Treatments come in the form of spectacles, contact lenses, or laser eye surgery, forms of treatment that offer a permanent solution to the problem. Currently, the most popular forms of laser eye surgery techniques are as follows:
- ReLEx SMILE (Refractive Lenticule Extraction / Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) which is a form of surgery that can cure shortsightedness and astigmatism without the need for scalpels. A femtosecond laser is used to separate the inner corneal tissue, called the lenticule, reshaping the cornea as a result. This lenticule is then removed through a small incision at the corneal surface to alter the corneal curvature in a way that minimally affects the top layer of the cornea or the nerves of the cornea. Furthermore, this is the only form of laser surgery that utilizes a single laser device for the whole procedure.
- LASIK eye surgery is a form of laser surgery that opens up the corneal lid with a microkeratome or femtosecond laser so that an excimer laser can be focused into the corneal tissue to alter its curvature.
- PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a form of laser eye surgery. First, the top most layer is removed either manually, by alcohol delamination, or by laser; then the excimer laser is used to remove corneal tissue. The excimer laser is a cool form of laser that is focused onto the corneal tissue underneath in order to adjust the corneal curvature, as well as improving the patient’s vision score. Once the process is completed, the wound is sealed with a special contact lens.
The choice of treatment is dependent on the opinion of the ophthalmologist, who will first carry out a thorough eye examination and advise each individual patient on the form of treatment most suitable for their eyes and sight on a case by case basis.