As a result, there are numerous high-tech surgical options for those wanting to correct defects in their vision.
Laser eye surgery is used principally to correct three vision defects, namely long sight or hyperopia, short sight or myopia, and astigmatism, which relates to images being fuzzy and out of focus when looked at from any distance.
These conditions arise due to the way images get focused on the retina by the eye.
The retina, incidentally, is situated at the back of the eye, and is the light-sensitive layer.
The ability to focus depends on certain factors: the horizontal length of the eyeball, the way the cornea is shaped, and the lens.
The cornea lies on top of the pupil and iris and forms the surface sheath.
It is arched and accounts for about two-thirds of the eye's focusing power.
During laser surgery, the shape of the cornea is changed permanently.
The laser directs ultraviolet beams that vaporize tissue.
It is referred to as a "cold" laser, as it can remove specific layers of tissue without interfering with the surrounding tissue.
The most commonly performed laser surgeries are Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK), first popularized in the early part of the 90s, and Lasik, introduced shortly after.
In the former, a computer-guided laser beam is used to vaporize surface level corneal tissue.
This process reshapes the cornea just enough to correct vision.
The healing process is complete shortly thereafter.
In the latter, which is significantly more complicated, a flap of the cornea is sliced and lifted, and then a computer-guided laser beam is used to eliminate corneal tissue from the insides.
After this, the flap is closed and healing occurs on its own.
Lasik quickly gained in popularity because it had fewer side effects and healing took place quickly and naturally.
Besides, most patients reported a major improvement in their vision after Lasik surgery.