Is LASIK eye surgery right for you?
Is LASIK eye surgery right for you?
PORTSMOUTH — Millions of people with impaired vision have left glasses and contact lenses behind, opting instead for LASIK surgery.
LASIK is an abbreviation for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. It is a form of eye surgery in which ophthalmologists treat vision disorders by shaping the inner cornea with a laser. The cornea plays a large role in the eye’s focusing power.
“I’ve had patients who are new parents and are nervous to not be able to jump and run to their child in the night without first reaching for glasses,” said Dr. Sarah Hudson, an optometrist and owner of Harbor Eyecare Center in Portsmouth. Others who opt for LASIK, she said, include those “who work in dry dusty environments, where contact lenses haven’t been comfortable but glasses get in the way, first responders who may have a need to be on the ready at any moment and want to be sure their vision is easy and always clear.”
Dr. Hudson said clear vision without the need for contact lenses or prescription glasses can be appealing to a range of people for a variety of reasons, including individuals who are frustrated by glasses and cannot wear contact lenses due environmental irritants and allergies.
“Traditional LASIK is effective for correcting most cases of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism,” said Holly Venetos, director for the Clear Advantage Vision Correction Center.
“Astigmatism means that the cornea is oval like a football instead of spherical like a basketball,” Venetos explained. “Most astigmatic corneas have two curves – a steeper curve and a flatter curve.
Because of the cornea’s curvature, light rays are obstructed from meeting at one common focus and images are inaccurately perceived from a distance or close-up.
Astigmatism is usually a package deal with either nearsightedness or farsightedness, both of which involve a distortion in the focusing of light rays by the eye. Nearsighted is a term used to describe when an individual’s eyes are incapable of seeing things at a distance with acuity. On the other hand, people who are farsighted lack visual acuity when things are closer to the eyes.
“About 85 percent of patients who are deemed a candidate for LASIK will move forward with the procedure,” Venetos stated.
There are some requirements for people seeking LASIK eye surgery, Venetos said. Patients should be 18 years of age or older, they should have a stable eyeglass and/or contact lens prescription, and they should not be pregnant or nursing.
It is important that individuals “do not have a known collagen vascular, autoimmune, or immune-deficiency disease or have a history of Herpes Simplex or Herpes Zoster involving your eyes,” Venetos said in an email.
Additionally, candidates should not have uncontrolled diabetes or keratoconus and they should not presently be on medications, such as steroids or immunosuppressants, due to their ability to slow or impede the healing process.
“Many of the advancements with LASIK in the US happened in 2001 when the FDA approved custom LASIK,” Venetos said.
She went on to describe custom LASIK, which encompasses unique treatment to specific vision errors in each eye. Since the FDA approved the usage of this advancement in eye surgery, LASIK has become available to a wider variety of patients.
“Custom LASIK is ideal for patients with larger prescriptions, large pupils or a significant amount of astigmatism. Custom LASIK patients note improved driving ability at night with reduced or eliminated glare and halos - higher order aberrations,” Venetos said.
A traditional LASIK candidate would be on one end of the spectrum, with a smaller prescription and with minor astigmatism. Furthermore, the traditional surgery would not improve higher order anomalies. Custom LASIK has expanded the opportunity for vision correction to a larger crowd.
Clear Advantage Vision Correction Center in Portsmouth was the first center in Northern New England to offer bladeless LASIK. The ophthalmologist works with a Bladefree DaVinci femtosecond laser to provide a safe, speedy, and precise vision correction procedure.
LASIK has a host of benefits. One surgery lasts a lifetime, allowing for greater visual acuity and less of a need for prescription. However, LASIK comes at a cost. It is considered an elective procedure, meaning insurance will not cover the expense. Discounts may be available depending on a patient’s insurance.
“This varies with procedure type but commonly it is around $4,000 total cost,” Dr. Hudson said.
The pricing of LASIK from Clear Advantage includes the procedure itself in addition to all follow-up care. It is possible for patients to utilize their current optometrist for follow-up care as an alternative. Bladeless traditional LASIK is $4,390 for both eyes. Bladeless advanced or custom LASIK is $5,390 for both eyes.
“It is estimated that over 7 million people have had LASIK surgery,” Venetos said.
LASIK surgery takes approximately 10 minutes. Immediately after the procedure, patients can leave the center glasses-free and return to normal activities the next day.
“The time at the surgery center includes preparation and directions on post operative care,” Dr. Hudson said.
It is important to note that, regardless of whether an individual has LASIK or not, everyone over the age of 40 will gradually develop presbyopia; the natural aging of the lens of the eye will cause the human population to eventually require reading glasses.
After LASIK surgery from Clear Advantage, patients are advised not to touch the eye area for one week and to avoid swimming for four weeks. As post operative care, Gatifloxacin and Prednisolone are prescribed four times a day for seven days. While awake, patients apply preservative free tears every half hour for the first week and every hour the following three weeks. As for follow-up appointments, each check up will last approximately five to ten minutes. These appointments are scheduled for one day, one week, one month, three months, and one year after the procedure.
Original Source: http://www.fosters.com/news/20180913/is-lasik-eye-surgery-right-for-you
Original Date: Sept 13 2018
Original Author: Bridget Peterson