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The Internet and advertisements can cause a great deal of confusion for those who are seeking LASIK eye surgery information. Prospective laser eye surgery patients who want to learn as much about the procedure as possible might be frustrated when they find conflicting information online or advertisements which tout one procedure as superior to others. This frustration stems from a belief that none of these sources can be trusted fully.
Fortunately for these prospective laser eye surgery patients, there is one well known website they can rely on for accurate and unbiased information on the subject of LASIK eye surgery. This website is the Food and Drug Administration website. Here readers will find a wealth of accurate information which is presented in a straightforward manner without an attempt to make one procedure look superior to another.
Is LASIK surgery right for you? Ask yourself these questions to find out.
-Are you healthy and have no medical conditions that should interfere with healing?
-Are you ready to have your nearsightedness, astigmatism or farsightedness corrected?
-Are you ready for a minimal recovery time? Generally less than 24 hours.
-Are you ready for any refractive errors to be corrected?
-Are you ready to participate in outdoor activities or sports without worrying about your glasses or contacts?
-Are you ready to eliminate the expense that comes with contact lenses or glasses?
-Are you ready for any potential side effects or complications that may come with LASIK?
If you answered yes to these questions, you may be the right candidate for LASIK. Please consult with a laser eye surgeon for more information.
If you have dry eyes, a condition that is typical of women in their 40s, you may have heard that those tear-less eyes will keep you from having LASIK. It's true that doctors are wary of LASIK vision correction if your eyes burn, sting, make excessive tears, or reject contacts. Dry eye syndrome may hold your vision back from the results you hope to achieve.
If you already know you have dry eye syndrome, talk to your LASIK doctor before considering LASIK eye surgery. Worsening of dry eye syndrome is one of the LASIK risks.
Your ophthalmologist can test you for dry eye syndrome if you're not sure you have it, or if you think it's been cured with eyedrops. Dry-eye syndrome is never cured, and can be worsened by wearing contacts, for example.
Ask your LASIK surgeon to perform the Schirmer test, in which a special paper placed inside your eyelids for five minutes measures your tear production. A result of 10 mm of moisture on the filter paper in five minutes is normal.
According to Medline, the Schirmer test may not identify dry eye syndrome in some patients, so ask for two of the more advanced tests:
* fluorescein eye drops during the slit-lamp test
* a test for lactoferrin--low production of lactoferrin is linked to dry-eye syndrome.
If you have dry-eye syndrome, it may be a sign of lupus or other autoimmune disorders that would not make you a good candidate for LASIK.
A caveat: Some surgeons have performed LASIK on patients with dry-eye syndrome. Bear in mind that should your surgeon approve you for LASIK vision correction, you will probably need artificial tears to relieve your condition.
LASIK eye surgery is not recommended for most children and teenagers, no matter what their eye problems. Most reputable surgeons will not perform LASIK vision correction on patients who have not reached their late teens.
The reason for this is simple. The eye changes as we mature, and does not reach a stable state until our late teens or early 20s. If the LASIK surgery is performed too soon, patients run the risk of having to have more surgery when their eyes change.
Most eye doctors recommend waiting until a patient has had the same glasses or contact lens prescription for two years before considering LASIK vision correction because of the risks of correcting too soon.
LASIK treats three types of vision problems:
* Myopia (nearsightedness), which causes blurred distance vision.
* Hyperopia (farsightedness), which causes blurred vision of objects close to the eyes.
* Astigmatism, in which the cornea distorts the image.
There are some conditions which cannot be treated with LASIK eye surgery, and some people whose eyes do not make them good candidates for LASIK vision correction. If you have dry eye disease; if you are pregnant, nursing, or planning a pregnancy; or if your eye defects are extreme, a good eye surgeon may recommend another form of vision correction for you.
During the surgery, you will lie down. Your eye will be numbed with special drops, and a device called a lid speculum will be placed on your eye to keep it open.
Then a suction ring will be placed over your eye, exerting pressure to provide suction to the cornea to keep fluids from getting in the way of the surgery. You will probably feel somewhat uncomfortable during this part of the surgery.
A tiny blade called a microkeratome is affixed to the suction ring, and the surgeon will use this to cut a little flap in your cornea. Then the suction ring is removed, and the doctor pulls back the flap. Your vision will probably be blurry at this point.
The surgeon will then use the laser to perform the adjustments needed to your cornea. During this part of the procedure, you'll be asked to stare at a light. This is not the laser itself, just a way to keep your eyes from moving around while the surgeon is trying to work.
The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes. At the end, you will be given a shield to wear over your eye to protect it while the flap heals. It's important to wear this for the entire time specified so that you don't accidentally rub your eye or press against it in your sleep.
A camera has a lens -- a curved piece of glass that helps define and focus the image in front of it. Your eye has a lens, too -- a membrane called the cornea, which curves over the top of the eye and helps you focus.
If that membrane is perfectly formed, then you have 20/20 vision. For most people, though, the cornea is slightly misshapen in one direction or another, delivering images that are blurred or making it harder to focus.
In LASIK surgery, a specialized laser is used to make precise corrections to the shape of the cornea.
An absolute contraindication in LASIK means that you have a medical condition, or health related problems, that prohibits you from having LASIK eye surgery. Your surgeon should and will not perform eye surgery on you if you have an absolute contraindication for having LASIK.
The other type of contraindication is a relative one. A relative contraindication means your surgeon will need to take special measures and precautions during your surgery and your treatment. It also means your results may end up less predictable than those who receive LASIK without a relative contraindication.
A person choosing to have LASIK needs to be prepared for the following:
-You must have a complete eye exam that consists of checking for any ocular abnormalities.
-You must have had an exam that consisted of a refractive error measurement.
-Your pupil and cornea should have been measured and a map of your corneas made.
-You should have had a test to determine how your tears function.
-You should have a conversation with your laser eye surgeon about health conditions, family history, medical information, your lifestyle and what you are expecting to receive by having LASIK.
These are just some of the things to do in order to be properly prepared for LASIK. Please speak with your eye surgery center for more information in order to be completely prepared.
There are certain precautions which a patient should take before undergoing laser eye surgery to ensure the best possible outcome. The most important part of the preparation for laser eye surgery should begin with adequate research to select a highly qualified surgeon to perform the chosen procedure. Once this has been accomplished, the patient can often rely on the surgeon to provide information on how the patient can prepare for the surgery.
One example of these types of preparations include, ceasing to wear contact lenses prior to the surgery. This is important because wearing contact lenses can distort the shape of the eye temporarily. Therefore soft contact lenses should not be worn for two weeks prior to the procedure, rigid gas permeable lenses should not be worn for three weeks prior to the procedure and hard lenses should not be worn for four weeks prior to the procedure.
Other laser eye surgery preparations include removing makeup and ceasing to use lotions. Patients should also make arrangements to have a friend or family member pick them up from the surgery facility as the patient will not be able to drive a vehicle immediately after surgery. In addition, patients should also follow any restrictions imposed by your surgeon.
There are three main types of LASIK procedures available for patients, each with its own benefits and indications, as well as contraindications. These three procedures are known as PRK, LASEK and Epi-LASIK. PRK is a procedure which involved scraping surface cells off the cornea and using a laser to reshape the cornea and correct abnormalities which cause visual problems. LASEK surgery is very similar to LASIK with one important difference. This difference is the thickness of the corneal flap which is cut. During LASEK a finer blade is used to reduce the thickness of the blade. Epi-LASIK is also very similar to traditional LASIK, but again the corneal flap is much thinner than the flap cut during traditional LASIK.
Before committing to undergo a laser surgery to correct your vision, it is very important to carefully consider a great deal of information pertaining to whether or not you are an ideal candidate, the benefits of the procedure, the risks of the procedure, finding the best surgeon and understanding the different options available. All of this LASIK information should be important in the decision making process because without this information the patient cannot make the best possible decision.
Laser in-situ keratomileusis is the procedure commonly referred to as LASIK. Simply stated, LASIK surgery is a procedure to correct a patient's vision by reshaping the cornea. During the procedure a flap is cut in the cornea and an infrared laser is used to reshape the cornea to correct any abnormalities which may have a negative impact on the patient's vision. This explanation explains the basics of the procedure, but anyone seriously considering undergoing this procedure should do adequate research to ensure they fully understand all of their treatment options, as well as the risks involved.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|