How Laser Vision Correction Works
The most common laser vision correction procedures are done with an excimer laser. The excimer laser is a computer-guided cool laser that corrects vision by reshaping the cornea to improve the way light is focused or refracted by the eye. Two major procedure types are available for treating low to moderate levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism: Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) and surface ablation, including Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) or LASEK (a variation on PRK). In all of these procedures, the laser sculpts the cornea in about 30 to 60 seconds and the entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes from start to finish.
Laser Vision Correction & Presbyopia
Once in our 40’s and beyond, most of us need reading glasses or bifocals to read smaller print. This condition is called presbyopia and it is caused by changes that occur in the lens inside the eye. Refractive surgery cannot correct presbyopia because refractive procedures alter the shape of the cornea, without changing the lens inside the eye. Symptoms of presbyopia can often be reduced with monovision.
For someone who has presbyopia, monovision reduces your dependence on distance glasses and near glasses. While you may be able to read a dinner menu, labels and price tags, you may still need reading glasses for fine print and prolonged reading. Sometimes distance glasses may be required for night driving. People who have successfully simulated monovision through contact lenses may want to consider the option of monovision for laser refractive surgery.