What is Laser Eye Surgery

Laser Eye Surgery

As the name suggests, laser eye surgery means using a laser to change the shape of the cornea (surface of your eye) – to correct focusing errors with extreme precision.

This adjusts your focus in the same way as wearing contact lenses or glasses – only without any of the inconvenience. It’s not only a permanent solution, it’s customised too – because everyone’s eyes are different.

At Auckland Eye we offer three main options for laser eye surgery, including SMILE, the most advanced laser vision correction technology, which we introduced almost three years ago. You’ll need a full assessment from one our specialists to see which option is right for you:

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) – the quickest, most technologically advanced and precise laser eye surgery in the world. This one step, one laser, keyhole laser eye surgery has been designed and perfected by Carl Zeiss – a huge step forward in laser treatments and one that Auckland Eye is proud to have been the leading eye clinic in Auckland to introduce and now provide the most expertise in.

LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) – the most well known laser eye surgery. Millions of people worldwide have already benefited from this advanced two step, two laser technique, with proven results.

PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy)– the original proven and effective laser eye surgery. Though LASIK is a more common treatment, PRK is a safer option for those people unable to have LASIK because of thinner corneas.

Following laser eye surgery at Auckland Eye, the vast majority of patients achieve outstanding visual acuity of 20/20 or 6/6 vision, or better.

Other Options

Intraocular contact lens

Although laser eye surgery is the most common way to gain freedom from glasses or contact lenses, some people’s eyes aren’t suitable due to high prescriptions or thin corneas. In these cases an implantable contact lens (ICL) may be a better solution for their vision problems. All our ICL patients have achieved unaided vision of better than, or equal to, driving vision.

The ICL is a tiny contact lens that is placed inside the eye, not on top of the eye like normal contact lenses, to correct near or far (short or long) sightedness, with or without astigmatism. The lens is specially manufactured for your individual eye contours, so is highly customised. Our specialist can advise if ICL is the right choice for you.

Refractive lens exchange

If you started out needing reading glasses, and now find yourself more reliant on glasses all the time, then we often recommend an Intraocular Lens (also known as Refractive Lens Exchange) as your best option.

This procedure is where the natural lens of your eye is removed and an artificial one attached in its place.

There are now extremely sophisticated IOL’s available that can give you back your distance, intermediate and near vision. So you can read books, menus and mobile phones again just like you used to, without the need for glasses. It’s a bit like turning back the clock!

What problems does laser eye surgery fix?

Light rays are refracted by the cornea and the lens in such a way that the focal point is directly on the retina. Objects both near and far appear in sharp focus.

normal vision auckland eye laser
normal vision auckland eye laser

Light rays are refracted by the cornea and the lens insuch a way that the focal point is in front of the retina. Distant objects appear out of focus. Depending on the degree of myopia, near objects appear in sharp focus.

Myopia is the most common focusing problem treated by laser eye surgery. It affects 1 in 4 New Zealanders and occurs when the eye is larger than a ‘perfect eye’. Images are focused in front of the retina, causing the distance vision to be more blurred than the near vision.

normal vision auckland eye laser
normal vision auckland eye laser

The irregular curvature of the cornea causes the light rays to be refracted into multiple focal points and not just one. Depending on the extent of the astigmatism, objects both near and far can appear skewed and distorted.

Astigmatism is another common focusing problem, caused by a difference in the curvature of the cornea. A perfect cornea is round like a soccer ball but an eye with astigmatism is shaped more like a rugby ball, focusing images at more than one point on the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Astigmatism may occur in conjunction with both near or far-sightedness.

normal vision auckland eye laser
normal vision auckland eye laser

Hyperopia occurs when the eye is smaller than the ‘perfect eye’, causing images to be focused past the retina. Farsightedness is a distance vision problem although sometimes your near vision can be more blurred too.

Auckland Eye - New Zealand Centre of Excellence for Eye Care