Refractive errors are a common kind of vision problem that many people experience to varying degrees. If you have never heard the phrase "refractive error" before, you are not alone. You may know refractive errors better through their commonly known names: nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. All of these can be addressed with relative ease at our Chicago cornea surgery centers. Let's focus on one of these refractive errors right now: nearsightedness.
Nearsightedness refers to the ability to see objects that are up close but problems with objects that are further away. People who are nearsighted can see books and computer monitors just fine but will experience problems when trying to recognize people across the room or read street signs that are down the road. Sometimes people may be severely nearsighted, meaning that objects need to be very close to see them clearly.
Causes of Nearsightedness
Where refractive error is concerned, nearsightedness is caused by imperfections in the shape of the cornea that cause light to focus just short of the retina at the back of the eye. During your visit with our optometrists and ophthalmologists serving Chicago, we will be able to determine if you are suffering from nearsightedness related to cornea shape or if your nearsightedness is related to another issue.
Weighing Your Treatment Options for Nearsightedness
There are many different treatments available for nearsightedness. Some are more invasive than others. Let's briefly look at each of these treatments so you understand what they involve. We will be more than happy to discuss all of these options in greater detail during your visit.
One of the most popular treatments for refractive errors, Chicago LASIK is a laser surgery that reshapes the cornea in order to improve vision. By safely reshaping the cornea, light will properly pass through the eye, improving vision. Good candidates for LASIK are people who are 18 years old or older, have had a stable prescription for at least a year, and who are not pregnant.
Phakic Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
For some patients, a good option to address their nearsightedness is phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs). These are artificial lenses that allow patients to achieve better vision. The procedure will involve surgical implantation of the lens into the eye. Patients will not feel any pain during the procedure. Many patients find this option quite helpful for their needs.
If you are not a good candidate for LASIK or IOLs, your best option may be to get prescription lenses. Prescription eye glasses and prescription contact lenses are both fine options that are very effective. In some cases they are the only viable treatment option for patients.
Contact Our Eye Care Centers to Learn More
There are many different treatment options available for nearsightedness and other vision problems. To learn more about all of your treatment options, contact our refractive surgery practice serving Chicago today. The entire team at our practice will be able to give you all of the answers that you need to make an informed decision about your vision.