If we select our patients carefully, following well-established guidelines, and perform LASIK correctly with well-maintained, proper equipment, LASIK IS pretty much magic. The magic is that within 24 hours after LASIK 95+% of properly selected patients can see to perform their daily activities without glasses or contacts.
Lasers are being introduced into cataract surgery. However, the Laser does not remove the cataract. The Laser is used to make the incisions in the eye and the lens, and to soften the lens prior to removal from the eye. This offers some precision to the cataract procedure, but it has not been shown to improve the outcome or safety of cataract surgery. And it comes at an additional cost of $1000-$1500 per eye. This cost is an out-of-pocket expense to the patient, not covered by any health insurance plans. For more information visit common cataract questions.
The minute we’re born, we begin to slowly lose elasticity of the lens of the eye, and the ability to focus our eyes at near. By age 35, we’ve lost 75% of our focusing and by age 50, we’ve lost 95%. About age 43ish, we typically start to need reading glasses or bifocals. If, after age 43, we LASIK or PRK both your eyes for distance vision, you’ll need reading glasses to see at near, such as your phone. Monovision is a highly recommended option. If you’ve had monvision in your contact lenses, you’ll easily transition. If you’ve never experienced monovision before, it takes some adjustment. Monovision patients are typically seeing at distance and near without correction within days for LASIK and within 1-2 weeks with PRK. It make take 3-6 months, however, before monofit patients become comfortable with monovision so that they no longer are aware they are doing it. However, if they didn’t monofit, they’d be acutely aware of the need for reading glasses for the rest of their lives.
It seems like putting in eye drops should be simple, but it really isn’t. Studies have shown that over 50% of patients do not use their drops correctly. The most common error is touching the tip of the dropper to the eye and contaminating the contents of the bottle with bacteria. Don’t do that! The second error is using too many drops. The eye only holds 1/10 of a drop so if you put one drop in the eye correctly, and then blink or close your eye, 90% of the drop will be squeezed out of the eye and run down your face. That’s normal. When the drop runs down your face don’t assume you missed and that you should put in more drops. The third error is using too many drops, The eye only holds less than one drop so don’t put in 2, or 10, drops. You’re just wasting the extra drops. The last error is not following the correct instructions for the daily schedule for the drops. For example if the drugs are prescribed to be used four times a day, over 50% of people forget at least one of those drops each day and 10% use the drop more than four times a day.
Not everybody is a candidate for LASIK but you may be a candidate for PRK. If you were told that you are not a candidate for LASIK, consider getting a second evaluation by me, or any other Ophthalmologist that performs Laser Vision Correction, to see if you have surgical options to safely correct your eyes. It surprises me how often I see patients that were told that they are not a canddate for LASIK and were never presented the option of PRK.
I recently saw a very intelligent 40 year old woman for a second opinion. She had undergone LASIK at a local “Laser Vision Center”. She required two additional retreatments to enhance her vision. She was still unhappy with the quality of her vision and wanted to know what options were still available for her. I asked her if she had discussed the situation with her Laser Vision Surgeon. She said she had not. I asked her who her Laser Vision Surgeon was. She did not know his name. This is not highest quality Laser Vision Care. I can’t stress the point enough: Select a Laser Vision Surgeon who will be available to you, and who will tell you her/his name!
- Technology used
- Surgeon experience
- Wavefront availability
- Surgical facilities used
- Surgical equipment used
- Candidacy screening