Introduction to Physical Science
Waves, Sound, and Light
LASER EYE SURGERY
Suppose you are watching television one day and notice that you have to squint to see the screen clearly. You decide to visit an optometrist for a vision screening.
After the screening, the optometrist tells you that you have a vision problem called myopia – nearsightedness. Does this mean you will have to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses in
order to see? In the past, the answer to your question would have been yes. However, there is another option that you may decide is a better alternative than wearing corrective lenses:
laser eye surgery. You may have noticed printed advertisements and television commercials that advertise a type of laser eye surgery called LASIK. What is laser eye surgery? Can laser
eye surgery correct myopia? Is laser eye surgery something that you should have done to correct your vision problem?
Your job in this WebQuest is to learn all about laser eye surgery. You will learn what types of vision problems can be corrected by laser eye surgery. You will explore
the many different types of laser eye surgery and identify the ones that are used to correct myopia. Because not every patient is a candidate for laser eye surgery, you will determine
if you are a potential candidate for this type of vision correction. You will also find out about the advantages and disadvantages of laser eye surgery. Finally, you will answer a
set of questions to demonstrate what you have learned about laser eye surgery, and make a decision about whether or not you would choose to have this surgery.
Look at the web sites given here to find the information that will enable you to answer questions about laser eye surgery.
- Laser Eye Surgery: Is it worth looking into?
Visit this site to read an article from the FDA Consumer Magazine about laser eye surgery to correct vision problems. The site includes a description of how vision works, and a description of both laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) surgeries. Scroll down to learn who is a candidate for laser eye surgery and for answers to frequently asked questions about these procedures. This is an excellent, comprehensive, and unbiased site.
- Comprehensive Info on LASIK and Other Vision Surgery Techniques.
At this site you can learn all about the various types of surgery available to correct vision problems. Scroll down and click on types of corrective surgery to read about flap procedures such as LASIK, LASEK, and ALK; photoablation procedures such as PRK; and corneal incision procedures such as RK, HK, and AK. Each procedure is covered in detail at this site.
- The LASIK Procedure.
Go to this site for a basic description of the LASIK eye surgery. Scroll down and click on detailed description to see photos of this procedure.
- National Eye Institute.
At this site you can find information on eye diseases, and eye care resources. Although it doesn’t discuss laser eye surgery directly, it does have diagrams and information on vision and vision problems.
- LASIK Institute.
This U of M site refers to using ultra fat lasers for LASIK surgery. Research the site for info on pre- and post-op info, risks, and FAQ's.
- LASIK Eye Surgery: What is LASIK?
Go to this Food and Drug Administration (FDA) site for information on the eye and vision errors and to learn about the types of surgery to correct those errors. In the menu bar at the top of the page, click on when is LASIK not for me to find out who is not a candidate for this type of surgery.
- Introduction to Refractive Errors.
At this site by the Cornea and Laser Eye Institute you can find out what causes vision errors and how laser surgery can correct these errors.
1 class period for research and answering the set of questions
Read through the following set of questions before you begin your Internet research. As you explore each site, look for answers to the questions.
Questions about Laser Eye Surgery
- What common vision problems can be corrected using laser eye surgery?
- What type of laser is used in laser eye surgery?
- What do the letters LASIK stand for? What do the letters PRK stand for?
- What kinds of vision problems can be corrected by LASIK surgery? By PRK surgery?
- Who should NOT have laser eye surgery?
- Suppose you have myopia. Explain why you would, or would not, choose to have laser eye surgery in order to correct your vision problem. Use information from your Internet research to support your position.
In the process of completing this WebQuest, you’ve become familiar with the types of vision problems that can be corrected with laser eye surgery, and become informed
about the types of laser eye surgery available. You have learned about both LASIK and PRK procedures in particular, and have identified who might be candidates for such surgeries.
You have developed research skills as you explored the web sites given and identified the relevant information to answer the set of questions above. Did your research convince you
that laser eye surgery is an effective treatment for vision problems? If you have vision problems that can be corrected through laser eye surgery, would you choose this form of treatment?