LASIK – Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis – is the most common refractive eye surgery today. As of 2011, over 11 million LASIK procedures have been performed in the United States and as of 2009 over 28 million have been performed worldwide.
LASIK, often referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, is a type of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. LASIK surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist who uses a laser to reshape the eye’s cornea in order to improve visual acuity. For most patients, LASIK provides a permanent alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.
LASIK is most similar to another surgical corrective procedure, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), and both represent advances over radial keratotomy in the surgical treatment of refractive errors of vision. For patients with moderate to high myopia or thin corneas which cannot be treated with LASIK and PRK, the phakic intraocular lens is an alternative.
LASIK is the premier surgery for vision correction. It is quick, almost painless and there is little or no discomfort after the procedure. Vision recovery is rapid – patients report seeing 20/20 within 24 hours.
LASIK corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and even astigmatism. With a technique called mono-vision, it can reduce the need for reading glasses among patients over age 40 who wear bifocals.
Who Are The Optimal LASIK Candidates?
The best candidate for LASIK is age 21+, has healthy eyes with adequate corneal thickness. This is necessary because LASIK procedure removes tissue from the cornea to reshape the eye.
Chronic dry eye, corneal disease or other abnormalities may disqualify a candidate from LASIK surgery. A comprehensive eye exam is required to be sure. For your convenience, we are happy to provide LASIK pre-operative exams and consultations at our office.
Note that LASIK is an elective procedure and proper consideration must include the weight of personal needs, potential gain and willingness to accept the risks involved. There are no guarantees that LASIK will absolutely succeed to your expectations. The results are not always perfect vision. In some cases, your vision after LASIK may be permanently less clear than it was with glasses before LASIK. This outcome must be factored before deciding on LASIK surgery.
Certainly there is upside. In normal circumstances and conditions LASIK can reduce your dependence on glasses and almost always gives you the ability to function well without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Specifics of The LASIK Procedure
LASIK is an ambulatory, two-step procedure. You walk into the surgery center, have the procedure and walk out about an hour later. The surgery event is about 15 minutes for both eyes, but allowances should accommodate for about at the surgery location, perhaps even a bit more.
First, the surgeon creates a thin, hinged flap of tissue on your cornea with an instrument called a laser. This flap is folded back so the laser reshaping of your eye can begin. After laser treatment, which lasts a minute or less, the flap is repositioned and the surgeon proceeds to your other eye.
What Is Wavefront LASIK?
Wavefront LASIK -wavefront-assisted, wavefront-guided or custom LASIK- uses laser treatment (ablation) mapped by computerized analysis. Wavefront-guided procedures are much more precise than ablations determined by using standard eyeglasses prescriptions. They can correct subtle optical imperfections of the eye called “higher-order aberrations” that regular ablations cannot treat. Studies prove wavefront-guided ablations provide sharper vision than conventional, non-wavefront LASIK and can improve night-vision, eliminating or reducing the risk of halos or glare.
After The Surgery
Following the LASIK procedure, you will use medicated eye drops and clear protective shields to cover your eyes. You can open your eyes and see well enough to walk without glasses, but you must not drive yourself home.
You will use medicated eye drops several times a day for a week or more to prevent infection and help the healing. You may also use artificial tears to keep your eyes moist and comfortable.
You should rest your eyes as much as possible the day of your surgery. You may find it more comfortable leaving the house lights on low dim.
The next day, you should see well enough to drive and resume your normal activities. Use care though not to rub your eyes until it is safe to do so. If you are currently using Latisse, discuss with your eye doctor how long after surgery to wait before re-starting the regimen.
You may be asked to return to visit your doctor the following day for an eye exam. They will want to check your vision and be sure your eyes appear to be healing as they should. You will be given any additional instructions necessary about eye drops and/or artificial tears, and you can ask the doctor any questions you may have.
Postoperative care may be performed by an eye doctor other than your LASIK surgeon. This is referred to as co-management. We are happy to provide post-operative care for you at our office through a co-management agreement with your surgeon. Ask us for further details.
If My Vision Is Blurry After LASIK…
Though most patients see clearly within a day or so after LASIK, it can take several months before your eyes completely stabilize. Until then, improvements in your vision can still occur in fits and jumps. If several months pass and your vision is still blurred, be sure to communicate and visit with your LASIK surgeon. It may be appropriate to have a second LASIK surgery -an enhancement- to sharpen your eyesight further.
If an enhancement is not required, eyeglasses or contact lenses may be used to help. We will be happy to examine your eyes and discuss the options available to you.
After LASIK Eyewear
Even if your vision seems perfect after LASIK, you may still require or be more comfortable with eyewear.
When outdoors, it’s optimal and sometimes urgent to protect your eyes from the sun’s strong and sometimes harmful rays. Use sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection. For sports-sunglasses, the lenses need to have poly-carbonate for extra strength and protection. Anytime you work with power tools or do any activity where eye injury is possible, be sure to use safety glasses with poly-carbonate lenses.
If you’re over 40 (or close), it’s likely you’ll need reading glasses after LASIK. Many LASIK patients benefit from prescription eyeglasses for night driving. Even a mild prescription will make your vision sharper for added safety and comfort at night.
After LASIK Eye Care
Remember to continue to schedule routine eye exams post-LASIK. Even with perfect vision you still need to have your eyes examined for glaucoma and other potential problems on a regular basis. Routine exams will help insure that your vision remains stable after LASIK.
All About Cataracts and Their Treatment
Cataracts are so incredibly common that, by age 80, more than half of all Americans will either have cataracts currently or have had one removed.
When looking at an object, light is received through the pupil. It is then focused onto the back of the eye, where there is a collection of light-sensitive cells called the retina. A cataract occurs when the eye’s normally clear lens becomes fogged up, making it hard or even impossible for light to travel properly through the lens and be clearly focused on the retina.
Among other symptoms associated with cataracts, you may experience painless, blurry vision, or faded or yellowed colors. Dr. Mahmoodpour, of Vision Gallery, adds,“Increased difficulty seeing at night or in dim lighting is another easily overlooked symptom. You should consult your eye care professional for an appointment if you have any of these symptoms and, if diagnosed, be sure to have regular check-ups thereafter.”
Cataracts are often considered a common part of aging. The lens, which is made of mostly water and protein, grows excess layers on its surface as the years go by. When these layers harden, protein in the lens may form clumps and become cloudy, forming a cataract. Although cataracts are usually considered an eye condition of old age, previous eye disease or eye surgery, chronic disease, diabetes, and eye injuries can bring on cataracts much earlier.
Treatment of a cataract varies. In cases in which clouding is minimal, vision is hardly affected and a slight change in eyeglasses prescription may be enough. Alternatively, if all or a large part of the lens is clouded, surgery is required to restore sight. Cataract surgery involves the removal of the cloudy natural lens and replacement of the natural lens with an artificial lens made of plastic, silicone, or acrylic. The surgery is extremely low risk and is normally done as an outpatient procedure without an overnight stay.
Dr. Mahmoodpour advises, “Proper pre-and post-op care are very important. Proper co-management means your optometrist and eye surgeon are on the same page when it comes to your treatment before, during and after surgery.” A thorough exam should be conducted by your primary eye doctor to diagnose and decide on the treatment of your cataract. After this, your doctor should be able to advise about the surgery and refer you to a surgeon, who will answer any questions you have about the surgery. Afterward, follow-ups should take place with both your surgeon and your optometrist to assess your recovery.
For more information, book your appointment with Vision Gallery today by clicking here