Bad vision plagues millions of Americans. The shape of the cornea (the part of the eye that helps focus light) or the eye itself becomes imperfect, causing blurring or distortion. These refractive errors come in three types: myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Myopia refers to those who are nearsighted where they have difficulty seeing distant objects. Hyperopia denotes those who are farsighted where they have difficulty seeing near objects. Astigmatism is a distortion of the image caused by imperfections on the cornea or eye. Individuals are commonly afflicted with a combination of either myopia or hyperopia with astigmatism and seek medical help year round. Besides the typical solution of wearing glasses or using contact lenses, some pursue renowned surgical procedures such as LASIK, where a precise amount of corneal tissue is removed and the cornea is reshaped to alter its focus. A variant of LASIK is known as bladeless laser eye surgery, which uses lasers for cutting and reshaping, rather than a precision blade, to be as minimally-invasive as possible.
What is Conventional LASIK?
Conventional LASIK is a procedure in which a surgeon will use a blade called a microkeratome to create a flap. Flaps created by this device are usually thinner towards the middle because of the contour of the blade against the corneal tissue. Human error can lead to flap defects like buttonholes and detached flaps from the eye, causing unnecessary damage that takes time to reverse, or sometimes is irreversible.
What is Bladeless Laser Eye Surgery?
Bladeless laser eye surgery, also known as 100% blade-free, blade-free, or all-laser, is a LASIK procedure in which a surgeon will use a femtosecond laser instead of a physical blade to create the flap. The prominent difference between a laser and a blade is that a laser is handled by a computer that can be precise as opposed to a blade that is prone to human error.
How Does This Work?
The femtosecond laser uses high-energy laser pulses to perforate the corneal tissue without making any direct contact. This leads to a more consistent thickness across the cut and prevents any unforeseen consequences of creating imperfect flaps.
What are the Benefits?
Since lasers are proven to be inherently precise when applied in scenarios such as cutting millimeters of tissue, it is no question why bladeless laser eye surgery is a much more efficient procedure to take advantage of. Using a precision laser rather than a human controlled blade leads to fewer complications in the flaps created during the procedure as opposed to results from mechanical devices. The significant reduction in complications and quality of treatment means corneas that undergo this procedure will have reduced side effects, such as glare and halos, and good vision quality into the long-term.