Modern refractive surgery started with the surgical invention of photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), followed shortly by LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) eye surgery which is now widely available in Reno, NV and the rest of the world. These procedures were an enormous advancement over radial keratotomy, being far more safe, predictable and stable. Both procedures use a laser to reshape the front surface of the eye known as the cornea, with LASIK creating a flap to be laid over the treated area and PRK applying the laser directly to the cornea without a flap. LASIK eye surgery is more advantageous for those wanting a faster recovery, PRK being more for those with larger prescriptions. A variation of the two called LASEK (Laser epithelial keratomileusis) is sometimes used, where instead of a flap being created the epithelium is gently slid off of the front of the eye and then replaced after treatment. This version often causes less dryness than LASEK.
For patients with higher amounts of prescription or those that do not want to permanently remove corneal tissue, an ICL (Implantable Contact Lens) is a good option. During this procedure the surgeon places a small lens between the iris and the lens of the eye. The lens implant is removable with little trauma to the eye and so is considered reversible.
For presbyopic patients (over 40 years old) a procedure using a corneal inlay can restore reading vision. The Kamra or Raindrop corneal inlays are inserted into the cornea, creating a pinhole effect and extending the depth of focus of the eye, allowing for near vision. Another procedure possible for presbyopia patients is a refractive lens exchange. During this procedure the surgeon replaces the natural lens of the eye with an intraocular implant lens. This is the same procedure done in cataract surgery. The implant lenses can be set up for distance, monovision and even multifocal options.
For those that wish to free themselves of daytime glasses or contact lenses but aren’t ready for surgery, orthokeratology
can be a great alternative to surgical correction.