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Refractive eye surgery is used to describe surgical procedures that correct vision problems, also known as refractive errors, which include nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. The most common refractive eye surgery is a laser procedure called LASIK surgery, which involves a laser used to reshape the cornea, the outermost layer of the eye that helps refract the light and focus images. Other refractive eye surgeries include surface procedures (LASEK, PRK) and corneal incision procedures. Refractive eye surgery is a corrective procedure ideal for people who have had a stable eyeglass prescription for at least one year. Refractive surgery may reduce, or in some cases even eliminate, the need for prescription eye wear, and can slow the progression of degenerative vision problems.

How Does Refractive Eye Surgery Work?

Refractive eye surgery is a procedure that takes little time, but has extraordinary results. Depending on what specific treatment you undergo, there are different procedures involved. During a LASIK procedure, a surgeon will make a flap in the outer layer of the cornea to reshape the tissue underneath. The flap will then be replaced above the corrected area. A PRK procedure is similar to LASIK, as a laser is used to reshape the cornea, but the doctor will only operate the corneal surface, not the tissue underneath. After an eye refractive surgery, it is typically recommended to minimize certain daily activities right after surgery to ensure a smooth recovery. These activities include abstaining from driving, reading, and all others that present the chance of being exposed to UV lighting. Refractive eye surgeries are usually performed quickly and normally require local anesthesia. The most important post-surgery requirement will be rest and low light exposure for several days afterward.

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