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Thinking of having laser eye surgery? Here’s all you need to know

Considering laser eye surgery? Lisa Salmon looks at who the procedure is suitable for, how it’s done, and what the risks and benefits are

You’re most likely to be suitable for laser eye surgery if your glasses prescription is within specific ranges
 

IF YOU’RE sick of wearing glasses or contact lenses, the only other option to achieve clear vision is laser eye surgery – a procedure now thought to account for around 75 per cent of UK surgical procedures.

Such operations, which are also known as refractive surgery or laser vision correction (LVC), correct eye problems such as short sight, long sight and astigmatism, using a laser to reshape the front of the eye, which improves the ability to focus.

It’s an increasingly popular option for people with sight problems – the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) says more than 100,000 refractive surgery procedures are performed every year in the UK.

However, surgery to correct the need for glasses or contact lenses isn’t currently available on the NHS, and it also isn’t covered by private health insurance.

Private clinics charge from £595 up to £2,175 per eye, depending on the type of procedure, so it’s a big investment that needs careful, well-informed consideration.

:: Who is laser eye surgery suitable for?

Most people aged over 18 can have laser eye surgery, as long as they’ve had a stable spectacle prescription for at least two years. Short sight typically stablises by late teens or early twenties.

Around 99 per cent of people in a large recent study published in the Review of Ophthalmology said they were satisfied with the result of their laser treatment, and for the small minority of patients with a poor outcome, revision treatment is normally effective.

You’re most likely to be suitable for laser eye surgery if your glasses prescription is in the range of :

:: Up to –10.00D of myopia or short sight

:: Up to +4.00D of hyperopia or long sight

:: Up to ±6.00D of astigmatism.

Patients may not be suitable for LVC if they have other eye conditions including cataracts, or problems with their eye surface.

:: Other surgical options

Allan explains that implant-based techniques may be more suitable for some patients.

Lens implantation techniques have two main categories: refractive lens exchange (RLE), which is identical to cataract surgery where the natural lens is replaced with a lens implant, and phakic intraocular lenses (PIOLs), where artificial lenses are implanted in front of the natural lens without replacing it. This is often used in younger patients where the spectacle prescription is outside the normal range for laser eye surgery.

:: How do you choose a clinic?

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) advises potential patients to think carefully before having refractive surgery. The RCOphth has a helpful

checklist on its website (rcophth.ac.uk) that you can use in the consultation with the refractive surgeon.

Patients are strongly advised to choose a surgeon on the General Medical Council’s specialist register in ophthalmology (gmc-uk.org), or who has the Cert LRS qualification, which can be checked via the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Also, make sure the hospital or clinic is regulated with the relevant regulator for the area of the UK it’s based in.

The clinic should be clear from the start about the total cost of the procedure. This normally includes follow-up clinic visits and treatment for any problems resulting from surgery. Additional laser treatments to fine-tune the visual result, for two years after surgery, are normally included in the initial cost.

:: What happens during the surgery?

The treatment is usually carried out on both eyes during the same visit, and takes a around 30 minutes, although the laser is applied for only a minute or two. All procedures use anaesthetic drops to keep patients comfortable, and a spring clip is used to hold the eyelids apart.

Patients will be asked to look up at a target light during the treatment to help keep the eye in the right position, and lasers are then used to remove a lens-shaped piece of tissue to reshape the cornea beneath. While the three available treatments involve slightly different methods, all have similar results.

Patients can go home on the same day as surgery, with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops to help the eyes heal.

:: Risks and side-effects

Permanent loss of vision is rare after LVC, and the main risk is that further surgery may be needed for optimum results – up to one in 10 patients require some form of additional surgery.

In the early period after surgery, patients may see glare, halos, starbursts and ghost images, but such problems usually resolve within a few months. There may also be intermittent blurring, temporary red blotches on the eyes, and dry eye symptoms, which can be treated with artificial tears, and should get better within a few months.

:: What results can you expect?

Most patients are satisfied with the outcome of surgery. Although glasses may still be needed for some activities after treatment, particularly for reading in older patients, Bruce Allan, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, says: “A reasonable expectation is to have vision at the same level as you get in soft contact lenses, but without having to wear them.

“Another way of putting it is that you should see at least as well as a normal non-spectacle wearer.”

Original Source: https://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/2018/01/17/news/thinking-of-having-laser-eye-surgery-here-s-all-you-need-to-know-1232879/

Original Author: Lisa Salmon

The Latest Laser Eye Surgery Innovation Shaking Up The Health Industry – And Anyone Can Do It

One of our most cherished senses has to be the gift of sight. For a start, you’d not be reading this article without it. But as any glasses wearer will tell you, how nice it would be to not always worry about ensuring you have two heavy rims filled with glass hanging off your face all day. Then there’s the additional concern of leaving them behind when you’ve had to take them off for whatever reason.

These were all things that haunted me as a glasses wearer. I’d only discovered I needed to wear them at the age of 26 (about four years ago) after trying on a friend’s pair of specs as a joke, and hastily realising I could see the world in HD. Really.

While I didn’t actually mind wearing my glasses all that much in terms of how they looked on me, I did find it irritating to have to keep them on my face to watch TV in the evening after wearing them all day. My nose used to ache bang on schedule around the 7pm mark, and then whenever I wanted to do exercise I’d just leave them in the gym locker room, making sure I was at the front of the exercise class so I could see everything the instructor was doing.

ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery will destroy all myths associated with the procedure

Alternatives

The only real alternative to not needing to wear glasses is contact lenses. These, for me, weren’t really an option, though, as I had tried them many times with no success. Most likely because I was quite squeamish when it came to going anywhere near my actual eye ball (something that is required more than once a day when wearing contacts, ergh) and I felt sick every time I went to put them in. My natural reaction was to flinch and move away when my finger got close to my face. As you can imagine, contacts for me were therefore not a suitable alternative to wearing glasses.

The only other option, then, was laser eye surgery. Gulp. And probably not a great idea for someone who is squeamish when it comes to the eyes.

Laser eye surgery has been around for quite some time now, and has become such a low risk and relatively easy-to-execute procedure that it can be conducted relatively quickly, and recovery is limited to around a month. However, if you look around you’ll find generally the procedure is still rather invasive. The most common practice – LASIK, or “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis” – involves having flaps cut by the laser on each eye, and the shape of the cornea altered in order to “correct” you of your bad vision. This is not an option for those that are a little delicate when it comes to touching the eye area. And for this rather gruesome-sounding reason, many glasses-wearers are put off going under the laser to rid them of their glasses for life.

And then there’s also plenty of myths surrounding the procedure that still exist from yesteryear, which doesn’t help with peoples’ perceptions, even now. As pointed out by Prof. Reinstein, here are 16 of the most common myths associated with laser eye surgery in general:

1. it’s still very new and the field is still developing so it’s worth waiting

2. It doesn’t work very well; you still need glasses after the procedure

3. It cannot correct long-sightedness

4. It cannot correct astigmatism

5. It cannot correct the need for reading glasses as you get older – Presbyopia

6. You could end up blind

7. It hurts

8. If you blink or move during the procedure it can go wrong

9. If something goes wrong there is nothing that can be done

10. It doesn’t last very long and needs redoing

11. We don’t know about the long-term safety

12. Prescription has to be stable

13. If you get a cataract later on in life, you can’t have that done anymore

14. Contact lenses are safer than laser eye surgery

15. Night vision is harmed by laser eye surgery (it can be fixed by laser eye surgery)

16. My prescription is too high to be corrected (98 percent of all prescriptions can be corrected)

And guess what. None of these are true.

Original Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/leebelltech/2018/01/25/the-latest-laser-eye-surgery-innovation-shaking-up-the-health-industry-and-anyone-can-do-it/#5d2948ed674a

Original Author: Lee Bell

Written Date: Jan 25 2018

This Is What Happens In Laser Eye Surgery

I was just having a conversation about laser eye surgery with my family and the debate on whether laser eye surgery is safe or not got heated, to say the least. Aiming lasers at the eye sounds really scary but it is a totally safe procedure. The aim of the procedure is to reshape the cornea of the eye in order to restore clarity in your vision. The aim of the procedure is to reshape the cornea of the eye in order to restore clarity in your vision.

Cathedral Eye Clinic

Laser eye surgery involves reshaping the cornea of the eye to correct for refractive errors.

The cornea of the eye is the front part of the eye which is transparent and essentially acts as a lens. The cornea as well as the lens in the eye refracts the incoming light and helps focus it onto the retina in the back of your eye. The images our eye see are actually upside down but our brain takes the image and flips them so that you interpret them as the ‘right way round’. Over time, some of us can develop visual problems and our sight can become blurred. One of the primary causes of blurred vision are refractive problems where the light isn’t focused on to the back of the eye well. This includes short and long sightedness as well as astigmatism.

One way this can be fixed is by laser eye surgery. So how does it work? The laser is focused onto the cornea to essentially heat up and evaporate the cells so that the cornea can be reshaped. The cornea has a mild lens effect which adds to the lens of the eye thus helping to correct for refractive errors.

LASIK, SMILE and surface laser treatments are the three main types of laser eye surgery:

Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a procedure that typically uses two lasers. One of the lasers is used to make a small flap in the cornea and then the other laser is used to reshape the cornea. The flap is then placed back over the cornea and left to heal without stitches. Normally an excimer laser is used which is an ultraviolet laser that uses a combination of a noble gas and reactive gas such as fluorine or chlorine (known as an excimer) as the gain medium. Noble gases do not typically react with much, however, when excited they briefly combine and emit electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet region. After this, the molecules disassociate and reabsorption of the ultraviolet rays does not occur. The pulses generated last for only a quadrillionth of a second.

Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) laser eye surgery is a type of keyhole surgery where a small, self-healing hole is made. Laser pulses from an excimer laser are used to make bubbles that are less than 1/100th the width of a human hair in the cornea. Little connecting tunnels between these bubbles are then made with the laser so that the surgeon can extract the unwanted tissue. Since no flap is made, this procedure has a shorter recovery time.

Surface laser treatments like PRK, LASEK, and TransPRK are treatments which use an excimer laser to remove the ‘skin’ of the cornea so that it can be reshaped and is then left to grow back naturally. Therefore, these treatments typically have longer recovery times. All in all, it is stated that more than 95% of people who have had laser eye surgery are happy with the results.

Original Post: https://www.forbes.com/sites/meriameberboucha/2018/01/28/this-is-what-happens-in-laser-eye-surgery/#52c9c2e549a9

Original Date: Jan 28 2018

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Study shows good results for LASIK retreatment in hyperopic eyes

LASIK retreatment based on manifest refraction in hyperopic eyes with a difference of no more than 1.00 D between cycloplegic and manifest refraction was safe, effective and predictable, according to a study.

LASIK retreatment for hyperopia is challenging, and it has not been established whether preoperative cycloplegic or manifest refraction, or a combination of the two, should be used in the laser nomogram, according to researchers. In this retrospective, multicenter study, good results were obtained in 113 eyes of 113 patients by focusing the treatment on manifest refraction.

The procedure was performed under a mechanically separated flap, using the Allegretto excimer laser platform (Wavelight). The ablation was centered on the visual axis, “which is recommended in hyperopic eyes with relatively large angle k’s,” the authors noted.

Postoperative uncorrected distance visual acuity was equivalent to preoperative corrected distance visual acuity in 85 eyes (75%). Five eyes still lost two lines after retreatment as compared with 26 eyes that lost three lines after the first treatment.

Results were within + 0.50 D of attempted correction in 81% of the eyes, but 79.3% were undercorrected by 1.0 D or more. This was statistically more common with higher preoperative spherical equivalent, of 2.50 D or more.

A significant reduction in coma, trefoil and total higher-order aberrations was obtained. Results were stable, and no eye had flap complications or vision-threatening complications.

“We recommend cautioning the patient about lower predictability and suggest basing the arithmetic mean calculated from the preoperative manifest and cycloplegic spherical equivalent if the preoperative difference between cycloplegic and manifest refraction (manifest-cycloplegic difference) is 1.00 D or more,” the authors wrote.

According to the authors, “hyperopic LASIK must be held to the same standards as myopic LASIK,” and further studies are needed to better understand the role of cycloplegic refraction in the LASIK treatment for hyperopia, thus improving the refractive outcomes. – by Michela Cimberle

Disclosure: The authors reported no relevant financial disclosures.

Perspective

Jorge L. Alió

The predictability of hyperopic LASIK and its retreatments has been a subject of controversy for a long time, and this study specifically addresses the outcomes of those cases in which the discrepancy between cycloplegic and manifest refraction is less than 1.0 D.

The authors confirm that refractive regression exists in these patients, which leads to a decrease in predictability. This increases along the magnitude spherical equivalent to treat. The authors identify that the patients with cycloplegic and manifest refraction up to 1.0 D are the best group for this type of LASIK surgery.

Within the limits of hyperopic correction defined in this paper, hyperopic LASIK is safe and predictable, and these outcomes improve with reoperation.

It may be important to note that hyperopic LASIK was performed in this study with the Allegretto Wavelight 250 Hz laser platform (Alcon) and mechanical flap separation with the SBK microkeratome with 90µ head (Moria).

Original Source: https://www.healio.com/optometry/refractive-surgery/news/online/%7Ba421112b-593b-4ed5-b49b-0bbda5ca72cc%7D/study-shows-good-results-for-lasik-retreatment-in-hyperopic-eyes

Original Date: Jan 2 2018

 

Do not let glaucoma stealthily steal your sight

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause vision loss and even blindness, but it can come on so gradually ...

Eye Wikipedia

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause vision loss and even blindness, but it can come on so gradually that many people do not notice until some vision loss has occurred. Studies have shown, however, that the early detection and treatment of glaucoma before it causes major vision loss is the best way to control the disease. For those who fall into one of the high-risk groups outlined below, the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, recommends an examination for glaucoma every two years.

During the month of January, which has been designated National Glaucoma Awareness Month, the Medical Society of the State of New York joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology and other concerned medical organizations in encouraging awareness of glaucoma risk factors. They urge those at risk to be tested.

In the normal human eye, clear fluid flows in and out of a small space in the front of the eye to bathe and nourish nearby tissues. In open-angle glaucoma, for reasons still unknown, the fluid drains out too slowly, and pressure builds up, damaging the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. Open-angle glaucoma is by far the most common form of glaucoma and the main topic of this article. Other forms of glaucoma may be caused by blockages, defects, eye structure or complications of other diseases. Glaucoma might develop in one or both eyes.

Who is at risk?

In its early stages, there are no warning signs or symptoms—no noticeable vision loss, no pain. As the disease progresses, however, people with glaucoma may notice their side vision gradually failing; they can still see objects to the front, but not to the side. As the disease worsens, the field of vision narrows, and over time even straight-ahead vision may decrease until all vision is gone. Vision loss caused by glaucoma can never be restored, but further vision loss can be slowed.

Although anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at higher risk

African-Americans older than age 40

Everyone older than age 60

People with a family history of glaucoma

A comprehensive eye exam can reveal more risk factors, such as increased pressure in the eye, thinness of the cornea and abnormal optic nerve anatomy. The exam might include several tests, but glaucoma is most often found during an eye examination when the pupils are dilated. Drops are placed in each eye to widen or dilate the pupils, and a special magnifying lens is used to examine the eye and the optic nerve for signs of damage and other eye problems. After the exam, close-up vision may be blurry for several hours.

Eye tests require specialized skills and equipment. To obtain a referral to an ophthalmologist, a physician specializing in eye care, contact the local county medical society.

The goal is control

Although the most common form of glaucoma cannot be cured, it can usually be controlled. The National Eye Institute lists these common forms of treatment.

Medications in the form of drops or pills can reduce the pressure on the eye by slowing the flow of fluid or by improving drainage flow. For most people with glaucoma, regular use of medications will control the increased fluid pressure, but these drugs might stop working over time, or they might cause side effects. If a problem occurs, the dose can be adjusted, or other drugs or other forms of treatment tried.

Laser surgery uses a strong beam of light to produce a series of small changes that make it easier for fluid to leave the eye. Over time, however, the effect of laser surgery might wear off. Patients who have laser surgery might also need to take drugs for glaucoma.

Surgery can also help fluid escape from the eye, although this method of treatment is usually reserved for patients whose pressure cannot be controlled with eye drops, pills or laser surgery. Sometimes a combination of surgery and medication is recommended.

Original Source: http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2018/jan/04/do-not-let-glaucoma-stealthily-steal-your-sight/

Original Date: 1/4/18

LASIK Surgery Now Extremely Effective for Astigmatism

“I can’t say how many times I have been told by patients that they would love to have LASIK if only it weren’t for their astigmatism. I’m always happy to let them know this simply isn’t true,” stated Marc S. Werner, M.D.

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. December 27, 2017

There are many urban legends surrounding LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) or laser eye surgery, and the experienced doctors at Stahl Eyecare Experts on Long Island and New York City have heard them all. One of the most common myths about LASIK is that people who have astigmatism cannot have the procedure, and must wear glasses or contact lens for their whole lives.

“I can’t say how many times I have been told by patients that they would love to have LASIK if only it weren’t for their astigmatism. I’m always happy to let them know this simply isn’t true,” stated Marc S. Werner, M.D. at Stahl. “LASIK is now extremely effective for 99.5 percent of those with astigmatism. In fact, those who have LASIK to correct astigmatism often have a better quality of vision after surgery than before with glasses or contacts.”

The doctors at Stahl are truly experts in the field of LASIK – they have performed more than 50,000 procedures throughout Long Island and in the five boroughs of New York City, and Stahl Eyecare Experts has been on the cutting edge of ophthalmology for more than 50 years.

“The LASIK procedure only takes about five minutes to complete and is the safest of all surgeries performed in the world,” said Thierry Hufnagel, M.D., one of Stahl’s board-certified eye physicians and an instructor in IntraLase™ bladeless LASIK surgical technique.

The IntraLase™ method delivers outstanding results and has been shown to improve outcomes for more patients. Stahl Eyecare Experts was the first private vision eye center in New York to offer patients the iFS™ Femtosecond laser system, a technological breakthrough for the IntraLase™ method of performing LASIK surgery. With All-Laser iLASIK performed at Stahl Eyecare Experts, no metal blade is used, offering a premium level of safety and accuracy, making it even better for those with astigmatism. Thanks to iLASIK, most people who meet the general age and health requirements are candidates, and iLASIK has earned FDA approval to treat the broadest range of vision imperfections including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Original Source: http://dailytelescope.com/pr/lasik-surgery-now-extremely-effective-for-astigmatism/37711

Original Date: Dec 27 2017

Original Author: Brad Bennett

Dr. Oz: Cataract surgery and the elderly

In this Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 photo, a volunteer examines the eye of a patient prior to her cataract surgery at a military hospital in Padang Sidempuan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Indonesians flocked to the hospital for free cataract surgery performed by a team led by Nepalese master surgeon Dr. Sanduk Ruit who is renowned for his high-volume assembly-line approach. During the eight-day eye camps held in two towns in North Sumatra, more than 1,400 cataracts were removed. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

Q: My 87-year-old mother has a cataract in one eye and is developing another in the other. Her doctor says she should have surgery, but at her age, I’m worried about the operation. What’s your advice? — Edie C., Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

A: If her overall health is good, the surgery should not only improve her quality of life, but could extend it, as well. A new study based on data from the Women’s Health Initiative found that cataract surgery was “associated with decreased risk for all-cause mortality.” “All cause” means everything from cardiovascular disease to cancer.

The team of researchers, assembled at UCLA and including docs from across the U.S., recently published their findings in JAMA Ophthalmology. They looked at more than 20 years of data that included 74,000 women 65 and older, 40,000 of whom had cataracts.

The scientists found that seeing an ophthalmologist and maintaining your vision (cataract surgery) was associated with better cognitive function and a longer life. One obvious reason is that an older person’s risk of falling is greatly reduced with improved vision. Falls are the leading cause of death among people 65 and older, accounting for around 9,500 deaths annually. Also, when you can see better, you’re happier, more active, more able to read, play games and interact with the world — all fuel for keeping the body healthy and the brain sharp.

So for your mom, the next step is to find a good eye surgeon. We suggest getting referrals from her doctor and friends who have had the procedure done; then talk to the surgeons. Ask about their complication rate. Even though the procedure has an overall success rate above 98 percent, there are risks. In the U.S., the lifetime risk of a detached retina as a complication is about 1 percent. That number rises to about 2 percent if there is some cloudiness on the lens post-surgery that’s cleaned up with YAG laser capsulotomy. But chances are Mom will sail through with flying colors — that she’ll be able to see!

Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Dr. Mike Roizen is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen at youdocsdaily@sharecare.com.

Original Source: http://newsok.com/dr.-oz-cataract-surgery-and-the-elderly/article/5576815

Local woman’s eyesight saved by laser surgery

Clair (left) and Mary

A Carnoustie woman’s sight has been saved by laser surgery following a retinal tear.

Mary Heywood visited Specsavers in Arbroath as soon as she began to experience flashes and floaters in her vision. An exam revealed Mary had a condition called posterior vitreous detachment in one eye.

She was advised to contact the shop immediately if her symptoms worsened.

A few days later, her symptoms deteriorated, so principal optometrist Clair Donaldson saw her that same day and discovered a retinal tear had developed.

She said: ‘Thankfully, Mrs Heywood followed our advice and did the right thing by arranging another exam.

“If she didn’t have it checked out, there is a high chance she would have developed a retinal detachment and suffered permanent vision loss.”

Mary said she was immediately referred to the Hospital Eye Service at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee where she had laser treatment.

She said: “Shortly afterwards, I developed the same symptoms in my other eye and returned to the hospital for further laser treatment. Both were successful.”

Mary has shared her experience because she wants to warn others not to be complacent about their vision and to “book an appointment if you experience anything out of the ordinary”.

Original Post: https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/local-womans-eyesight-saved-laser-surgery/

Original Date:

Original Author: Reporter

 

New laser surgery to get blue eyes emerging

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — People who want to turn their eye colors blue permanently now have a chance as a U.S. medical company has promoted a new laser surgery to achieve the change.

Stroma Medical, a U.S. company based in southern California, has helped at least 37 patients to change their eye color from brown to blue with a laser surgery in around 20 seconds, according to an online report posted on Tuesday.

The laser works to eliminate the brown melanin — the pigment which dyes hair and skin — from the surface of the iris.

Without the brown melanin, when light consequently enters and scatters in the stroma — the little fibers look like bicycle spokes in light-colored eyes, blue eyes appear.

In an earlier interview with CNN, the company’s representative Dr. Gregg Homer said the laser is so weak that the eyes won’t bear injuries from it. Nevertheless, the medical industry and ophthalmologists still raised concerns about the irreversibility of the surgery.

Though the surgery currently stands at a price as high as approximate 5,000 U.S. dollars, many netizens asked for more information on the company’s facebook. Some are eager to see the technology released in London and Mexico.

However, the new laser is in clinical trials, Stroma Medical said in their most recent reply on Facebook on Nov. 3.

So far, the company’s website has been hung up. It said a new website will be launched soon.

Early reports said the new technology is yet to gain approval from U.S. regulatory bodies.

It seems that blue eye seekers have to wait longer until the new laser is more advanced and gains wider acceptance.

Original Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-11/23/c_136774001.htm

Original Date: 11/23/17

Original Author: pengying

Laser Eye Surgery: All you need to know!

Deciding to get laser eye surgery can often be a huge decision, not helped by some common myths surrounding the process and the potential side effects.

But, regaining your sight can also be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do, so we thought we’d bust those myths (and horror stories!) and find out what really happens if you opt for surgery.

Mr David Allamby is a specialist laser eye surgeon and founder of London’s Focus Clinic.

He’s not only one of the most respected vision experts in the world, but he’s also treated a host of celebrities, including model David Gandy, Olympian Victoria Pendleton, TV host Laura Whitmore and Love Island’s Scott Thomas.

Here, he lifts the lid on everything you ever needed to know about surgery to correct vision:

How does it work?

The most popular form of laser eye surgery is called LASIK – aka ‘laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis’. It works by changing the curvature of the cornea, the transparent, curved window at the front of the eye. Something called an ‘excimer laser’ evaporates a really thin layer of collagen within the upper layers of the cornea and surgically reshapes the overall dome.

This means light entering at the front of the eye comes to a clear focus on the retina at the back of the eye, ensuring you can see clearly. And several studies have shown that once the shape of the cornea is adjusted, the change is ‘permanent’.

Will I ever need to wear contacts / glasses ever again?

It’s a common myth that surgery will ‘wear off,’ but your surgery for short-sightedness should last many, many years or indeed for your lifetime. The same applies for correcting astigmatism.

Long-sightedness and the need for reading glasses are age-related problems, and so re-treatment may be needed in the future.

At our clinic, we give short-sighted patients a ten-year guarantee on their laser surgery – ten times longer than other clinics.

So, in the extremely rare circumstance that you require re-treatment in the first 10 years post-treatment, the cost of the repeat surgery is free!

Might I need to wear reading glasses?

As we age, the lenses in our eyes lose some of the elasticity that lets them focus on objects up-close. This is just part and parcel of growing old and known as ‘presbyopia’, and is the reason why many people aged 40 and over will need reading glasses.

But there are solutions.

We offer two techniques that can help patients already suffering from presbyopia—the ‘LASIK Blended Vision’ procedure, or alternatively Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). The choice will depend on your age and prescription.

Also, contrary to common misconceptions, if you’re under 40, LASIK surgery will NOT cause you to need reading glasses prematurely.

How long does the procedure take? 

The laser aspect of the surgery lasts for just a few minutes per eye and takes around 10 minutes in total.

The rest of the time—your appointment will last for about 90 minutes—simply involves the surgeon carrying out a series of checks to ensure complete accuracy.

After surgery, you’ll spend about twenty minutes in a patient recovery room, essentially relaxing while eating tea and biscuits!

How long is recovery time / will I need much time off work? 

With LASIK, most patients have a little discomfort immediately after surgery, as your eyes need a few hours to heal.

You’ll also need someone to drive you home or help with a taxi, too, and you should rest up for the remainder of the day. If in London, you mustn’t use the tube on the way home, to avoid dust or dirt being blown into your face.

Your eyes might also feel a little dry and scratchy, though this won’t last long and eye drops can relieve the symptoms.

You’ll have a follow-up appointment at the clinic the following morning after surgery, and most people are then able to return to work immediately afterwards.

Do I have to stop wearing contact lenses pre-surgery?

Contact lenses can alter the shape of your corneal surface, so it’s important you take them out long enough for your cornea to return to its natural shape before surgery.

Typically, if you wear regular soft contact lenses or extended wear lenses, you’ll need to take them out a week before surgery.

But if you wear Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, and have been doing so for some time, you might need to go without contacts for 4-8 weeks before coming in for your treatment.

It’s also fine to switch to soft lenses for most of this time if you’d rather not wear glasses for that long.

How long will it take after the surgery for me to be able to see?

Most patients who have LASIK will have good vision straight after surgery. However, in some cases, it can take up to 24 hours for your 20/20 (or better) vision to come into effect.

It’s also important to remember that laser eye surgery doesn’t hurt. Most patients don’t find it an uncomfortable procedure, more strange and rather ‘sci-fi’!

How do they stop your eyes from blinking during the surgery?

During surgery, your eyes are gently held open by a device which makes sure you can’t blink.

You’re given anaesthetic drops so that you don’t get any pain, and it’ll feel like you’re blinking normally, even though your eyelids aren’t opening and closing. The muscle to blink still twitches, but the lids don’t close.

Some people worry that if they move—or sneeze!—it will affect the results. But it’s impossible to do so. During the time the laser is running, sophisticated tracking technology rapidly analyses the position of the eye to make sure it’s always in exactly the right position.

And this all takes place faster than you can physically move your eyes anyway. All you have to do is look at the flashing green light directly in front of you and your surgeon will do the rest.

What happens if something goes wrong?

As with everything, when you’re choosing a surgeon you need to think carefully and check their results. You should ask questions like, “What percentage of patients get 20/20 vision after surgery?”

Be aware that the main risk in laser eye surgery is a surgeon who selects and treats people who aren’t actually good candidates for surgery in the first place.

You should choose a specialist surgeon who works in a lower volume setting, and who can, therefore, take the time to properly assess and treat you.

As with any surgery, there are potential risks, but treatments are available for almost all complications that affect your vision.

Serious complications with LASIK are actually very rare if the patient is well selected.

The chance of having a significant complication affecting your vision (in one eye or the other) from LASIK is around 1 in 10,000. The risk of infection is even less, at 1 in 20,000.

What precautions do I need to take following the surgery? 

It’s bad news if you like swimming or hot showers—we recommend avoiding getting water in your eyes for the first 48 hours after surgery and you should keep away from saunas and steam rooms for around two weeks.

You should also skip sporting activities for the first week after treatment, which will give your eyes time to heal properly. As for flying, you can take short-haul flights the next day after surgery and you can travel long-haul around a week after treatment.

Original Source: https://www.new-magazine.co.uk/celebrity-news/1242621/laser-eye-surgery-all-you-need-to-know

Original Author: Georgia Farquharson

Original Date: November 29, 2017