March 12, 2010

10 Facts You Need to Know About Lasik

By Staff in Categories: LASIK


Interesting article

 

It seems no matter where you go ads for LASIK vision correction surgery are everywhere. How safe is LASIK? Can it really help you throw away your glasses forever? Here are 10 important facts you should know about LASIK before scheduling your initial eye examination:

1. You must have a thorough eye exam first.

LASIK is a profit center for some eye surgeons. It is possible to have LASIK surgery without so much as a basic eye exam. It’s crucial to have a comprehensive eye exam with a board certified ophthalmologist before allowing anyone to perform any type of LASIK procedure on your eyes.

2. LASIK is not right for everyone.

A good outcome is important to you and your surgeon. But a number of conditions may make you an unsuitable candidate for LASIK, and the only way to determine this is with a thorough examination. Some conditions that may keep you from having LASIK surgery include:

· Thin corneas

· Large pupil diameter

· Pregnancy

· Under 18

· Autoimmune disorders and other diseases

· Certain medications

3. Not all vision problems can be treated with LASIK.

LASIK does treat a number of vision problems, but if your vision problem is not caused by irregularities in your cornea shape, LASIK cannot treat it. LASIK can treat:

· Astigmatism (blurred vision)

· Nearsightedness (myopia)

· Farsightedness (hyperopia)

4. Presbyopia is not treatable with LASIK.

Presbyopia is not the same as farsightedness. Presbyopia is age related, and occurs when the eye’s lens loses flexibility, beginning at around age 40. Presbyopia usually requires reading glasses at first, but can also affects distance vision as the lens continues to harden and the eye muscles weaken. However, presbyopia has nothing to do with the shape of the cornea, and is therefore not treatable with LASIK.

5. LASIK’s excimer laser uses cool ultraviolet light.

The cool beam of ultraviolet light used in LASIK surgery cannot damage your eyesight with heat. The excimer laser literally vaporizes small pieces of your corneal tissue at a microscopic depth. During this process, any heat given off by the laser dissipates. Eye surgeons call this process ‘photoablation’.

6. Wavefront guided LASIK is more accurate than traditional LASIK

The excimer laser is incredibly precise, using a beam of light no larger than 0.5% of a human hair. Wavefront guided LASIK is even more precise than LASIK. Wavefront guided LASIK sends a beam of light into the eyes, then reflects the light back to the Wavefront system. Detailed information about the irregularities of your corneas are captured and a 3-D map is created on the doctor’s computer monitor, translated into mathematical formulas used to guide the surgeon in using the laser to correct your problem.

7. LASIK is virtually painless.

Before your eye surgeon begins your LASIK procedure, he or she will use anesthetizing eye drops to numb your eyes. He may also suggest Valium to help you relax during the procedure. Some patients are squeamish about the notion of their eyes being touched, and some have concerns about the laser being shone into their eyes. Your eye surgeon can explain why these fears are unfounded.

However, the entire procedure lasts less than 20 minutes, and you should feel no pain afterwards, but may notice a scratchy sensation that can last up to three days.

8. You can return to normal activities with caution

For a week after your surgery, you can probably return to work, but may have restrictions, including:

· No heavy lifting

· No swimming (showering is fine)

· No eye makeup

· No contact sports

You’ll also be required to wear an eye shield when sleeping to prevent you from unconsciously rubbing your eyes or putting pressure on your eyes.

9. 20/20 vision is not guaranteed

One of the misconceptions about LASIK is that it is guaranteed to give you perfect 20/20 vision. Many do achieve this, but there is no guarantee. Additionally, age-related vision issues such as presbyopia cannot be treated or affected by LASIK, so reading glasses will probably be required at some point even for those who undergo LASIK.

10. Follow Your Doctor’s Instruction to the Letter

Be sure you fully understand your doctor’s outlined postoperative eye-drop routine. These medications are crucial to corneal healing, and the final results of your LASIK procedure rely heavily on using your eye drops as directed.You’re your surgeon about post-surgical limitations on your activity, to be sure you don’t participate in any activity that could harm your healing eyes.

Want to know more about what LASIK can do for you? Please contact Dr. Murad Sunalp in Tulare, CA, a board certified ophthamologist who has performed thousands of LASIK procedures.

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