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What can I do if corneal scarring from RK interferes with eye exams?

Radial keratotomy (RK) involves making tiny cuts in the cornea, so that it flattens, reducing nearsightedness. The procedure was once popular, but LASIK and other refractive surgery techniques introduced in the past decade are much more common now. All cases of RK have corneal scarring, but when properly performed, the RK scars do not obstruct vision as they are not in the center of the pupil.

It is possible that the shape of your cornea has become irregular over the years, and this is actually causing the failure to get the proper "good reading” during an eye exam. Options for you would depend on the exact nature of your specific problem. Some patients have required corneal transplants while others have been successfully rehabilitated with different types of contact lenses.

A new treatment is under U.S. FDA clinical trails using riboflavin and ultraviolet light to strengthen weakened corneas in various other conditions and may hold some promise for corneas weakened by previous RK. See an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for a complete evaluation and bring all of your old eye medical records with you. Choose an eye doctor who offers refractive surgery as part of his or her practice.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.