Laser Thermal Keratoplasty
It is estimated that over 70 million Americans over the age of 40 are farsighted, presbyopic or have difficulty reading small print at close distances. LTK is a non-contact laser procedure that can reduce or eliminate farsightedness and offer those who have difficulty reading small print, the opportunity to read without bifocals or reading glasses.
LTK works by changing the shape of the cornea and making it steeper. The steeper curvature increases the cornea’s focusing power, bringing images into proper focus on the retina.
Typically, two concentric rings of eight spots of laser energy are applied around the central optical zone of the eye. This causes the collagen in the cornea to shrink, which steepens the shape of the cornea. The amount of correction is determined by the number of spots applied, the energy level of the laser and the age of the patient.
LTK is for those who:
- want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on reading glasses or bifocals
- are 40+ years of age
- had good vision until they reached their forties
- have no health issues affecting their eyes
What to expect on the day of your procedure
Because LTK does not require opening or touching the cornea, it does not require a surgical facility. First, your eye will be completely numbed with “eye drop” anesthesia; no injections or needles are used. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.
Then, sitting upright as if undergoing an eye exam, you’ll be asked to look at a target light. The laser will be applied for approximately three seconds per eye. Some patients elect to have only one eye treated to give them monovision. Typically, two concentric rings of eight spots of laser energy are applied around the central optical zone of the eye.
Soon after the procedure, your eyes will be examined and you will go home and relax for the rest of the day. For the first couple of days, you may experience some scratchiness in your eyes, or excessive watering. This rapidly improves and medications can be taken to relieve any discomfort. Normal activities are generally resumed within a day or two. While many patients see improvement in their near vision immediately after the procedure, it usually takes a few weeks to several months for the results to be fully realized.
The goal of LTK is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. However, your doctor cannot guarantee your results. It is also important to realize that LTK does not stop the aging process of the eye, which could cause the effect of the initial procedure to dissipate over time, but it can last 10 years or more.
After a thorough eye exam, you and your doctor will determine if LTK is an option for you. If you are a good candidate, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed..Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.
Alternatives to LTK
LTK is not the only surgical procedure for treatingfarsightedness andpresbyopia. To learn about other procedures go to thesurgical and laser vision correction procedures section of our Web Site. If you would like to learn more about vision correction procedures from sources other than our practice, we encourage you to link to a number of Web sites we feel provide factual and up-to-date information. You may also choose tomake an appointment,attend a seminar orrequest additional information to learn more about this exciting procedure.