What Is Refractive Surgery?

Refractive surgery refers to any surgical procedure used to reduce or eliminate the dependence on glasses and contact lenses. While laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) may be the most recognizable, refractive surgery refers to a variety of procedures used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Which procedure is best suited for you depends on a number of things, including the anatomy of your eye, your lifestyle, plus your visual goals.

Eye Care of Delaware Offers These Types of Refractive Surgery

Realistic Expectations

The decision to have refractive surgery is an important one that, ultimately, only you can make. Our team will answer all of your questions and explain your options, allowing you to make an informed decision. It is important to understand that the goal of refractive surgery is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. Refractive surgery does not always result in 20/20 vision, nor does it correct reading vision (known as presbyopia). People looking for perfect vision without glasses or contacts run the risk of being disappointed. Setting realistic expectations will help you achieve your visual goal of 20/happy!

Where Does the Journey Begin?

If you’re tired of fumbling around for glasses or messing with contact lenses, give us a call at 302-454-8800.

We offer a complimentary screening with our refractive team to explore your candidacy options. When you’re ready to move forward, we will schedule a refractive surgery consultation with the doctors at Eye Care of Delaware. This is a very comprehensive exam, so you should plan on being here for a few hours.

You will be asked to discontinue wearing soft contact lenses for 3 weeks before the consult (5 – 6 weeks for rigid/gas-permeable contacts). We know this can be an annoyance, but it’s very important as it can ultimately affect the results of your surgery. During your consultation, several measurements will be taken of your eyes to develop a customized treatment plan. It is critical that these measurements are as precise as possible. Contact lenses temporarily change the shape of your cornea. Leaving them out will help ensure the accuracy of these measurements by giving your corneas time to return to their natural shape.

We look forward to meeting you – to answer your questions, discuss your surgical options, and customize your treatment plan. Contact us today to request an appointment.

When discussing vision, it helps to examine models or images. The following illustrations will help demonstrate the vision issues that refractive surgery works to correct. To see just where the incoming light will focus depending on the shape of your eye, look at the “Focal point” on the right side of each image.

Anatomy and Terminology – Refractive Errors


Normal Vision


Clear vision is the result of light entering through the cornea (clear outer window of the eye), passing through the lens (behind the iris), and focusing directly on the retina, at the back of the eye.




Myopia or nearsightedness

Myopia or Nearsightedness

Occurs when the cornea is too steep, or the eye is too long. This causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. Nearsighted people usually see well up close, but have blurry distance vision.





hyperopia or farsightedness

Hyperopia or Farsightedness

Occurs when the cornea is too flat, or the eye is too short. This causes light to focus at a point behind the retina, resulting in blurry near vision, and sometimes blurry distance vision as well.







Occurs when the cornea isn’t perfectly spherical in shape, but curved more in one direction than the other, like a football. This causes light to focus at multiple points, blurring vision at all distances. Astigmatism often occurs in conjunction with nearsightedness and farsightedness.






Occurs when the natural lens inside the eye becomes more rigid with age, usually sometime around age 40. The rigid lens is no longer able to adjust from distance to near and people develop the need for reading glasses.





To discuss how refractive surgery could help improve your vision and learn if it is right for you, contact Eye Care of Delaware. Reach us at (302) 454-8800, or request an appointment online.