Eye Laser Surgery

Distorted images, blurred vision, elongated objects. All symptoms of astigmatism. New eye laser surgery could clear the view for millions of Americans who have the disorder.

Inside the doors of an emergency room, accuracy and clear vision are vital to survival.

But now the duties of nurse come a bit easier. She recently had photorefractive astigmatic keratectomy, known as “PARK.” The new FDA-approved eye surgery uses a cold laser to cut the surface of the eye to correct astigmatism.

Anna, ER nurse, “I can start an IV without any problems and see what I’m doing.”

Living with astigmatism is like constantly looking in a fun house mirror. Vision is stretched out and blurred. But doctors in southern California say after PARK surgery 95 percent of the patients will have 20/40 vision. Enough to pass a driver’s test.

In a procedure that takes less than one minute, surgeons cut the cornea, scrape its surface and apply a protective contact lens for healing.

Ophthalmologist, “It heals very smooth and almost always heals very clear so that it restores the vision.”

And it could save money. According to the American Optometric Association, 60 percent of all Americans will eventually develop some form of astigmatism. PARK surgery could be an alternative to glasses for them.

The laser method isn’t for everyone. Doctors say those with severe glaucoma, severe dry eyes or cataracts may not be candidates for the procedure. They recommend talking to your doctor before taking steps toward surgery.

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