Nearsightedness, which is clinically known as myopia, is a vision condition that affects millions of people worldwide. This condition makes it difficult to see far away objects clearly. In nearsighted patients, distant object appear blurry and out of focus. This can make it difficult to read road signs while driving, watch TV or movies, and recognize people when they are just a few yards away. Patients who are nearsighted have traditionally treated the condition with glasses or contact lenses. But a large number of patients prefer a more permanent vision correction treatment, one that can minimize or completely eliminate the need for visual aids. LASIK corrects the lower order aberrations that result in nearsighted vision. At Maida Custom Vision in Jacksonville, we offer LASIK surgery to treat nearsightedness.
What Causes Nearsightedness
Nearsightedness results when a patient’s cornea is too steep. This causes light to focus in front of the retina, rather than directly on the retina. When light focuses in front of the retina, it makes distant objects appear blurry, though patients can still see near objects clearly.
The degree of nearsightedness can vary among patients; the steeper the cornea, the higher the degree of nearsightedness refractive error. Nearsightedness most often develops in children. As the eye continues to grow through the childhood and teenage years, the degree of nearsightedness can progress. By the age of 20, the degree of nearsightedness usually stabilizes. In some cases, nearsightedness develops in adulthood, usually caused by visual stress or certain health conditions.
How Does LASIK Treat Nearsightedness?
LASIK permanently corrects myopic vision by flattening the curvature of the cornea. Producing the ideal corneal curve can bring distant objects into focus by allowing light to focus directly on the retina.
During LASIK surgery, a three-side incision, or flap, is created in the outer layer of the cornea. The flap is opened, and the underlying corneal tissues are reshaped with an excimer laser. Once the cornea has been sculpted to the ideal curvature, the flap is closed and allowed to heal back into place.
The result of LASIK surgery in nearsighted patients is clearer distant vision. Most patients achieve at least 20/40 vision, which is the minimum visual acuity needed to pass a driver’s license test in most states. Many patients achieve 20/20 vision or better after undergoing LASIK surgery.
What Degrees of Nearsightedness Can LASIK Correct?
Anything over 7 diopters is considered a high degree of nearsightedness. LASIK is effective in correcting high degrees of nearsightedness, even as high as -14. However, the cornea must be of an ideal thickness for the patient to be considered a good candidate for corneal reshaping. The higher the degree of nearsightedness, the more corneal tissue will be removed. Once the reshaping is complete, there needs to be enough corneal tissue remaining for safety and protection of the eye. During a LASIK screening, doctors will examine the cornea and determine the degree of refractive error, to see if the patient is a good candidate for surgery.
To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery for nearsightedness, contact Maida Custom Vision today.