What is Hyperopia?
Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a common vision deficiency with varying degrees of severity. For mild cases, patients may see distant objects clearly and those being viewed close up are usually out of focus.
Farsightedness is a mismatch between the size of the eye and the optic present in the front of the eye. In this case, the eye is too short. That means the light entering the eye is focused on a point beyond the retina as seen in diagram 1.
When you are young, you can easily and fully unaware compensate for mild cases of farsightedness by instinctive activation of the eye’s internal lens. When you become older, this ability is gradually lost as the capability of the lens to accommodate decreases. Therefore, glasses must often be worn in adulthood.
Can Hyperopia be Treated?
Surgical options have been so limited because there is no surgical procedure to extend the eye. There has not been an applicable universal method for laser correction so far that can help all affected people. Only eyeglasses or contact lenses make it possible to alter the way the light enters your eyes and allow you to see close objects clearly – until now.
A new technique has been developed which can treat even severe hyperopia of 8 diopters or more. The procedure is called LIKE which is an abbreviation for: Lenticular Intrastromal Keratoplasty.
LIKE is a procedure which places a donor cornea implant into the stromal layer of the eye which alters the shape of the cornea focusing the light precisely on the retina as seen in diagram 2. That might sound complicated but it is not. It is a two-step procedure which is a similar procedure to LASIK but unlike LASIK it does not involve the removal (ablation) of tissue from your own cornea. It can be reversed to the original vision condition, if needed. People with severe hyperopia and astigmatism can now be safely treated with excellent results.
What are the Steps of the LIKE® Procedure?
A LASIK flap is created just like for normal LASIK surgery. A thin layer of corneal tissue, called a LIKE lenticule, is centered on your eye and the flap is replaced.
After about eight weeks your doctor will remeasure your refraction to determine how your vision has improved. If needed, the flap is re-lifted to make the necessary final touch-up correction to the shape of your cornea. The touch-up, if required, will occur on the LIKE lenticule only which in turn makes this a very safe and reversible procedure.