Nearsighted and Farsighted

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Refractive Errors

Refractive errors are imperfections in the eye that prevent light from focusing properly onto the retina, causing blurred vision. Two of the most common types are myopia and hyperopia, better known as nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness typically occurs when the curve of the cornea is too steep. This causes light to focus in front of, rather than on, the retina, making objects in the distance appear blurry. With LASIK, the laser can remove tissue from the center of the cornea to make it flatter. This allows light to better focus directly on the retina.

Farsightedness

Farsightedness can occur when the cornea is too flat or the eye is too short. This prevents light from being able to focus on the retina, resulting in blurry close vision. LASIK corrects this by making the cornea steeper and by removing tissue from the outer margins of the cornea, allowing light to more accurately focus onto the retina.

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Important Information About the WaveLight® Excimer Lasers

WaveLight® Excimer Lasers are prescription medical devices that are approved for use in performing laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) to correct certain kinds of nearsighted (myopia), farsighted (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Only doctors who have been trained in laser refractive surgery (including laser calibration and operation) should use an WaveLight® Excimer Laser.

You should not undergo LASIK surgery if you are pregnant or nursing; if you have a collagen vascular, autoimmune or immunodeficiency disease; if you show signs of keratoconus or any other condition that causes a thinning of your cornea; or if you are taking isotretinoin (Accutane*) or amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone*). The most common risks of LASIK vision correction surgery with refractive lasers include dry eye syndrome; the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery; visual symptoms including halos, glare, starbursts, and double vision; and loss of vision.

Talk to your doctor and review the appropriate WaveLight® Excimer Laser Patient Information Booklet for your condition to learn more about the potential risks and benefits for laser refractive surgery. For further information, please refer to the additional Important Product Information on this site, or FDA’s web page on LASIK surgery.

* Trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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