In recent years, the laser has made an amazing impact on eye surgery. Not only are surgical procedures quicker and safer when operating with laser technology, but the healing time has been dramatically reduced from weeks or months to just days in many cases. Because of the well-advertised success of laser eye surgery, an increasing number of people have decided to toss away their glasses and undergo vision correction. In fact, almost one million people have the procedure each year. The most popular laser procedures include PRK (P-R-K) and LASIK (LAY-sick), both designed to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness, which use specialized lasers to change the shape of the cornea and restore perfect vision without the need for glasses or contacts. Lasers are also involved in other eye surgeries, such as cataract removal, glaucoma treatment, and cosmetic improvements. Scientists are constantly searching for new applications of lasers in all areas of medicine but, so far, their use in the optical arena has created the most excitement. Lasers were first used in eye surgeries on an experimental basis in the early 1980’s. In 1995, the FDA (F-D-A) approved the use of laser systems in the U.S. Since then, the advancement of laser technology and surgical precision has allowed lasers to become the treatment of choice for many major eye problems. Both doctors and patients have become increasingly confident of laser surgery, thanks to the dramatic results. Although laser surgery can’t always be completely successful and isn’t appropriate for everyone, it enjoys a great success rate.
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