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How is an error of refraction treated?

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Dr. D. Ramamurthy, Ophthalmic Surgeon, Chairman, The Eye Foundation, Bangalore, India talks about the available options to treat refractive errors.

Refractive errors are vision problems wherein the eye is not able to focus properly due to issues related to the shape of the eye. Longer or shorter length of the eyeball, the shape of the cornea or ageing of the eye lens can be the reasons for refractive errors.

“Today, any level of refractive error can be treated with the available treatment modalities. However, before the treatment, extensive testing is done to understand the exact issue. Various refractive surgeries are done on an outpatient basis. Post-surgery, one can resume their daily activities within a day or two. There are safe and effective procedures that address the refractive errors completely. ”

Some of the common types of refractive errors are:

  • Myopia or nearsightedness
  • Hyperopia or farsightedness
  • Astigmatism- A curvature imperfection of the cornea
  • Presbyopia – Focussing issues due to ageing

What are the options available to someone with refractive errors?

  • Glasses: Traditionally, an ophthalmologist for people with refractive errors advises glasses. It is still the simplest option to correct refractive errors.
  • Contact Lens: Contact lenses are popular over glasses, by most people with refractive errors. Contact lenses offer comfort, better and wider field of vision than glasses.

Refractive Surgeries

With the advancement of medical technologies, laser eye surgeries can decrease your dependence on glasses. These surgeries are minimally invasive and offer faster recovery.

  • LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis)- It is used to correct the shape of the cornea, which helps in treating nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
  • SMILE (Small incision lenticule extraction)- A recently developed surgery which has outcomes alike LASIK. It makes use of a tiny incision in the cornea.
  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK): A laser is used to reshape the cornea and address the refractive error.
  • Phakic intraocular lens: This lens is implanted in front of the natural lens. It used to correct high degrees of refractive errors.
  • Bioptic treatment: Bioptic treatment is combining the lens implantation and LASIK surgeries. This is usually advised to treat residual refractive errors, seen after cataract surgery or correcting astigmatism as well.

Consult an ophthalmic surgeon, to know the best treatment modalities suitable for your case.

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