Eye glasses have been in use since the 13th century. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin took the concept one step further and invented bifocals in the late 19th century to address his difficulty seeing both near and far objects. Contact lenses gained widespread use in the late 20th century. It wasn’t until the 1990s, however, that correcting vision through surgical procedures provided a permanent solution to millions of people suffering from poor eyesight.
Vision correction surgery is comprised of two primary approaches. The first procedure consists of the reshaping of the eye surface in order to optimally redirect light into the eye. Lasik and PRK are two such approaches and use lasers with varying techniques in order to achieve a desired outcome. The different forms of lasik, or lasek, include Epi-Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, and Wavefront or Custom Lasik. Another procedure known as Conductive Keratoplasty, is a relatively non-invasive procedure which uses a specialized technique to correct for farsightedness.
The lens of an eye, which is located behind the pupil and iris, can be removed and replaced with an artificial lens that is corrective in the second approach. This lens, called an IOL or inter-ocular lens, can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or both, enabling nearly perfect vision. Many people choose to correct their vision after cataract surgery using IOLs, eliminating the need for either contact lenses, eyeglasses or bifocals altogether.
Choosing the right vision surgery procedure is a decision you should make in consultation with your eye surgeon. His or her knowledge and experience will suggest the best course of action to improve your unaided vision. You should know that there are some health conditions, although rare, that are counter-indications for eye surgery, so you should provide your eye doctor with a complete medical history. The success of any eye surgery depends on strict adherence to the post-surgical eye care your surgeon recommends based on your particular case.