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Is LASIK recommended for high near sightedness?

Q: I currently use contact lens for my eyesight (> -10 in both eyes). I was wondering whether I could go in for the LASIK operation to reduce this or eliminate this. I also want to know what are the long term implications if I do not go for LASIK or any refractive correction procedure. Till what age can I continue to use contact lenses? Would my eyesight number increase as my age progresses? Would this be a problem when I am over 40 or 50 years of age when everyones eyesight starts to deteriorate due to age? I am worried as my number has gone from -8 to -10 in the last 2 years. Can I stop this from increasing further with eye excercises? If yes, can you please suggest some exercises?

A:You have a high level of myopia (near sightedness). At age 27, it will be very unusual to have considerable increase in the myopia power. LASIK corrects myopia by reshaping the cornea (front transparent part of the eye). The laser has to REMOVE corneal tissue to achieve the change in shape. The amount of tissue removed depends upon the level of myopia being treated. For a low myopia, less tissue is removed and for a high myopia like yours, more corneal tissue is removed. However, there is a limit to how much tissue can be safely removed. Thus the thickness of your cornea becomes an important measure of the extent of correction that is possible. For example, if your corneal thickness is 550 microns, then full correction of your -10 dioptermyopia is possible. However, if your corneal thickness is 450 microns, then it would not be possible to correct the full -10 diopter power. In general, one would be very reluctant to treat anything over -10 diopter with LASIK. There are other refractive surgeries that may be done in cases of extremely high myopia, like phakic intraocular lens placement or clear lens extraction.


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