Placing intracorneal rings into your cornea is a procedure to correct low levels of nearsightedness or myopia. This surgical procedure does not correct astigmatism or farsightedness (also called hyperopia), and can only be used in patients with small pupils.
Phakic Intraocular Lenses
Phakic intraocular lenses (or phakic IOL) are a good option for patients who are very nearsighted or very farsighted. In this procedure, a permanent corrective lens is placed inside the eye. These implantable contact lenses are fairly new, so the long-term results from this procedure are not yet available.
Refractive lensectomy involves removing the natural lens in the eye and replacing it with a plastic lens. This operation is essentially the same as that done for older patients who develop a cataract, which is a clouding of the natural lens. In both situations, patients elect to have the lens implant to improve their vision and decrease their dependency on glasses. Refractive lensectomy is used especially for cases of high myopia and high hyperopia. It is a relatively complex procedure, as it involves going into the eye, and has a different set of potential complications. Complications can include:
- Bleeding and infection inside the eye
- Retinal detachment
- Other potential serious problems.
RK and AK
RK is an incisional procedure for nearsightedness. This is an older procedure that can produce very good results, but it has lost popularity due to the fluctuations patients experience in their vision after the procedure. Compared to PRK and LASIK, the outcomes are generally less reliable.
AK is a procedure to correct astigmatism, and is sometimes performed along with other eye surgeries, such as cataract surgery and LASIK. In AK, incisions are made in the outside part of the cornea to correct astigmatism. Because of the location of the incisions, AK provides a correction of astigmatism in most cases without fluctuations in vision. There are very specific requirements to be a candidate for AK, which your doctor can discuss with you.