Published: Jan. 15, 2010
Updated: Oct. 5, 2011
Have you relied on glasses or contact lenses for years to correct your vision? Is it time to discover the freedom and independence offered by laser vision correction? Does a team and facility exist that you can fully trust to place as much importance as you do on the health of your eyes and the outcome of your vision?
If these are questions you or a loved one are wrestling with, consider the nationally recognized Duke Center for Vision Correction. At Duke, you'll find highly experienced surgeons with unmatched dedication to patient care, quality surgical outcomes, and a long-term commitment to maintaining the best possible vision and health of your eye.
Under the expert care of a Duke surgeon, you can be confident that all appropriate and safe options are considered when it comes to your vision -- that your care is not driven by technology, but rather technology is only one aspect of a surgical plan specifically designed for your long-term vision and the health of your eyes.
At Duke, LASIK is not a "one-size-fits-all" approach. In fact, 40 percent of our patients are better candidates for another procedure or no surgery at all. If after careful consideration and evaluation we find that vision correction surgery offers a safe and effective alternative to your current correction, your procedure will be delivered by Duke surgeons recognized as pioneers and leaders in this field.
Some of the more common surgical procedures offered through the Duke Center for Vision Correction include:
At Duke, there are no shortcuts, cutting corners, or reducing you and your visit to a number. We carefully weigh the risks and balance them with the anticipated benefits of each individual procedure over the lifetime of your eyes, not merely looking at short term success. Our commitment to your care continues throughout your surgery, your recovery, and for years to come after your surgical procedure.
The eye is one of the most remarkable parts of the human body.
In a rapid-fire sequence of events, your eye collects and focuses light through the cornea, regulates the amount of light entering your eye by adjusting the pupil, then responds to the object distance by changing the shape of its lens. The image comes to focus on the retina, which translates light into electrical impulses. They in turn travel to the brain via the optic nerve, and at last, you are able to see, observe, and absorb the world around you.
Vision correction surgery takes advantage of the fact that the cornea contributes to the focusing of light that ultimately lands on the retina. In the same way that a contact lens helps correct the focusing of light entering into the eye, vision correction surgery changes the shape of the cornea so that its new focusing power matches that of a properly fit contact lens.
Learn more about laser vision correction surgery options available at Duke.
At Duke, correcting your vision is a meticulous process that begins with a detailed interview, thorough examination, and specialized testing conducted by our surgeons to make sure that you are an appropriate candidate for one or more of the various procedures we offer.
Importantly, we make sure that you do not have an eye disease or a systemic health condition that might interfere with your surgical procedure, your postoperative healing, or the long-term health of your eye.
To be a successful candidate for vision correction, you should:
Pupil size, astigmatism, tear physiology, corneal thickness and curvature are meticulously evaluated and addressed before you are considered a suitable candidate for vision correction surgery. Patients with unusually large pupils complaining of glare prior to surgery are more likely to retain some of these symptoms after surgery.
Note: Eye surgery is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
Learn about pros and cons of vision correction surgery.
Myopia causes images to focus in front of the retina, making near objects appear more clearly than distant objects. Myopia is caused either by a cornea that has a steeper curvature than normal or by an eye that is too long from front to back.
Hyperopia causes images to focus behind the retina, making distant objects appear clearer than closer objects. Hyperopia is caused by a cornea that is flatter than normal or by an eye that is too short, causing the light rays to focus at a point behind the retina.
Astigmatism can occur by itself or in combination with myopia or hyperopia. It is caused by a cornea that has an uneven, irregular, or asymmetric curvature. Without correction, astigmatism prevents the eye from properly focusing at any distance, causing blurred vision, nighttime glare, and often ghosting or multiple images. While astigmatism was a contraindication to vision correction surgery up to the mid 1990s, enormous advances in this area makes vision correction surgery increasingly attractive for patients with astigmatism.
Presbyopia, a progressive loss of focusing range, is a natural consequence of aging. This is most noticeable after the age of 40 when trying to see close objects, especially reading material. Anyone considering vision correction surgery should understand that reading glasses are commonly needed in patients over 40 to correct presbyopia, unless we opt for a partial under-correction in one eye for a monovision arrangement, which seeks to preserve reading vision by sacrificing some quality of distant vision. In this approach, we determine ocular dominance and correct the dominant eye for distant vision, while the non-dominant eye is treated targeting partial myopia or intentional nearsightedness so that it can still be used for reading. While there is some sacrifice of depth perception, patients between the ages of 45-65 often adapt within a few weeks to their eyes working differently. Preoperative contact lens testing is one method of screening for patients not suitable for this option.
As our eye ages, the lens not only loses its flexibility as with presbyopia, it also begins to harden and change color. This process eventually produces a cloudy, opaque, or cataractous lens that blocks the transmission of light. Vision correction surgery has not been implicated in causing or accelerating the progression of cataracts; however, it does not prevent this process that occurs most commonly as a slowly progressive process over time. The only practical consideration for patients eventually needing cataract surgery after LASIK or PRK is the need to make a calculation adjustment for the intraocular lens power. For this reason, we permanently keep your records at Duke and are also happy to provide to you the information necessary for future calculations.
Learn more about LASIK and refractive surgery: