but objects in the distance are clear. People with hyperopia typically have it from birth, and it may run in the family. An estimated five to 10 percent of people are farsighted, and high hyperopia can make it difficult to see anything clearly that is not far, far away. The average range for farsightedness is +2.00 to +4.00 diopters. High hyperopia is considered +5.00 diopters or higher.
Most FDA-approved lasers for LASIK eye surgery will not go past +5.00 diopters because the higher your refractive error, the more risk for visual side effects such as halos around lights, glare at night and other complications.
Correcting Astigmatism with Laser Eye Surgery
Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is irregularly shaped, causing visual disturbances on all fronts. People with astigmatism will struggle to view objects clearly in the near, intermediate and distant zones of vision. Your eye should be round like a small ball, but astigmatism creates more of an egg shape. Laser eye surgery can typically treat up to 5.00 diopters of astigmatism, but this varies by the type of laser and depends on other factors such as your eye health, presence of dry eye and corneal integrity.
Contact Clarity Eye Group About Laser Eye Surgery
Most people interested in laser eye surgery are good candidates for the vision correction procedure. Whether you qualify for LASIK or PRK depends on the shape and thickness of your corneas, pupil size, the brand of the excimer laser and the degree of your prescription. As laser eye surgery technology continues to advance, the best way to know what refractive surgery (LASIK, PRK,etc) options are right for you is to schedule a consult with our ophthalmologists. They will help ensure you understand the best treatment options for your particular eyes.
Contact Clarity Eye Group in Huntington Beach to discuss your prescription and laser eye surgery options.