Overview of Refractive Eye Surgery and Treatment Options


Refractive eye surgery is a type of corrective eye surgery that improves vision by changing the shape or status of the cornea or lens. Refractive surgery can help to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. It provides clear vision with minimal side effects.


Types of Refractive Eye Surgery

The most common types of refractive eye surgeries include LASIK (Laser Assisted In-situ Keratomileusis), PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), and cataract surgery.


LASIK is the most popular form of refractive surgery. It involves reshaping the cornea using a laser. This allows light to be focused more precisely onto the retina.

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)

PRK is similar to LASIK. In addition to reshaping the cornea with a laser, it involves removing some tissue from the surface of the cornea first. This results in a slightly longer recovery time compared to LASIK.

Femtosecond Laser Surgery

The femtosecond laser surgery emits ultra-fast–trillionths of a second–pulses of light and is used to create precise incisions in the cornea or lens of your eye. It is used in various refractive surgeries.

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Premium Lens Implants

Premium lens implants or advanced-technology intraocular lenses are used in cataract surgery to
replace your natural lens to correct refractive errors in the eye. Unlike traditional intraocular lens
implants, which only allow you to see at a single distance, premium lens implants can correct
both near-sightedness and far-sightedness. Some can even correct astigmatism without the need
for glasses or contact lenses.

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Light Adjustable Lens (LAL)

Light adjustable lenses (LALs) are a type of advanced-technology intraocular lens that can be customized to improve your vision after cataract surgery. These lenses are made from a special material that can be adjusted using UV light. This allows for fine-tuning of your vision after lens implantation.

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Recovery Time for Refractive Eye Surgery

Recovery time for refractive eye surgery is typically short. Most people return to their normal activities within a few days of the procedure. Depending on the procedure, your vision may be blurry or distorted for the first day or two. Eye drops are typically used for the first few days to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Normally there is no need for a patch or shield after surgery.

Your surgeon will likely recommend that you avoid strenuous activities for a week or two. This includes activities such as jogging and swimming. You should also not wear contact lenses until your eye has fully healed and your doctor has given you the green light to do so.

Who Can Get Refractive Surgery?

LASIK and PRK are typically recommended for individuals ages 18-40 years who have stable vision and healthy eyes. A good LASIK candidate must meet certain criteria to be considered for refractive surgery. This includes having a prescription that has been stable for at least one year. They should also have no other eye diseases. Additionally, they should not be pregnant or nursing. Those with thin corneas or large pupils may not be good candidates for some types of refractive surgery.

Cataract surgery is not determined by age, but rather the status of the lens or cataract. As with LASIK and PRK, other concomitant eye disease may preclude cataract surgery.


Lehigh Eye Specialists Refractive Eye Surgery Team

Lehigh Eye Specialists offers comprehensive services to assist patients with successful refractive eye surgery outcomes. Dr. David DeRose specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of anterior segment abnormalities, including refractive disorders, corneal edema and scarring, and complicated cataracts. He has extensive experience in the latest innovations in this complex specialty.

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About Lehigh Eye Specialists

Dr. David DeRose, our cataract specialist, is the #1 choice for cataract surgery and premium lens implants in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and surrounding areas. Learn more about Dr. DeRose and his experience here.

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