What Are Refractive Procedures?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “If you have a refractive error, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism or presbyopia, refractive surgery is a method for correcting or improving your vision.”

Whether you struggle seeing ahead of you, only see blurry or strained images, or have a difficult time reading a book, refractive eye surgery is exactly what you need to move forward with your life without the difficulties poor eyesight brings to the table.

To better understand why refractive procedures are so popular and needed, let’s take a look at the three most common refractive procedures currently out there.

The Three Main Refractive Procedures

When it comes to refractive procedures, there are three that stand out above all other options. Each one has a very unique and specific process associated with it, so let’s take a closer look at what distinguishes them from one another.


According to Mayo Clinic , “LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a type of laser refractive surgery — the best known and most commonly performed. In general, a special type of cutting laser is used to precisely change the shape of your cornea — the dome-shaped transparent tissue at the front of your eye — to improve vision.”

2. PRK

According to WebMD, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), “…can help if you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism. It works best if your eye problem is mild or moderate…During PRK, an eye surgeon uses a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light on the surface of your cornea. [This differs from] LASIK, another type of laser surgery, [which] works underneath your cornea.”


PRELEX is short for presbyopic lens exchange. During the procedure, the natural lens in your eye is removed and replaced with a multi-focal lens. This implanted lens allows your eye to focus both at close and far distances, acting more like a natural eye might.

Interestingly, scientists now believe that PRELEX actually reduces the need for spectacles altogether. This is because it is very similar to replacing your current conditions with two fully-functional 20/20 eyes.

Should You Get a Refractive Procedure?

Now that you know some of the main procedures that fall under this refractive procedure umbrella, you may be wondering if any of these surgeries would be right for you. To answer this, your best bet is to schedule an appointment with your local eye doctor to discuss your options.

If you would like to discuss refractive surgeries with a professional team in the Boulder area, contact us today for a free consultation! We’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction!

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