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Improving on Mother Nature?

RADIAL KERATOTOMY (RK)
PROS: After 10 years, 53% of those treated had 20/20 vision or better, 85% had 20/40 or better. Least expensive: $800 to $1,000 per eye.

CONS: May require several procedures. Cornea weakened. 40% of patients shifted toward naturally occurring farsightedness, might need reading glasses at an earlier age. Chance of glare, vision fluctuations, and pain.

PHOTOREFRACTIVE KERATECTOMY (PRK)
PROS: 65% of those treated had 20/20 or better and 95% had 20/40. Requires less surgical skill. Doesn't weaken cornea.

CONS: More painful recovery period than other procedures; may require retreatments. Vision fluctuations, haze, glare, halos, and scar tissue possible. Cost: $2,000 per eye.

LASER IN-SITU KERATOMILEUSIS (LASIK)
PROS: Reduces high levels of myopia. Recovery is faster, and with less pain, than other treatments.

CONS: Legal, but not approved as safe by the FDA. Riskier procedure that may require retreatments; high level of surgical skill necessary. Long-term effects unknown. Cost: $2,500 per eye.

DATA: AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPHTHALMOLOGY, BUSINESS WEEK





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