Dry Eyes and LASIK

Dry eyes are one of the most common LASIK complications, affecting nearly 50% of all patients who undergo laser vision correction. Fortunately, this condition is temporary in most LASIK patients and will gradually subside within 6-12 months after surgery. However, a small percentage of patients experience long term dry eye issues which may impact them for the rest of their lives.

Patients who suffer from dry eyes after LASIK fail to produce a sufficient amount of tears to keep their eyes properly lubricated. This is commonly caused by nerve damage to the cornea during laser vision correction. When the corneal flap is created allowing your eye surgeon to reshape your cornea during LASIK, there is a chance the corneal nerves responsible for tear production can be cut, resulting in dry eyes.

Common symptoms of dry eyes include:

  • Scratch or sandy feeling in your eyes
  • Stringy discharge from the eyes
  • Heaviness of the eyelids
  • Stinging or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Blurred, changing, or decreased vision
  • Periods of excess tearing followed by extended periods of a dry sensation
  • Pain and redness in the eyes

Because dry eyes are such a common LASIK complication, patients who suffer from dry eye syndrome prior to surgery may not be suitable candidates for LASIK. During your consultation, your LASIK surgeon should discuss these risks with you in detail before recommending the ideal procedure to achieve your refractive surgery goals.

Please contact eyes.com today to find an experienced LASIK surgeon in your area.

Lifestyle Factors and LASIK Candidacy

There are many factors which may impact whether you are an ideal candidate for LASIK. While many of these factors are medically related and deal with issues such as the health of your eyes or the thickness of your corneas, there are also several factors that specifically deal with your lifestyle.

Your level of activity may impact your ability to heal after LASIK. People who engage in contact sports may be ruled out as a candidate for LASIK since these sports increase your risk of an eye injury following LASIK. However, if you are willing to refrain from participating in contact sports while your eyes heal, you may still be able to undergo the procedure.

LASIK can make activities such as swimming, scuba diving, or water skiing much more enjoyable, but you will need to avoid water sports for one to two weeks after LASIK to prevent the development of infection while you heal.

High altitude sports such as skiing or mountain climbing may also impact your LASIK candidacy. High altitudes tend to increase your risk of dry eyes, a common complication following LASIK. In order to reduce your risk of dry eyes, you will want to refrain from these activities while your eyes heal.

It is important to discuss these and other lifestyle choices with your LASIK surgeon during your initial consultation to ensure you are a proper candidate for the procedure.

Please contact eyes.com today to find an experienced LASIK surgeon near you.

Giants Star Sandoval Latest Pro Athlete to Undergo LASIK

Popular San Francisco Giants player Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval recently joined the growing list of professional athletes to undergo LASIK surgery.

According to a Dec. 1 post on the Extra Baggs blog of the San Jose Mercury News, the hard-hitting third baseman underwent LASIK to correct 20/40 vision in his left eye. Sandoval hit .330 in 2009, his first full season in the major leagues, but his batting average dropped to .268 in 2010.

Although he tried using various contacts and prescription goggles over the 2010 and 2011 seasons, his vision remained an issue.

“He was relying on one eye,” said Sandoval’s agent, Ryan Morgan, in the Dec. 1 Extra Baggs post. “I think it would be wrong not to admit there’s a correlation there. It’s a combination of not picking up the ball as well and how that can play into your confidence.”

Morgan added that Sandoval’s vision had not been retested since the LASIK procedure, but that Sandoval believed his sight was improved.

Sandoval is the latest in a long list of pro athletes to choose laser vision correction surgery to correct a vision problem. Brian McCann, the All-Star catcher for the Atlanta Braves, has had LASIK, as have Miami Heat teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Other noteworthy athletes to undergo LASIK include golfer Tiger Woods, former Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux, former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton.

If you would like to learn more about LASIK, please contact eyes.com to locate an ophthalmologist near you.

Am I a Candidate for LASIK?

LASIK surgery can be a life-changing experience, ridding you of the hassles of glasses and contacts once and for all. While many people experiencing nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism are suitable candidates for LASIK, the procedure is not for everyone. At your initial consultation, your LASIK surgeon should conduct a thorough examination to ensure that you are in fact an ideal candidate. Undergoing LASIK if you are not a good candidate may increase your risk of complications.

In general, ideal LASIK candidates:

  • Are over the age of 18
  • Have had stable vision for at least a year
  • Have no eye injuries for the past year
  • Have no corneal scarring
  • Do not suffer from dry eye syndrome
  • Are not pregnant or nursing
  • Have no autoimmune disease which may impact healing
  • Have healthy corneas and at least average corneal thickness
  • Have average pupil size
  • Have realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure

If you regularly participate in contact sports, you should inform your LASIK surgeon since this may increase your risk of eye injury following LASIK. While playing contact sports does not necessarily rule you out as a candidate, it should definitely be a consideration when deciding whether you want to move forward with the procedure.

If you are not an ideal candidate for LASIK, ask your eye surgeon if you would benefit from an alternative vision correction procedure such as PRK, LASEK, CK, or Epi-LASIK.

Please contact eyes.com today to find a LASIK surgeon near you.

Choosing a LASIK Surgeon

LASIK is one of the safest surgical procedures available. However, the skill and experience of your LASIK surgeon will dramatically impact your results. In order to ensure that your procedure goes smoothly and provides you with the vision correction results you desire, you should invest some time in researching potential surgeons.

While the Internet, Yellow Pages, and TV or radio advertisements are a great way to start your search, these means should not be your main criteria for choosing a LASIK surgeon. Having a flashy website does not necessarily ensure that the surgeon has the skills and experience necessary to deliver the exceptional results you deserve. Instead, it is best to ask others whom you trust for referrals. You can ask your regular eye doctor or friends and family members who have undergone LASIK for recommendations.

It is also important not to base your decision on price. Many LASIK surgeons frequently advertise discounted rates for LASIK procedures; however, you will most likely get what you pay for. The best results are usually achieved using the most advanced techniques and technology, and this costs money. You are investing in your vision. Price should not really be a determining factor. If you cannot afford the best LASIK technology, then this might not be the right time to undergo the procedure.

At the initial consultation, make sure you ask your potential LASIK surgeon about his experience. You should always work with a surgeon who has performed hundreds of similar procedures on patients with similar refractive errors. You should also make sure to ask your potential surgeon about the technology he uses to ensure you are receiving the most advanced methods.

Ultimately, you must feel comfortable with your LASIK surgeon. If after your consultation you do not feel comfortable, keep searching.

Please contact eyes.com today to find an experienced LASIK surgeon in your area.

Welcome to the Schulze Eye & Surgery Center blog; a source of regular information for our practice in Savannah, Georgia, with our satellite office in Bluffton, SC, adjacent to Hilton Head Island. What distinguishes our practice is our commitment to excellence in surgical and medical eyecare, unlike other practices that are in the business of selling glasses and contact lenses.

It has been said that if your only tool is a hammer, all of your problems will look like nails. Corporate LASIK chains, for instance, offer essentially only one product to their patient: LASIK, when in fact LASIK may not be appropriate for everyone. Here is where our practice is unique in many respects. Not only do we offer LASIK for appropriate candidates, we also offer PRK, the ICL (implantable contact lenses), refractive lens exchange, and, of course, cataract surgery with the latest technology, including multifocal implants. In other words, we can offer you the appropriate technology for your individual situation, having at our disposal all of the surgical tools in our state of the art surgery center. Whether you are young or old, our approach to improving your vision will be customized with the most appropriate technology to you.

Check back to this location in the future for more updates and detailed information about our practice, the Schulze Eye & Surgery Center, and the technology we offer.