Refractive Surgery


Many patients today are considering the option of Refractive surgery to correct vision and dispose of glasses or contact lenses. This article will give perspective patients background information to help understand the alternatives available. First, some definitions are necessary.

Refractive Errors

The term “refractive error” refers collectively to nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. Patients with refractive errors have variable degrees of blurred vision. For example, nearsighted patients cannot see far away but can see close up without glasses in most cases. Patients with small degrees of farsightedness may have no problems with distance or near until they get into their mid- forties. Then they experience difficulty seeing near print. Patient with large degrees of farsightedness may have blurry vision for both distance and near without glasses. Many of these patients have crossed eyes as children. Patients with astigmatism experience blurry vision at near and far without glasses. This is because the cornea has a spoon shape which creates two focal points, neither of which focus on the retina. Finally, the term presbyopia refers to the condition where the lens of the eye can no longer focus well on near objects because of age. To correct this requires reading glasses or a new procedure involving the implantation of an accomodative intra ocular lens. Read about this latest technologic advance in the “News” section of this website.

Myopia (nearsightedness)

Hyperopia (farsightedness)
Anatomy of the Eye

To help understand the types of surgery I will define some anatomical terms regarding the eye. The anterior surface of the eye is the cornea. It is like the windshield in a car. In its healthy state it is clear and bends or refracts light waves. The iris is the colored part of the eye and acts as a barrier which prevents too much light from entering the eye. In bright light the iris constricts and makes the central pupil tiny; in reduced illumination the iris expands or dilates the pupil. Only the central black pupil allows light into the interior of the eye. Directly behind the iris is the lens of the eye. The lens is a clear tissue about the size of an M & M candy. It is flexible and by getting thicker or thinner it focuses light on the retina. The center of the eye is filled with a clear gel know as vitreous. The inner lining of the eye is the retina. This is the sensory tissue of the eye which picks up the entering light waves and collates and transmits the sensory input to the brain via the optic nerve.

The goal of all refractive surgery is to change the optical properties of some part of the eye so that the entering light waves can focus on the retina on a point. This allows a clear sharp image to be transmitted to the brain.

We at Maryland Eye Associates are pleased to present you with this perspective on refractive surgery. We have been performing refractive since 1990, and can offer a recommendation of which procedure is best for you. If you have any questions please feel free to write to Dr. Dodd at:

Michael J. Dodd, M.D. is committed to providing the highest quality vision care to his patients and making available to them state-of the-art vision correction techniques, including excimer laser refractive surgery (laser vision correction). He believes that his LASIK surgery at the TLC Laser Centers, with the newest instruments and lasers, gets the best possible results. These are just a few of the reasons why he joined TLC Laser Center, Inc.

Dr. Dodd received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland, and his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his ophthalmology training at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He is board certified in ophthalmology.

Dr. Dodd opened his private practice in 1977, and has since been joined by other physicians and an optometrist. He has performed thousands of surgeries including cataract, glaucoma, and corneal operations as well as various types of refractive and laser surgeries.

Dr. Dodd is an active staff member of the Anne Arundel Medical Center and the Calvert Memorial Hospital, where he formerly held the position of Chief of Surgery. He has also served on Calvert Memorial Hospital’s Board of Directors, and is a former Vice President of the Medical Staff. He was the first chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Calvert Hospital.

Dr. Dodd has served on numerous hospital and state committees including the Med Chi Peer Review Committee. He has published several scientific articles and given many lectures on ophthalmic topics. He has an interest in ophthalmology in different countries and has traveled to Pakistan where he performed many types of eye surgeries. He has also visited the Microsurgical Eye Institute in Moscow.

Dr. Dodd will be happy to answer your questions about refractive surgery. For an appointment, contact Dr. Dodd at: (877) 719-2020