Refractive errors were being treated since last 25 years only. As of now LASIK is most frequently performed surgical procedure in entire medicine. Almost 6 million being performed yearly around the world with amazing rate of success.
Future of refractive surgery is great. 6/6 vision was considered to be the ultimate possible vision but it is being challenged and newer techniques are already offering better vision than glasses of 6/5, 6/4 by detecting and treating higher order aberrations of eye and cornea. Theoretically it’s possible to get much better vision up to distance between two photo receptors of retina – 6/1 or better so that one will be able to read news paper from distance of six meters.
Presbyopia was ultimate paradigm to conquer in refractive treatments but corneal inlays, accommodative intraocular lenses, intracor femto laser procedures, cross linking and reversal of ageing natural lens by pharmacological medications can postpone or reverse presbyopia to give youthful vision in coming future.
Development in intraocular lenses will change current absolute presbyopia to natural accommodative lenses. Any residual refractive errors can also be corrected by light adjustable lenses giving spectacle free vision to all.
Robotic surgeries are already being performed today for cataract by femto lasers assisted corneal incision, capsulotomy and lens division. Future diagnostic tools and lasers will be able to remove refractive errors and cataracts with much precision and in no time.
Eye is accessible easily and optical properties of eye will make it a easy organ to make changes for artificial intelligence to diagnose and treat.
Refractive procedures almost always involve lasers or incisions, even at the most non-invasive levels. But a change is coming- A new procedure called PiXL (photorefractive intra stromal cross linking aims to use cross linking and UV light to alter corneal collagen and thereby cause a refractive change. It’s the kind of procedure that makes one wonder whether the refractive surgery of the future is surgery at all. Essentially, the procedure using riboflavin, UV light, and a few other tools like cornea topography analysis and eye tracking provides a change in corneal biomechanics to change the corneal optics, rather than use a laser to sculpt tissue. A patterned UV energy beam delivers energy to the cornea.