Brief history of vision correction
Vision impairment is a problem that has plagued mammals for millennia. The first solution to fixing vision problems was to use glasses in order to rectify poor vision. The first glasses were developed as far back as the 13th century. They were made in a northern Italian city called Pisa. It would be another 580 years until the first contact lens were developed in 1888. These contact lens were far heavier then modern contact lens and they covered the entire eye.
In the 1970’s, the first vision correction procedure, by modern standards, was performed. This procedure was called Radial Keratotomy, and involved making radial incisions in the eye using a diamond knife. Then a massive breakthrough happened in the 1980’s. An IBM researcher discovered that a laser called the excimer laser, which was used to create and manufacture computer chips, was also able to remove tissue without burning the eye.
Vision correction first patient
The very first vision correction surgery was performed in 1988. The patient was a 60-year-old female volunteer with severe vision problems. The procedure that was done was called photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) which is widely known as LASEK! PRK was approved by the USA in 1995 and, amazingly, is still a commonly performed procedure still today!
Bladeless vision correction
In order to access the cornea, the surgeon has to create a flap in the cornea because the procedure is performed underneath it. Traditionally LASIK procedures involved using a metal instrument called a microkeratome, which was used to cut the flap in the cornea. This metal blade created a great amount of discomfort for patients during the healing process. Enter the Femtosecond laser. The femtosecond laser is a laser that can create the corneal flap, meaning using blades and enduring extreme discomfort had become a thing of the past.
When you undergo laser vision correction, you have to lie on a table and stare into a laser for a few minutes. It doesn’t hurt but can seem strange. In the early days, when patients underwent vision correction, you would need to keep starring at the laser light in order to complete the treatment. Obviously, this can be difficult for some people. Luckily the most modern lasers now come with something called eye tracker. Eye tracker is a high-tech system that continuously tracks the movement of the patient’s eye as the procedure is being performed. Eye tracker is a product based on military missile tracking technology! Pretty amazing!
Custom Vision correction
Custom vision is a term that refers to various extra procedures on top of your SMILE or LASIK. Think of it as adding some extra toppings to your pizza. Custom options work by utilizing wavefront technology. This involves measuring the eye from front to back and creating a 3D image of the eye. Then using this 3D map, modern vision correction lasers can more accurately treat vision problems and greatly reduce any potential side effects.