Laser Eye SurgeryLaser Eye Surgery Involves The Precise Reshaping Of The Cornea, The Transparent Window That Covers The Coloured Part Of The Eye. For Treatment To Be Permanent, It Must Take Place Beneath The Thin, Protective Outer Layer. This Layer Is Gently Moved Aside In Order To Let The Laser Do Its Work.
If You're Looking For An Alternative Option To Glasses Or Contact Lenses, Laser Eye Surgery Could Be The Ideal Solution. Laser Eye Surgery Is An Eye Treatment That Has Given Millions Of People Freedom From The Need To Wear Glasses And Contact Lenses.
There Are Three Fundamental Types Of Laser Eye Treatment: PRK, LASIK And LASEK. They Differ Only In The Way The Eye Is Prepared For Treatment. The Actual Re-Shaping Process Is Exactly The Same All Cases.
Laser Eye Surgery GuideThis Is The Complete Guide To Laser Eye Surgery. If You Are Thinking About Having Vision Correction Surgery Or Want To Know More About Any Of The Techniques Used Then This Is The Site For You. Laser Eye Surgery Is A Safe And Effective Method Of Correcting Visual Problems, Often Removing The Constant Need For Glasses. Our Guide To Laser Eye Surgery Aims To Cover All Your Questions, From What The Procedure For Laser Eye Surgery Involves, The Risks, The Benefis And The Different Types Of Laser Eye Surgery.
There Are 2 Main Methods Of Laser Eye Surgery Used Today : -
- LASIK Laser Eye Surgery
- PRK Laser Eye Surgery
The Major Difference Between The Two Surgeries Is The Way That The Stroma, The Middle Layer Of The Cornea, Is Exposed Before It Is Vaporized With The Laser. In PRK, The Top Layer Of The Cornea, Called The Epithelium, Is Scraped Away To Expose The Stromal Layer Underneath. In LASIK, A Flap Is Cut In The Stromal Layer And The Flap Is Folded Back.
This Guide Provides An Overview Of Laser Eye Surgery, Including Possible Complications Of Treatment.
Laser Eye Surgery Risks And ComplicationsThe Risks Outlined Below Apply To Both PRK And LASIK Procedures. The Chances Of Having A Serious Vision-Threatening Complication Are Minimal.
Infection And Delayed Healing: There Is About A 0.1 Percent Chance Of The Cornea Becoming Infected After PRK, And A Somewhat Smaller Chance After LASIK. Generally, This Means Added Discomfort And A Delay In Healing, With No Long-Term Effects Within A Period Of Four Years.
Undercorrection/Overcorrection: It Is Not Possible To Predict Perfectly How Your Eye Will Respond To Laser Surgery. As A Result, You May Still Need Corrective Lenses After The Procedure To Obtain Good Vision. In Some Cases, A Second Procedure Can Be Done To Improve The Result.
Decrease In Best-Corrected Vision: After Refractive Surgery, Some Patients Find That Their Best Obtainable Vision With Corrective Lenses Is Worse Than It Was Before The Surgery. This Can Occur As A Result Of Irregular Tissue Removal Or The Development Of Corneal Haze.
Excessive Corneal Haze: Corneal Haze Occurs As Part Of The Normal Healing Process After PRK. In Most Cases, It Has Little Or No Effect On The Final Vision And Can Only Be Seen By An Eye Doctor With A Microscope. However, There Are Some Cases Of Excessive Haze That Interferes With Vision. As With Undercorrections, This Can Often Be Dealt With By Means Of An Additional Laser Treatment. The Risk Of Significant Haze Is Much Less With LASIK Than With PRK.
Regression: In Some Patients The Effect Of Refractive Surgery Is Gradually Lost Over Several Months. This Is Like An Undercorrection, And A Re-Treatment Is Often Feasible.
Halo Effect: The Halo Effect Is An Optical Effect That Is Noticed In Dim Light. As The Pupil Enlarges, A Second Faded Image Is Produced By The Untreated Peripheral Cornea. For Some Patients Who Have Undergone PRK Or LASIK, This Effect Can Interfere With Night Driving.
Incomplete Procedure: Equipment Malfunction May Require The Procedure To Be Stopped Before Completion. This Is A More Significant Factor In LASIK, With Its Higher Degree Of Complexity, Than In PRK.
Problems With A Perfect Procedure: Even When Everything Goes Perfectly, There Are Effects That Might Cause Some Dissatisfaction. Older Patients Should Be Aware That They Can't Have Both Good Distance Vision And Good Near Vision In The Same Eye Without Corrective Lenses.
Common Symptoms After Laser Eye Surgery
Pain Or DiscomfortImmediately After The Procedure, Your Eye May Burn, Itch, Or Feel Like There Is Something In It. You May Experience Some Discomfort, Or In Some Cases, Mild Pain And Your Doctor May Suggest You Take A Mild Pain Reliever.
Blurred Or Hazy VisionYour Vision Will Probably Be Hazy Or Blurry. You Will Instinctively Want To Rub Your Eye, But Don't! Rubbing Your Eye Could Dislodge The Flap, Requiring Further Treatment.
Glare And Light SensitivityIn Addition, You May Experience Sensitivity To Light, Glare, Starbursts Or Haloes Around Lights, Or The Whites Of Your Eye May Look Red Or Bloodshot.
These Symptoms Should Improve Considerably Within The First Few Days After Surgery. You Should Plan On Taking A Few Days Off From Work Until These Symptoms Subside.
You Should Contact Your Doctor Immediately And Not Wait For Your Scheduled Visit, If You Experience Severe Pain, Or If Your Vision Or Other Symptoms Get Worse Instead Of Better.
Distortion Of VisionFollowing Treatment Of The First Eye, There Will Be A Focusing Difference Between The Two Eyes. This May Also Cause Tension Headaches. These Symptoms Settle With Treatment Of The Second Eye.
Before Laser Eye SurgeryIf You Decide To Go Ahead With LASIK Surgery, You Will Need An Initial Or Baseline Evaluation By Your Eye Doctor To Determine If You Are A Good Candidate. This Is What You Need To Know To Prepare For The Exam And What You Should Expect:
If You Wear Contact Lenses, It Is A Good Idea To Stop Wearing Them Before Your Baseline Evaluation And Switch To Wearing Your Glasses Full-Time. Contact Lenses Change The Shape Of Your Cornea For Up To Several Weeks After You Have Stopped Using Them Depending On The Type Of Contact Lenses You Wear. Not Leaving Your Contact Lenses Out Long Enough For Your Cornea To Assume Its Natural Shape Before Surgery Can Have Negative Consequences. These Consequences Include Inaccurate Measurements And A Poor Surgical Plan, Resulting In Poor Vision After Surgery. These Measurements, Which Determine How Much Corneal Tissue To Remove, May Need To Be Repeated At Least A Week After Your Initial Evaluation And Before Surgery To Make Sure They Have Not Changed, Especially If You Wear RGP Or Hard Lenses. If You Wear:
- Soft Contact Lenses, You Should Stop Wearing Them For 2 Weeks Before Your Initial Evaluation.
- Toric Soft Lenses Or Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses, You Should Stop Wearing Them For At Least 3 Weeks Before Your Initial Evaluation.
- Hard Lenses, You Should Stop Wearing Them For At Least 4 Weeks Before Your Initial Evaluation.
You Should Tell Your Doctor : -
- About Your Past And Present Medical And Eye Conditions
- About All The Medications You Are Taking, Including Over-The-Counter Medications And Any Medications You May Be Allergic To
Your Doctor Should Perform A Thorough Eye Exam And Discuss : -
- Whether You Are A Good Candidate
- What The Risks, Benefits, And Alternatives Of The Surgery Are
- What You Should Expect Before, During, And After Surgery
- What Your Responsibilities Will Be Before, During, And After Surgery
You Should Have The Opportunity To Ask Your Doctor Questions During This Discussion. Give Yourself Plenty Of Time To Think About The Risk/Benefit Discussion, To Review Any Informational Literature Provided By Your Doctor, And To Have Any Additional Questions Answered By Your Doctor Before Deciding To Go Through With Surgery And Before Signing The Informed Consent Form.
You Should Not Feel Pressured By Your Doctor, Family, Friends, Or Anyone Else To Make A Decision About Having Surgery. Carefully Consider The Pros And Cons.
The Day Before Surgery, You Should Stop Using:
During SurgeryThe Surgery Should Take Less Than 30 Minutes. You Will Lie On Your Back In A Reclining Chair In An Exam Room Containing The Laser System. The Laser System Includes A Large Machine With A Microscope Attached To It And A Computer Screen.
A Numbing Drop Will Be Placed In Your Eye, The Area Around Your Eye Will Be Cleaned, And An Instrument Called A Lid Speculum Will Be Used To Hold Your Eyelids Open. A Ring Will Be Placed On Your Eye And Very High Pressures Will Be Applied To Create Suction To The Cornea. Your Vision Will Dim While The Suction Ring Is On And You May Feel The Pressure And Experience Some Discomfort During This Part Of The Procedure. The Microkeratome, A Cutting Instrument, Is Attached To The Suction Ring. Your Doctor Will Use The Blade Of The Microkeratome To Cut A Flap In Your Cornea.
The Microkeratome And The Suction Ring Are Then Removed. You Will Be Able To See, But You Will Experience Fluctuating Degrees Of Blurred Vision During The Rest Of The Procedure. The Doctor Will Then Lift The Flap And Fold It Back On Its Hinge, And Dry The Exposed Tissue.
The Laser Will Be Positioned Over Your Eye And You Will Be Asked To Stare At A Light. This Is Not The Laser Used To Remove Tissue From The Cornea. This Light Is To Help You Keep Your Eye Fixed On One Spot Once The Laser Comes On. NOTE: If You Cannot Stare At A Fixed Object For At Least 60 Seconds, You May Not Be A Good Candidate For This Surgery.
When Your Eye Is In The Correct Position, Your Doctor Will Start The Laser. At This Point In The Surgery, You May Become Aware Of New Sounds And Smells. The Pulse Of The Laser Makes A Ticking Sound. As The Laser Removes Corneal Tissue, Some People Have Reported A Smell Similar To Burning Hair. A Computer Controls The Amount Of Laser Energy Delivered To Your Eye. Before The Start Of Surgery, Your Doctor Will Have Programmed The Computer To Vaporize A Particular Amount Of Tissue Based On The Measurements Taken At Your Initial Evaluation. After The Pulses Of Laser Energy Vaporize The Corneal Tissue, The Flap Is Put Back Into Position.
After LASIK Laser Eye SurgeryYou Should See Your Doctor Within The First 24 To 48 Hours After Surgery And At Regular Intervals After That For At Least The First Six Months. At The First Postoperative Visit, Your Doctor Will Remove The Eye Shield, Test Your Vision, And Examine Your Eye. Your Doctor May Give You One Or More Types Of Eye Drops To Take At Home To Help Prevent Infection And/Or Inflammation. You May Also Be Advised To Use Artificial Tears To Help Lubricate The Eye. Do Not Resume Wearing A Contact Lens In The Operated Eye, Even If Your Vision Is Blurry. What To Expect After Surgery
You Should Wait One To Three Days Following Surgery Before Beginning Any Non-Contact Sports, Depending On The Amount Of Activity Required, How You Feel, And Your Doctor's Instructions.
To Help Prevent Infection, You May Need To Wait For Up To Two Weeks After Surgery Or Until Your Doctor Advises You Otherwise Before Using Lotions, Creams, Or Make-Up Around The Eye. Your Doctor May Advise You To Continue Scrubbing Your Eyelashes For A Period Of Time After Surgery. You Should Also Avoid Swimming And Using Hot Tubs Or Whirlpools For 1-2 Months.
Strenuous Contact Sports Such As Boxing, Football, Karate, Etc. Should Not Be Attempted For At Least Four Weeks After Surgery. It Is Important To Protect Your Eyes From Anything That Might Get In Them And From Being Hit Or Bumped.
During The First Few Months After Surgery, Your Vision May Fluctuate.
- It May Take Up To Three To Six Months For Your Vision To Stabilize After Surgery.
- Glare, Haloes, Difficulty Driving At Night, And Other Visual Symptoms May Also Persist During This Stabilization Period. If Further Correction Or Enhancement Is Necessary, You Should Wait Until Your Eye Measurements Are Consistent For Two Consecutive Visits At Least 3 Months Apart Before Re-Operation.
- It Is Important To Realize That Although Distance Vision May Improve After Re-Operation, It Is Unlikely That Other Visual Symptoms Such As Glare Or Haloes Will Improve.
- It Is Also Important To Note That No Laser Company Has Presented Enough Evidence For The FDA To Make Conclusions About The Safety Or Effectiveness Of Enhancement Surgery.
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