Sharp, Clear Vision: LASIK vs. Glasses

By William Holcomb on September 11, 2015

Looking through glasses at an eye chartThere is no doubt that sharp vision is a huge part of your overall quality of life. If you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, it can impair your work and your favorite activities. Fortunately, you have a number of vision correction options, including state-of-the-art LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis). With this procedure, Dr. Holcomb will use an advanced laser to improve the way that your eye refracts light. Then your optic nerves will send a clear signal to your brain. Although LASIK can be a great option, it is not appropriate for all patients. Dr. Holcomb will assess your vision, and he will recommend glasses if you are not a good candidate for laser eye surgery. To learn more about LASIK vs. glasses, contact our Madison practice today.

What Causes Vision Problems?

When light enters your eye, your cornea will bend it so that it focuses on the center of your retina. Then your optic nerve will translate the light into electrical impulses to be registered by your brain. If you have a refractive error, light does not bend properly. Instead of focusing in the middle, it focuses in front of or behind your retina. If you have astigmatism, light focuses in several different places.

How Does LASIK Work?

If you undergo LASIK, Dr. Holcomb will reshape your cornea with a laser, redirecting the path of light. First, he will use an IntraLaseTM FS Laser to create a flap in the front of your cornea. Then, using a VISX STAR S4 IR™ laser, he will reshape your cornea. The laser will be calibrated to match the precise measurements of your eye for safer and more accurate results. After he has created the desired shape, Dr. Holcomb will reposition the corneal flap, and it will heal on its own.

The Benefits of LASIK

LASIK is one of the most successful elective surgeries available today. Most patients have markedly improved sight after surgery, and many enjoy 20/20 vision or better. Following LASIK, you may rely far less on glasses or contacts, and you may not even need them at all. As a result, sports, travel, reading and many other activities can be much easier. You will also be able to look around without seeing glasses frames in your peripheral vision. In most cases, LASIK results are permanent.

How Do Glasses Work?

Glasses also correct light refraction, but, instead of correcting your eye, they will simply re-direct light. The curvature of your lenses will change the way that light moves. Convex lenses will correct nearsightedness by redirecting light further toward the back of your eye. Concave lenses, which will bend light toward the center, are appropriate for farsightedness. If you have astigmatism, you will need cylindrical lenses.

Is LASIK Right for You?

Laser surgery can correct most common vision aberrations. You may be a good candidate for LASIK if:

  • You are at least 18
  • Your glasses prescription has been stable for at least a year
  • You are in generally good health with no eye diseases
  • You are not pregnant or nursing
  • Your corneas are thick enough for LASIK

Are Glasses the Most Suitable Option?

Most people are good candidates for LASIK. However, if you do not meet the qualifications described above, glasses may be more appropriate for you. Dr. Holcomb may also recommend PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). This procedure is similar to LASIK, but it does not involve the creation of a corneal flap. 

Learn More about Your Vision Correction Options

To learn more about LASIK and to find out if it is a good option for you, contact Holcomb Laser Center today.

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