What to Expect from the LASIK Recovery Process

LASIK eye surgery involves a very short recovery period, which is one of its major benefits for patients. Knowing what to expect during this recovery period can help you ensure a smooth healing process. During the first couple of nights, your LASIK surgeon may require you to wear a protective eye shield while you sleep. You should also be provided with antibiotic eyedrops to guard your eyes against the chance of infection.

Since you will be extra-sensitive to light for the next few days, keep dark glasses around and wear them as often as possible. Try not to read, use a computer, or watch TV for the first 24 hours after LASIK, since this can cause eye strain that interferes with your eyes’ healing process. You can expect to feel a slight gritty sensation in your eyes; this is normal. Whatever you do, don’t rub your eyes, since this can cause the corneal flap to dislodge before it has a chance to heal properly.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind while you are recovering from LASIK:

  • Don’t shower for the first 24 hours after LASIK; instead, take a bath.
  • During the first week, avoid getting water in your eyes from washing your face or showering.
  • Avoid eye makeup.
  • Don’t drink any alcohol for at least 48 hours after your procedure.

If you have more questions about LASIK, please contact an experienced ophthalmologist in your area today to schedule an initial consultation.

Strabismus Surgery

When you think of crossed eyes, or strabismus, you may think of children you knew who were afflicted with this condition. It’s still somewhat common to see children wearing thick glasses with one eye slightly “off,” or walking around with a patch over their eye as part of vision therapy. However, some patients with strabismus may need eye surgery to correct the problem. Still, there are some adults who may believe they are beyond treatment.

Many adults with strabismus worry about their condition, and may carry around psychological damage from being made fun of it as a child – or even as an adult. What these adults need to understand, and should be told by their eye doctors, is that their condition can be corrected. Strabismus is more than just an aesthetic matter; it’s often a matter of eye health. Correction can eliminate eye strain, depth perception issues, and double vision, giving adults with crossed eyes a better quality of life, depending on the extremity of their condition.

Surgery for Crossed Eyes

Restoring vision can be accomplished through operating on the muscles that control movement of the eyes. Because strabismus may be the result of eye muscles that are too strong or too weak, there are various surgical procedures your ophthalmologist can perform to give balance to your eyes. Realigning or reattaching muscles in a different area using sutures is often the best way to correct strabismus.

Eye redness and soreness are part of the post-surgery recovery. Within two to three weeks after your strabismus surgery, the redness should fade. However, you will notice proper alignment of your eyes within the first few days. You should know within six weeks if the alignment is permanent or if you will need to undergo another surgery. Young children often need more than one surgery for crossed eyes.

If you would like more information about strabismus surgery, please contact eyes.com to find an experienced eye doctor in your area today.

Are You a Candidate for PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)?

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is a laser vision correction procedure that can effectively treat myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. PRK achieves vision correction in the same basic way that LASIK does, with one significant difference: PRK does not create a corneal flap. Instead, PRK removes the entire surface layer of your eye (the epithelium) using in order to reshape the stoma layer beneath it. After PRK surgery, the epithelium layer will regenerate and heal on its own.

Because of this, PRK is a good option for patients who have corneas that are too thin for LASIK flap creation. The ideal PRK candidate should:

  • Have good ocular health
  • Be 18+ years old
  • Have a year or more of stable eye examinations
  • Not be pregnant (or planning a pregnancy in the near future)

Since the epithelium layer is entirely removed during PRK treatment, your recovery period will last longer than the healing period for LASIK, but PRK is capable of achieving the same quality of results. Anesthetic eyedrops are used to keep you comfortable during the procedure, and you will be provided with post-surgical eyedrops to help manage any lingering discomfort. Unlike LASIK, there is no need for a blade to be used on your eye.

If you have further questions about the PRK procedure, please contact an experienced eye surgeon in your area today to schedule an initial consultation.

Outlines and Light can be Seen by Two Blind Men after Eye Implants

In a UK clinical trial, two men who had experienced blindness for many years regained “useful vision” after receiving retinal implants, according to the Guardian. The eye implant is a tiny chip inserted in the retina.

Both men experienced progressive vision loss from retinitis pigmentosa (RP). RP is an inherited eye disease involving a damaged retina. Other eye conditions that may lead to vision loss include:

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy

The chip does not restore vision as most people see it, but both men said they could detect the outlines of certain objects and could see light, an exciting advancement for blindness treatment. In the article, one of the men reportedly said he dreamed in color, something he said he hadn’t experienced for 25 years.

The chip is connected to a power supply, which is implanted behind the ear. The chip contains 1,500 electronic elements that detect light. These light-sensing elements essentially replace the damaged cells in the retina. When light enters the eye, the chip turns the light into electrical pulses, which travel up the optic nerve to the brain, where the electrical information is interpreted as an image.

According to the Guardian, this retinal chip has been in clinical trials for six years.

To learn more about blindness and possible treatments for vision loss, please find an eye doctor in your area.

PRK Safer than LASIK for Retreating Radial Keratotomy

For those who need radial keratotomy (RK) re-treatments, it has been reported by the RK Re-treatment Study that PRK is safer than LASIK.

The RK Re-treatment Study group, led by ophthalmologists, looked at 221 procedures over a 12 year period between 1997 and 2010 from six different US surgical centers. All but three LASIK procedures were done conventionally, while two-thirds of the PRK procedures were conventional. The other one-third were wavefront-guided custom PRK. (Wavefront-treatment did not become popular until around 2005.) Refractive errors between PRK and LASIK patients were roughly the same.

Three to six months after eye surgery, both conventional LASIK and wavefront-guided PRK showed better at keeping best-corrected visual acuity in patients than was conventional PRK. Nearly 80% of all patients showed better than 20/40 vision after eye surgery.

However, for patients who needed to be retreated, there were complications in 12% of the custom LASIK patients, while only 4% of PRK patients had complications. Complications included ectasia in the LASIK group, which required penetrating keratoplasty. Two patients in the PRK group required both eyes needing phototherapeutic keratectomy due to “postoperative haze.” Retreatment gave these patients 20/20 and 20/25 vision respectively.

The RK Re-treatment Study recommends further evaluation in this area of laser vision correction. This may be especially important due to the increasing number of people seeking vision correction surgery.

If you are interested in finding out more about PRK or LASIK, please find a doctor in your area through eyes.com today.

Am I Too Old for LASIK Eye Surgery?

Although people over the age of 40 are more prone to developing eye disorders and diseases, your age alone does not necessarily disqualify you from LASIK eye surgery. Your ophthalmologist will evaluate several different factors about your medical history and the overall health of your eyes in order to determine whether or not you are a good LASIK candidate. Some older patients who aren’t good candidates for LASIK may be excellent candidates for other types of Laser Vision Correction.

If you are an older patient who is considering Laser Vision Correction, it is important to understand that full correction may not be possible. Eventually, most people over 40 years old will run into presbyopia – a problem where the lenses of the eyes harden and cannot focus on near objects anymore. This makes it necessary for you to use of bifocals, trifocals, or reading glasses. Since presbyopia is not a corneal condition, LASIK cannot correct it.

Because of this, older patients usually have two options with LASIK eye surgery:

  • Correcting one eye for distance, and one eye for near vision (monovision)
  • Correcting both eyes for distance (patient will still need reading glasses for near vision)

If you have further questions about LASIK eye surgery for older patients, contact an experienced ophthalmologist in your area today.

Is LASIK Safer Than Contacts?

Many people are drawn to the benefits of LASIK eye surgery, but fearful of its potential complications. However, when the risks of LASIK are compared to the risks of contact lenses, LASIK actually comes out on top as the safer option.

Oxygen is essential in order for your eyes to function properly. Unfortunately, daily contact wear prevents your eyes from naturally receiving oxygen from the air around you. This can lead to problems like irritation, redness, and “ghost vessels” – blood vessels that appear in your eyes in order to re-route oxygen from other areas of your body.

Additionally, the risk of infection from wearing contact lenses is far greater than the risk of infection after LASIK surgery. Even a careful cleaning routine might not wholly prevent infection from contact lenses. In the past few years, many different contact lens solutions have been recalled for providing a higher risk of infection, or else for simply being ineffective.

If you are considering LASIK eye surgery, schedule a consultation with an experienced ophthalmologist in your area today to find out if you are a candidate.

LASIK and Corneal Scars

A corneal scar is an injury to your eye’s cornea. Having a corneal scar doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from LASIK eye surgery, but certain types of scars can have a negative effect on the results of surgery. You ophthalmologist should carefully examine your corneal scar to consider the following factors:

  • The depth of the scar – If your scar is superficial, it is possible to remove it during LASIK surgery. A deeper scar can be reduced and improved with a different laser treatment (such as PRK), but it still might not be completely eliminated.
  • The location of the scar – Unless your scar is close to the center of your eye, you are probably still a candidate for LASIK. However, if it is too close to your visual axis and has an effect on your vision, your ophthalmologist may recommend an alternative laser treatment.
  • The cause of the scar – If the scar was the result of an infection, the exact type of infection may affect your LASIK candidacy. For example, if viral keratitis caused your scar, there is a slight risk that LASIK surgery would re-activate the virus.

LASIK surgery should only be performed on patients who are ideal candidates. In some situations, corneal scars can be reduced or eliminated by Laser Vision Correction. But if your ophthalmologist believes your corneal scar would pose an undue risk, he or she can work with you to find an alternative solution.

If you would like more information about LASIK and scarred eyes, contact an experienced LASIK eye surgeon in your area today.

When Will Night Vision Problems Fade After LASIK?

Temporary night vision problems are a common side effect of LASIK. The most common night vision issues that patients experience include:

  • Halos
  • Starbursts
  • Glare

These symptoms are the result of the intense dryness that can occur in your eyes after LASIK surgery. Your LASIK surgeon should evaluate your eyes beforehand to gauge their current moisture levels and estimate how severe the problem might be after surgery. For the vast majority of patients, dry eyes can be easily controlled through the use of artificial tears and other common therapies.

The amount of time that it takes for your night vision symptoms to fade generally depends on how your quickly your eyes heal. This can vary from patient to patient. For some, night vision problems only last a couple of weeks. Others may struggle with halos and glare for months. Your LASIK surgeon will closely follow up with you to ensure your condition is controlled and any unusual symptoms are treated appropriately. If your symptoms do not go away after six months, it may be necessary to undergo a LASIK follow-up treatment.

Thankfully, modern LASIK technology – such as CustomVue WaveFront technology – has significantly reduced the frequency and severity of dry eyes and night vision problems after LASIK. An estimated 85% of patients who undergo CustomVue WaveFront LASIK experience much less glare at night once their eyes have healed from LASIK.

For more information about LASIK and night vision, contact an experienced ophthalmologist in your area.