Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two Surgeries For Nearsightedness Equally Effective, Review Says

Date:
April 20, 2006
Source:
Center for the Advancement of Health
Summary:
A new review of recent studies suggests two popular laser-assisted surgeries to correct nearsightedness are equally effective at restoring 20/20 vision six months to a year after the surgery.

A new review of recent studies suggests two popular laser-assisted surgeries to correct nearsightedness are equally effective at restoring 20/20 vision six months to a year after the surgery.

However, LASIK patients tend to recover their vision faster than PRK patients, which may be part of the reason their number has grown rapidly since the late 1990s, said Dr. Alex Schortt and Dr. Bruce Allan of the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

LASIK patients also report less pain after surgery than PRK patients, although they tend to be more uncomfortable during the actual surgery, the researchers found.

Schortt says patients might prefer these "side effects" associated with LASIK, but "none of the individual studies included in this review demonstrated a significant [vision] advantage for either treatment," he said.

"There are cases for both procedures where LASIK would be best for one patient and PRK would be best for another patient," said Melissa Bailey, Ph.D., an optometrist at the Ohio State University College of Optometry. "It really depends on individual patient factors," such the thickness of tissues in the eye and severity of the nearsightedness, she said.

The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Typically, the nearsighted eye is longer than usual from back to front. This shape causes the eye to focus on light from distant objects in front of instead of directly on the retina, the part of the eye that transforms light into the nervous system signals that make up vision. The misfocus blurs the appearance of far-off objects such as highway signs or faces seen at a distance in a crowd.

LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) both use a laser to reshape the eye's cornea, which helps to focus incoming light, in people with nearsightedness. With PRK, the cornea is reshaped by using the laser to gently shave off microscopic layers of the cornea. In LASIK procedures, surgeons cut a flap in the cornea to remove excess tissue below and then replace the flap like a hinged door.

In their review of six high-quality studies comparing LASIK and PRK, Schortt and Allan found no significant difference in the number of eyes regaining 20/20 "perfect" vision six to 12 months after each type of surgery, regardless of how severe the nearsightedness was before surgery. The studies involved a total of 417 eyes, 201 treated with PRK and 216 treated with LASIK, with some participants having surgery only on one eye, or some having each eye treated with the different procedures.

The researchers found some evidence that a greater proportion of eyes lose some of their visual acuity with PRK compared to LASIK six months after surgery.

Vision lost after PRK may be due in part to a corneal "haze" produced by inflammation caused by the procedure, the reviewers say.

"The risk of significant haze after PRK is an important difference between these procedures," Schortt said, although he notes that none of the studies they reviewed included the use of an anti-scar drug called mitomycin C, which has been used successfully to cut back on postoperative eye haze.

Although Schortt and Allan said their conclusions are not new and are "consistent with current practice," they believe that patients should still be aware of how the procedures compare. Allan, a practicing surgeon, uses both LASIK and PRK with his patients.

"I think patients and doctors prefer LASIK to PRK because it has a shorter and less painful recovery time," Bailey said.

"These interventions are performed on healthy eyes and the vast majority of patients are under 60 years of age," Schortt said, noting that patients can still choose more conservative options such as glasses and contact lens to treat nearsightedness.

It is important that patients are informed about and understand the effectiveness, limitations, safety, complications and relative merits of these procedures," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for the Advancement of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center for the Advancement of Health. "Two Surgeries For Nearsightedness Equally Effective, Review Says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060419074331.htm>.
Center for the Advancement of Health. (2006, April 20). Two Surgeries For Nearsightedness Equally Effective, Review Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060419074331.htm
Center for the Advancement of Health. "Two Surgeries For Nearsightedness Equally Effective, Review Says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060419074331.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins