The Importance of Cornea Thickness for LASIK Surgery

Over the past few decades, LASIK eye surgery has emerged as an increasingly popular option for people looking for a long-term solution for vision problems. Utilizing his experience in laser vision correction, Dr. Young H. Choi has helped countless individuals find freedom from glasses and contact lenses.

At Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, we pride ourselves on providing advanced vision treatments and education for patients in Vestavia Hills, AL and the Greater Birmingham area. One question many individuals have for us is whether or not they qualify for LASIK eye surgery. Cornea thickness plays a pivotal role in this decision-making process. As part of our comprehensive evaluation, we focus on this crucial factor to ensure that our patients receive the most suitable and safe vision correction options available. Here’s what you need to know.

The cornea is the eye’s outermost lens. It functions like a window that controls and focuses the entry of light into the eye. The cornea contributes to 65 – 75% of the eye’s total focusing power. When light strikes the cornea, it bends — or refracts — this incoming light onto the lens. The lens further refocuses that light onto the retina, creating the images we see. If the cornea’s shape is imperfect, it leads to visual distortions. For instance, a flatter cornea results in nearsightedness, while a steeper one can cause farsightedness.

LASIK eye surgery, a form of laser vision correction, reshapes the cornea to correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. During LASIK, a laser is used to precisely remove corneal tissue, altering its shape and improving the way light rays are focused onto the retina. Using our office’s state-of-the-art Zeiss VisuMax® femtosecond laser, Dr. Choi is able to achieve a high level of precision with minimal discomfort.

Corneal thickness plays a pivotal role in determining a patient’s eligibility for LASIK surgery. A certain amount of corneal thickness (around 500 – 600 microns) is necessary to perform the procedure safely. During LASIK, a portion of the cornea is removed. If the cornea is too thin, it might not withstand the necessary reshaping. During your consultation at our office in Vestavia Hills, AL, Dr. Choi will perform a thorough evaluation of your eyes, including your corneal thickness, to determine if LASIK eye surgery is the best possible solution for your vision.

If your corneas are too thin for LASIK, Dr. Choi provides an effective alternative: refractive lens exchange, also known as lens replacement surgery. Similar to cataract surgery, refractive lens exchange involves replacing your eye’s natural lens with an artificial one. It’s a practical solution for those who aren’t ideal candidates for LASIK due to thin corneas. Refractive lens exchange can effectively correct significant nearsightedness or farsightedness, offering a pathway to clear vision without reshaping the cornea.

For those in the Birmingham, AL area contemplating laser vision correction, now is the perfect time to explore your options. At Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, you will find a blend of experienced care and advanced technology.

Whether you are evaluating your suitability for LASIK or considering alternative procedures like lens replacement surgery, Dr. Young H. Choi and our team are dedicated to providing you with personalized and effective solutions. Reach out today to begin your journey toward clearer vision.

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