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Refractive surgery: Options available in the present and future

TOKYO (2014) — Corneal refractive surgery has lost ground over the past few years for many varied reasons. New developments are now under way that might put this back on track.

A pioneer of refractive surgery said in an interview at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Tokyo (April 2014):

“We’ve had years of over production of refractive procedures, with great enthusiasm and growth. Now demand has dropped dramatically due to the recession,” Bo T. Philipson, MD, told Ocular Surgery News.

The decline of laser eye surgery techniques, and particularly of LASIK, has also been related to complications such as dry eye syndrome and other corneal disturbances.

With this in mind, Philipson said:

“The latest technologies, such as the femtosecond laser for thinner flaps and cross-linking for strengthening the cornea, may have the potential to make it safer”. Cross-linking in particular looks very promising.

Lens exchange, which is another surgical option, has advantages but the ideal lens for vision at all distances has not been found yet.

“Multifocal/Variable focus Intra ocular lenses are available but will never be perfect due to the fact that some amount of light scatter is inherent to the technology. Trifocal lenses could offer a good alternative, and toric lenses work well for astigmatism.

The accommodative option is what we are all looking for, but a suitable mechanism of action has not yet been discovered,” Philipson said.

As an alternative to the invasive refractive surgery procedures,  Charles Babumba, a Consultant Optometrist & Orthokeratologist in London offers Orthokeratology treatment (OrthoK) as a safe, reversible, non -surgical and viable option to corrective laser surgery…

OrthoK lenses are available for children and adults. They can be fitted to short sighted, long sighted, astigmatic and presbyopic patients, with prescriptions of up to -11.00 dioptres, +10.00 dioptres, -6.00 dioptres of cylinder (astigmatism), and up to an Add of +4.00 for presbyopia

The lenses are worn overnight whilst one is asleep. They are taken out on waking, giving good vision throughout the day without the need for glasses, contact lenses or laser surgery. The Orthokeratology treatment (OrthoK lenses) are approved by the FDA, European health authorities and many worldwide health bodies