My Cornea is thin, will I be suitable for LASIK treatment?


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Laser eye surgery has been being performed for around 15 years, during which time significant advances have been made into developing new techniques and operations. If you had decided to have surgery 10 years ago, the likelihood is that if you had a thin cornea, you would have been refused treatment. Currently there are a number of new operations that are able to correct your vision if your cornea is too thin for the standard LASIK procedure.

The normal LASIK procedure is the most widely used corrective eye operation in the world. It relies on being able to reshape the front of the cornea to correct such visual problems as myopia (short sight), hyperopia (long sight) and astigmatism (an irregular corneal surface). It does this be firstly peeling back a flap of the corneal tissue, then removing tissue using a special excimer laser. Once the cornea as been reshaped your vision is corrected.

The problem with this operation is that it is not able to be used if you have a very thin cornea. The main reason for this is that there is a minimum corneal thickness that you must have to allow for the flap to be made and for tissue to be removed. If you don’t have this minimum thickness, when part of your corneal tissue has been removed, it (the cornea) can become too thin to hold the pressure within your eye. This causes your cornea to bulge outward, a process called Corneal Ectasia. This causes your vision to blur at all distances, meaning you will be required to wear hard contact lenses or INTACS, which are rings inserted into the cornea.

It is for this reason that LASIK is not suitable for you if you have a very thin cornea. There are a number of procedures that will be able to correct your vision, such as contact lenses that are inserted into your eye (Implantable Contact Lenses), the new wavefront guided laser procedures, LASEK or PRK. Alternatively, contact a laser eye clinic to discuss your laser eye options.






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