Refractive Surgery in Somerset
Refractive surgery is a more permanent solution to nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism than glasses or contact lenses. LASIK, the most popular laser refractive surgery procedure, can correct visual impairment problems caused by refractive errors and improve focusing power in mere minutes.
Somerset ophthalmologist Dr. Bradley J. Phillips is one of the area’s most trusted refractive surgeons. With his skill and experience, you can experience clear, crisp vision and enjoy freedom from glasses or contacts.
Understanding Refractive Errors
Refractive errors affect the eye’s ability to “refract” (bend) light properly to see images clearly.
Nearsightedness occurs when the cornea, or the clear front covering of the eye, is too steep. This causes images to be focused in front of the retina. As a result, close images appear clear but distant objects look blurry.
Farsightedness occurs when the cornea is not steep enough and images are focused beyond the retina. For someone with farsightedness, distant objects appear clear but close images are blurry.
Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is irregularly shaped or asymmetrical, scattering light and blurring vision at any distance.
Laser refractive surgery in Somerset is designed to permanently reshape the cornea to allow light rays to properly focus on the retina. This provides clear vision at any distance, and partial or complete independence from glasses and contact lenses.
Candidates for Refractive Surgery
Dr. Phillips meets with every Somerset refractive surgery candidate individually to evaluate him or her for treatment and recommend the most appropriate procedure.
Generally, you may be a suitable candidate for refractive surgery like LASIK if you:
- Have been diagnosed with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism
- Wish to be less reliant on or independent from glasses or contact lenses
- Are over the age of 18
- Are in good general health
- Are free of eye disease
- Have a relatively stable vision prescription (i.e., no fluctuations in the past six months to a year)
- Have reasonable expectations of surgery
Although there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach that works for everyone, LASIK is the most commonly performed refractive surgery.
LASIK Eye Surgery, Step-by-Step
LASIK is a short outpatient procedure. The eyes are completely numbed to prevent any discomfort.
Then, a femtosecond laser or microkeratome is used to create a small flap in the cornea. The flap is gently folded back to reveal the underlying corneal tissue. Next, an excimer laser is used to precisely vaporize tissue, thereby improving the cornea’s shape. Finally, once the appropriate modifications have been made, the flap is restored to its original position over the cornea, where it serves as a naturally protective “bandage” while the eye heals.
LASIK patients in Somerset heal at their own pace, but generally the recovery process is quite short. Many people are able to see clearly as soon as the day after surgery.
Refractive surgeons can perform variations of LASIK surgery for candidates that don’t qualify for traditional LASIK. For instance, patients with thin corneas can undergo photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), which removes the entire outer layer of cornea cells before performing laser treatment (the cells regenerate on their own after surgery).
To learn more about LASIK and other refractive surgery procedures, Dr. Phillips invites you to book an informational consultation. Please call or email our practice today to make your appointment.