Your Vision and Refractive Surgery

 
The goal of refractive surgery is to reduce dependency on glasses or contact lenses by reshaping the cornea. Light passes through the lens and cornea and is focused onto the retina, a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye. If light does not hit the retina properly, your vision is blurry and you have a refractive error. Depending on the degree of your refractive error and the physical attributes of your eyes, our physicians will recommend a specific procedure that will give you the best correction possible.

What are the risks?

As with any surgery, certain complications can occur. During your screening appointment, we will review potential risks to help you decide whether refractive surgery is right for you. Kellogg doctors always welcome your questions, so feel free to make a list to bring to your screening appointment.

Risks associated with laser refractive surgery

  • over-correction
  • under-correction
  • dry eyes
  • glare and halos
  • infection
  • scarring
  • decreased vision

Risks associated with non-laser refractive surgery

  • light sensitivity
  • halos
  • difficulty with night vision
  • slight over-correction in the early postoperative period that will stabilize within a few months

Who is a good candidate for refractive surgery?

Generally a good candidate is over the age of 21, has had a stable prescription for 6 months; is nearsighted up to 20 diopters, farsighted up to 4 diopters, or has astigmatism up to 5 diopters; is not pregnant or nursing; and has no history of herpes infection in the eye, keratoconus, advanced glaucoma or cataracts.

What results can you expect?

After a refractive procedure, most patients can see well enough without their glasses or contact lenses to perform all daily activities, including driving. However, people over the age of 40 may need to wear reading glasses after the procedure. The most common complications are under- and over-correction, which can be successfully treated. You will have a good idea about what to expect after your ophthalmologist has examined you, reviewed all of the screening tests, and explained the surgery to you.

Questions? Ask Us

 We're always pleased to answer your questions by phone or e-mail – 734.615.5274 or lasik@umich.edu.