Short sightedness or myopia is a condition where corrective glasses are required to see in the distance. This is because the eyeball may be slightly longer than normal. About 25-33% of adults are short sighted.
Can the condition be corrected?
Short sightedness can be corrected by glasses and sometimes with contact lenses.
What is laser treatment for short sightedness?
Laser treatment for short sightedness is called photo refractive keratectomy, or PRK for short. A special laser called the "Excimer laser" is used which flattens the surface of the cornea so that the eye becomes less short sighted. The laser was invented in 1976 and now more than 250,000 in the world have been treated. Techniques have developed since this time.
Who is suitable for this treatment?
If you are slightly short sighted (less than -6 to -10D) then results are good, 82-98% achieving vision afterwards of 6/12 driving vision unaided. If you are more short sighted (-6 to -10D) the results are less favourable with up to 89% achieving 6/12 driving vision. Results are more unpredictable if you are very short sighted or if you have astigmatism. If you have keratoconus (an irregular cornea), then treatment is not suitable.
Are there complications?
You may still be required to wear glasses.
Hazy vision afterwards which may last from weeks to years.
Delayed healing of the eye.
Loss of vision (not able to read the bottom of the vision chart even with glasses afterwards.
May require further laser treatment (10-25%).
Scarring of the cornea.
Infected corneal ulcer.
Perforation of the eyeball.
Please note: Laser treatment for short sightedness is not available on the NHS (UK).
All information is for reference purposes only; if you have any concerns we recommend that you visit a qualified optician.