By: Dr. Shibu Varkey, MS, DNB, DO, FRCS (UK) Regional Medical Director, MaxiVision Eye Hospitals
Procedures for the removal of glasses (Refractive surgery) are generally classified as cosmetic procedures. But are they truly cosmetic or curative? Take the case of a person with high glass power, the first action on waking up in the morning is groping around for the glasses, a person with minus power can at least see the time on the alarm clock by the bedside, but persons with plus glass power can neither see the alarm clock nor the wall clock clearly. The extreme situation would be that of the person who reaches for glasses even to see dreams with clarity. So in a nutshell spectacle dependency has a direct effect on the functionality and hence the quality of life and freedom from spectacles are more curative than cosmetic. The options that are available for achieving freedom from glasses are LASER-based and LENS-based surgical procedures.
LASIK has become a household term, not only in families with girls of marriageable age but also as a requirement for jobs that specify clear vision without glasses.
A safe and easy procedure, invented in 1989, conventionally uses Excimer LASER. Now FEMTO laser is also used to make the procedure simpler and safer. The latest technology in this field is the SMILE procedure, which has done away with even those few rare complications possible with regular LASIK.
Then there are those people who have high powers which are not amenable to be corrected with Laser technology, the option available for them is the Phakic IOL procedure, wherein a very thin bio-compatible synthetic lens is permanently implanted inside the eyeball.
This again is a procedure with minimal complications and good reproducible outcomes.
The success of both LASIK and Phakic IOL procedures depends as much on flawless surgery in the hands of an experienced surgeon as much as on precise pre-operative assessment using cutting-edge technology to acquire the details of the patients' eyes in the most accurate way. Advanced software uses this data to design personalised treatment protocol for each eye.
Words like Aspheric, wavefront and higher-order aberrometry which are routinely used in astronomical telescopes become regular in the vocabulary of Refractive Surgeons, indicative of the peak of optical technology that is utilised in providing that crystal clear spectacle free vision.
Refractive surgery offers a safe simple and easy solution to those who dream of having a clear vision without the burden of spectacles paving their way to a better quality of life