What are refractive errors?

The eye functions like a camera. Light rays entering the eye are focused by the cornea and the lens of the eye onto the light sensitive retina (which is like the film of a camera) at the back of the eye. The retina then transmits a clear image, or photo, to the brain. In people with refractive error (or poor vision, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness), the light rays do not get focused on to the retina and blurred images are formed. These can be measured as aberration patterns.

Myopia and treatment options

Myopia, commonly known as near-sightedness or shortsightedness, refers to a condition where the patient is unable to see distant objects. Myopia is rare before the school-going age, gradually increasing during school life and reaching its peak during the intense study years of college. Its etiology is multi-factorial, with both genes and environment playing important roles. Though it is believed that prolonged reading harms the eyes, attempts to reduce accommodative fatigue (like introducing pauses during reading and teaching, eye exercises, etc.) have not helped to reduce myopia among children. Myopia is classified into low (-3D), moderate (-3 to -6D) and high (more than -6D). Persons with severe myopia are liable to have vision-threatening complications and should have a dilated eye examination at least once a year. The treatment options for myopia are spectacles, contact lenses, and refractive surgery. Spectacles are inexpensive and safe and offer clear vision, relief from eyestrain and headaches, and reduced risk of developing a squint. Patients with high power are advised to use high index glasses, which are not very thick. Plastic glasses are lighter, but get scratched easily.
Those who do not want to wear spectacles can opt for contact lenses, which are mainly of two types: soft and semi-soft or rigid gas permeable. Soft contact lenses may be conventional or disposable. Soft lenses do not allow enough oxygen to reach the eye and, on a long-term basis, may lead to complications like blood vessels on the cornea, inflammation and dry eyes. Semi-soft lenses or rigid gas permeable lenses are better, because they correct more astigmatism as compared to soft lenses. For high errors of astigmatism, surgeons may suggest toric contact lenses, or soft and semi-soft lenses.
Disposable lenses (daily or weekly) are discarded as indicated, while extended wear lenses can be worn while sleeping also, though this is not recommended. Sleeping or swimming with the lenses on, increases the risk of corneal ulcers and infections, which are sight-threatening complications. All types of lenses should be removed at the end of the day, cleaned and soaked in the specified solution.

Hyperopia and treatment options

Hyperopia refers to the condition commonly known as long-sightedness, wherein the patient has difficulty seeing objects or reading at close distances without the aid of glasses. In general, LASIK is recommended for patients with up to +4D to +5D spherical of hyperopia or far-sightedness. It is relatively easier to flatten the cornea for myopia patients, but it is more difficult to steepen the cornea in hyperopia. If the error is more than +5 diopters, in young patients, contact lenses are preferable to surgery. For patients above the age of 40, refractive lens exchange (along with the removal of the clear lens) with a regular monofocal/multifocal lens is recommended.

Lasik Vision Correction

Lasik – a vision correction procedure that helps get rid of spectacles or contact lens. It is a popular treatment in which excimer laser modifies the front surface of the cornea. Lasik is done with local anesthetic eye drops and the patient regains vision after few hours and resumes normal life from the very next day.
Using contact lens has certain complications like corneal infections, dry eyes, non-compliance issue, and maintenance hassle.
You are an ideal candidate if you fulfill all following criteria:

  • Are above 18 years of age
  • Have had a stable (glasses or contact lens) prescription for the last 1 year
  • Have had not any corneal complications like significant dry eyes etc
  • Need treatment for one of the common types of vision problems – nearsightedness, astigmatism, farsightedness, or a combination of these

However, a detailed eye-checkup by an expert will evaluate your corneal status and will qualify you for the treatment.
Doctors have been performing laser vision correction procedures for over a decade & millions of people have undergone Lasik worldwide. It’s safe, fast and virtually painless.
All doctors together at Eye-Q have more than lac surgeries to their credit.
Take your first step. Get your Lasik Evaluation!
Before having the Lasik procedure, there’s a critical evaluation step. Our doctors will perform certain tests to check the health of your eyes and find out whether you are a right candidate for Lasik.

Customised Lasik

Customised Lasik is a much more advanced form of LASIK. It’s a wave-front guided laser procedure for personalised vision correction. Today, customized Lasik is a preferred treatment using advanced custom technology that results in superior clarity of vision.
Specifically, it is different because its highly sophisticated technology allows examining each eye for previously unseen details known as ‘aberrations’. It means that laser eye treatment is now unique to each eye. With customized Lasik, treatment is designed specifically to treat your individual vision errors. It has many advanced built-in safety features that help to optimize the success of your treatment.
It could improve the quality of your vision. In a clinical study conducted by Independent Refractive surgeons, significantly patients with customized Lasik had less problems with night driving than patients undergoing treatment with a Standard Laser.
Customised Lasik is thus a superior vision correction alternative for every individual eye that can never be treated with standard or optimized treatments, or corrected with glasses o contacts.
Take your first step. Get your Lasik Evaluation!
Before having the Lasik procedure, there’s a critical evaluation step. Our doctors will perform certain tests to check the health of your eyes and find out whether you are a right candidate for Lasik.

Tissue Saving ( TS)

Tissue-saving (TS) LASIK is a form of customised LASIK in which the laser software is designed to remove less cornea tissue for a given degree of correction. It is ideal for high myopia and astigmatism and especially for people with thinner corneas so that full correction can be achieved and still retaining sufficient corneal tissue for structural strength and for future LASIK enhancement.
In the past, patients with thin corneas and high prescriptions have not always been suitable for laser vision correction. This is because the flap thickness created with a blade keratome was too variable or the laser removed too much corneal tissue which undermined the structural integrity of the cornea. Tissue Saving is a remarkable advance conserving 25 to 30% of corneal tissue.

  • Removes 25 to 30% less tissue
  • Enables higher corrections
  • Enables wider corrections (preventing night vision problems)
  • Faster treatment
  • Better outcomes
  • Less risk of corneal bulging which can occur if too much corneal tissue is removed

Take your first step. Get your Lasik Evaluation!
Before having the Lasik procedure, there’s a critical evaluation step. Our doctors will perform certain tests to check the health of your eyes and find out whether you are a right candidate for Lasik.

Bladeless i-lasik

The “i” in i-LASIK changes everything about laser vision correction. It’s innovative, individualized and the results are incredible. i-Lasik is the most advanced bladeless vision correction procedure. The i-LASIK Procedure EXCLUSIVELY uses theIntraLase Laser; it’s part of what makes i-LASIK vision correction unique. Eighty-one percent of patients choose bladeless LASIK over traditional LASIK with a blade when given the choice.
You have a choice: you want the laser, YOU WANT THE i-LASIK PROCEDURE.
There’s no reason to wait to have laser vision correction surgery, because the iLASIK Procedure removes all of the final barriers:

  • It’s the most advanced combination of vision correction technology
  • The technology is stable and has been demonstrated to be safe and effective
  • More than 15 million procedures have been performed worldwide, making it the most elective procedure
  • It’s affordable, and the cost is offset when compared to the lifetime cost of glasses and contacts

The vast majority of i-LASIK patients have seen 20/20 OR BETTER after procedure… That could be life changing!*
*Outcomes may vary. Ninety-eight percent of mildly to moderately nearsighted patients participating in the CustomVue Clinical Trials submitted to the FDA could see 20/20 or better one year after treatment.
Take your first step. Get your Lasik Evaluation!
Before having the Lasik procedure, there’s a critical evaluation step. Our doctors will perform certain tests to check the health of your eyes and find out whether you are a right candidate for Lasik.

Defects or aberrations that can be corrected with LASIK

Myopia or shortsightedness occurs when light rays are focused in front of the retina causing blurred vision, particularly when viewing distant objects. Objects that are near may be seen clearly, but those that are far away cannot be. Myopia is often hereditary, usually due to an abnormally large eyeball or steeply curved cornea. Because the eyeball grows with age, myopia tends to progress, usually stabilizing by the time the person is 20 years old.
Hyperopia or farsightedness is the opposite condition of myopia, where the light rays converge at a point beyond the retina. Initially objects that are near seem blurred, though the distant vision is clear. However, with age, objects at all distances become blurred.
Astigmatism is an irregularity in the shape of the normally spherical cornea. The cornea is shaped like an egg or the back of a spoon, causing distortion of both distance and near vision.

Why would you be interested in LASIK?

  • You do not want to wear spectacles or contact lenses.
  • You feel visually and socially restricted by spectacles or contact lenses.
  • You are intolerant to contact lenses.
  • You want to participate in certain outdoor sports where using spectacles or contact lenses may be a problem.
  • You plan to join certain professions wherein excellent uncorrected visual acuity is a pre-requisite.

To undergo laser correction procedure

  • You must be above 18 years of age.
  • You should not have had a significant change in your spectacle prescription for the past 12 months.
  • You should not have any ocular surface abnormality such as dry eyes.
  • Your cornea should have adequate thickness for it to be operated upon.

Before the laser procedure

The patient undergoes a normal eye examination after which the ophthalmologist may suggest a vision corrective procedure. Thereafter, information about the patient’s eye structure and function – including corneal thickness, corneal curvature, optical aberrations will be ascertained.

What to expect during laser surgery?

At our hospital laser procedureis done on an outpatient basis; this means you go home immediately after surgery. A relative or friend, who can take you home after the surgery, should accompany you. Both eyes are treated at a time. The procedure is performed under topical anesthesia.
You will be made to lie down on a couch and asked to look up at the microscope where you will see a blinking green light. When the suction ring is applied, your vision will fade out. You will start seeing the light again after the suction ring is removed. The whole procedure will be over in a few minutes. Usually there is no pain during the procedure.

After laser surgery

Once procedureis over, some drops will be instilled in your eye. You can return home immediately. You may experience pain for the first 24 to 36 hours, for which you will have to take oral analgesics. You will have to come for follow up visits from the very next day. Your doctor will schedule the check-ups as necessary. The usual routine is:

  • First check-up in the morning after surgery
  • Seven days from the date of surgery
  • One month from the date of surgery
  • Three months from the date of surgery
  • One year from the date of surgery

You will undergo special diagnostic tests at each visit which are aimed at assessing your visual acuity. It is important that you visit the doctor as scheduled on every appointment. You will be advised to use eye drops or other medication during the post-operative period.

When will you know the result?

Your vision will become clear within a few days sometimes you may require another round of treatment with laser, particularly with higher degrees of refractive error.


Although LASIK is an excellent procedure for low and moderate refractive errors, it may not totally remove the need for using glasses in everybody. However, it definitely decreases the dependence on glasses for day-to-day work.

Possible side effects

Laser procedureis very safe and effective. But in some patients there could be side effects. Your doctor will be happy to discuss these with you and clear your doubts before surgery.

Under correction/Overcorrection:

Under correction may sometimes be planned intentionally or may occur as an unintentional effect. As a result, the eye remains short sighted even after the surgery. If the degree of residual myopia is significant, the eye may be treated again at a later date. Overcorrection occurs very rarely.

Glare/halo effect:

You may feel some sensitivity to light at night or in bright sunlight. Sometimes in dim light, you may see a faded ghost image around the sharp bright image. This will pass after the first few days or weeks.

Decrease in contrast sensitivity:

Some people find that their night vision has become a bit dull. This happens because of a decrease in their ability to discriminate between different contrast levels.
Flap complications: Sometimes the anterior corneal flap that is made in LASIK may not be complete if the keratome stops mid way because of suction loss. In this situation, the flap is repositioned and ablation is deferred. The procedureis re-attempted after three months. In rare instances, the flap may tear or become detached.

Corneal Ecstasia

It can occur if the corneal thickness is less to begin with, or if the cornea is thinned more than it can withstand with the lasers. Therefore, persons having inadequate corneal thickness are not suitable candidates for LASIK.

Other Complications:

Serious complications like corneal infections, corneal edema, corneal perforation are possible, though they are extremely rare.

Alternatives to LASIK

For patients where the corneal thickness is not sufficient for doctors to perform LASIK, there are other alternatives.

Phakic intraocular lens

The Phakic IOL technique is recommended for patients with moderate to severe myopia, i.e., very high refractive powers (nearsightedness). It is used safely and effectively for very nearsighted people who are tired of wearing thick glasses and are not suitable for customized LASIK, due to very low corneal thickness or flat corneas.
In this procedure an intraocular lens, (made of biocompatible material that has been tested and proven fit for implantation for over 50 years), is fixed in front of the natural clear lens – behind the cornea and on top of the iris.
Phakic IOL is performed as an outpatient procedure and takes 15 – 30 minutes. Usually one eye is treated at a time. The patient is then administered eye drops to reduce the size of the pupil. The doctor uses an instrument to comfortably hold the eyelids open during the procedure. A local anesthetic is given to sedate the eye, so the procedure is virtually painless. A small incision is made in the cornea and the phakic IOL is centered in front of the pupil, and is gently attached to the iris to hold the lens in place. The incision is closed with microscopic stitches that dissolve on their own.
Three types of lenses are used for this purpose: anterior chamber, iris fixated, and posterior chamber. The quality of vision is usually very good in patients after phakic IOL, as compared to those with LASIK. The patient does not feel the implanted lens.
Phakic IOL does not change the natural appearance of the face and does not require any special care or maintenance. Although it is intended to be permanent, the procedure is reversible if desired. The implanted lens can be removed any time, as the proceduredoes not affect the important natural structures of the eye.

Clear lens extraction (Refractive lens exchange) with intraocular lens implantation

We do not normally consider this option in myopic patients as studies suggest increased incidents of retinal detachment after removal of the lens. We do not recommend this procedure in young hyperopes, though the chances of retinal detachment is less in hyperopia. There is increased risk of posterior capsular opacification in young individuals. Refractive lens exchange with multifocal or monofocal intraocular lens is recommended for high hyperopes/myopes approaching age of 40 years with explained prognosis.

Astigmatic cataract procedure and multifocal lenses

Cataract surgery has become a refractive procedure now. Normally a monofocal intraocular lens (IOL) is fixed in the normal position of clear lens. The power of intraocular lens is chosen for distance or intermediate vision and patient requires glasses for reading. Multifocal IOL is an attractive option. Hence the lens has multiple zones or rings, which can focus light for distance, intermediate and near vision. The purpose of this IOL is to give the patient freedom from spectacles for near and distance vision. Patients do require a little additional power (plus lens) for reading print. The problems in this method include decrease in contrast as all rays do not focus to a point) and glare while driving in highways. To derive maximum benefit, the astigmatism must be corrected by applying cuts on the cornea (relaxing incision) or by laser treatment.