LASIK (Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis) or the laser eye surgery as it is popularly called refers to the vision correction for some common eye problems like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The laser eye surgery alternative is performed by the ophthalmologist with the help of laser or microkeratome to improve the vision of the patient. The laser eye surgery is a type of refractive surgery. This was first introduced in 1989 and has grown quite popular since its inception. But recently some risk factors and side-effects have been diagnosed.
Common Side Effects Of Laser Surgery
Some of the common complications of laser eye surgery are listed below.
- Temporary Visual Disturbances & Discomfort
This is a common side effect of LASIK. Here mild irritation, light sensitivity, the formation of halos has been reported by the patients.
- Flap Complications
In case of laser eye surgery, a flap is cut in the frontal surface of the patient’s cornea. In many cases, complications are noticed in the cornea of the patients. In addition to this, eye infections, dry eyes are also reported by some patients.
All the above complications have led to the development of laser eye surgery alternative option. In this write-up, the different surgeries or treatment which can be used as in place of laser eye surgery would be discussed.
- Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery (RLE)
This type of surgery is also known as lens replacement surgery or the clear lens extraction surgery (CLE). It is a good alternative to laser eye surgery. This is a recent development in ophthalmology where the ophthalmologist replaces the natural lens of the patient with a synthetic one. This type of eye surgery can be used to fix the long sightedness, shortsightedness, cataracts, and astigmatism of the patients.
The surgery is conducted by the application of local anesthesia in the form of eyedrops to the patient’s eye. Then, the eye surgeon uses ultrasound pulse to break the patient’s eye lens. The broken fragments of the patient’s eye lens are then removed, and, on its place, a synthetic eye lens is inserted in the patient’s eye.
The main advantage of this surgery is it can correct higher side of long sightedness, shortsightedness, cataracts and astigmatism which would not be possible with the normal LASIK surgery. All these advantages make it a suitable laser eye surgery alternative.
- Intra-Corneal Rings (INTACS)
The intracorneal ring surgery involves the introduction of colorless, semi-circular rings or clips in the cornea of the patient. These INTAC rings are made up of a special type of plastic which has the ability to reshape and strengthen the patient’s cornea. This type of surgery is conducted to correct the keratoconus and myopia. Keratoconus is a condition where the patient’s eye bulges due to the very thin cornea and it ultimately leads to astigmatism. The only condition of the conduction of this type of surgery is the patient should not be pregnant and the age should be more than 21 years. This is one of the latest alternatives to laser eye surgery.
The advantage of this surgery over the conventional LASIK surgery is that there is no pain involved and no tissue removal takes place. Moreover, the ring can be changed when there is a change in the vision of the patient. The INTAC also lowers the risk of starbursts and nighttime glare.
In this alternative option to laser eye surgery, at first, the patient’s eye is made numb with the anesthetic eye drop. Then the eyelids are held open and an incision is made around the cornea. The surgeon then introduces the INTAC which sticks to the cornea to reshape it. After this, the ophthalmologist stitches the INTAC to the cornea so that it remains in place. The patient is given antibiotic eye drops to prevent any postoperative infection. After a couple of weeks, the stitches are removed from the patient’s eye. In most of the cases, the vision correction is noticed immediately after the operation.
The above were the two latest alternatives to laser eye surgery. They are in vogue nowadays and have provided relief to a large number of eye patients.