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LASIK Eye Surgery: Who is a Good Candidate?

LASIK is a form of refractive surgery that corrects a patient's refractive error or prescription. This can eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.

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LASIK Eye Surgery: Who is a Good Candidate? Optometrist

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What is LASIK?

LASIK is a form of refractive surgery that corrects a patient's refractive error or prescription. Patients may be farsighted, nearsighted, have astigmatism, or a combination of these conditions. In LASIK surgery, a surgeon uses a special laser treatment to reshape the cornea, which is the front surface of the eye, in order to correct the prescription. This can eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.
We provide LASIK co-management where our optometrist will provide the pre and post operative care and guide you through the entire process including recommending a surgeon.

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Factors That Determine Whether You Are a Candidate for LASIK

Not all patients are suitable candidates for LASIK surgery. Several key factors determine whether someone is a good candidate for the procedure or not. These include:

Prescription Stability

The stability of your prescription is a key factor that determines whether you are a suitable candidate for LASIK. Our eye doctor will evaluate your prescription history and the likelihood of future changes to determine if LASIK is a suitable option for your refractive error.

Age Requirements for LASIK

Most LASIK surgeons prefer to wait until a patient is at least 20 years old before considering LASIK surgery. This is because a person's prescription may still be changing in their teenage years, and it's best to wait until the prescription has stabilized. However, some surgeons may recommend waiting longer depending on the individual patient's circumstances.

Dryness and LASIK

Dry eye is another key factor that determines whether a patient is a good candidate for LASIK surgery. Patients who experience dryness in the eyes prior to LASIK may find that their symptoms worsen after the procedure. Surgeons will evaluate a patient's dry eye symptoms before proceeding with LASIK to determine the extent of their dryness and ensure that the patient can safely undergo the procedure.

Corneal Thickness and LASIK

The thickness of your cornea is an important factor that our eye doctor will evaluate to determine whether LASIK is a suitable option. This is because the procedure involves removing a small amount of corneal tissue, and the surgeon needs to ensure that there is enough tissue to safely perform the procedure.

Corneal Diseases and LASIK

Patients with certain corneal diseases, such as keratoconus, may not be good candidates for LASIK surgery. Our eye doctor will evaluate the patient's eyes to determine if they have any such conditions

The Advantages of LASIK for Clearer Vision

The Advantages of LASIK for Clearer Vision

LASIK offers a wide range of benefits to patients who are eligible for the procedure. These include:

Improved vision

  • After LASIK surgery, many patients experience significantly improved vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
  • LASIK can correct a variety of refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
  • Patients may also experience improved peripheral vision and increased depth perception after LASIK.

Convenience

  • Wearing glasses or contacts can be cumbersome and inconvenient for some people, especially those with an active lifestyle.
  • With LASIK, patients no longer have to worry about carrying around extra accessories or taking them on and off throughout the day.
  • Many patients report feeling more confident and independent after LASIK surgery.

Cost savings

  • Although LASIK can be an expensive upfront cost, many patients find that it is more cost-effective in the long run than constantly purchasing glasses or contacts.
  • Over time, the cost of glasses and contacts can add up to thousands of dollars, while LASIK is a one-time expense.

Safety

  • LASIK is considered a safe and effective procedure when performed by an experienced and qualified surgeon.
  • Complications from LASIK are rare, but can include dry eyes, halos or glare, and over- or under-correction.
  • Patients should always choose a qualified surgeon and carefully consider their candidacy before undergoing LASIK surgery.

Better quality of life

For those who have worn glasses or contacts for most of their life, LASIK can provide a significant improvement in their quality of life. Activities such as sports or swimming can be more enjoyable without the worry of losing or damaging glasses or contacts.

Quick recovery

LASIK is a relatively quick procedure, typically taking about 15 minutes per eye. Patients can typically return to their normal activities within a few days after the procedure, with only minimal discomfort.

Long-lasting results

In most cases, the results of LASIK are permanent. While some patients may experience a slight regression in their vision over time, the vast majority of patients maintain their improved vision for many years.

Enhanced peripheral vision

LASIK can enhance your peripheral vision, which can be especially beneficial for athletes who need to be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Personalized treatment

LASIK can be customized to your individual needs, such as correcting astigmatism. Advanced technologies, such as wavefront-guided LASIK, can map the unique characteristics of your eyes and create a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to you.

What are the risks associated with LASIK?

What are the risks associated with LASIK?

Any discussion of LASIK must also discuss the potential risks associated with LASIK surgery. While LASIK is generally safe and effective, like all surgical procedures, it does come with some risk. Please note that the incidence rates provided are approximate, as they can vary based on factors such as surgical technique, patient characteristics, and follow-up duration.

Dry eyes: After LASIK, some people can experience dry eyes for several months. The symptoms can be severe in some cases. Incidence can vary, but research suggests it may occur in up to 50% of patients, though severe cases are less common.

Glare, halos and double vision: These visual disturbances may affect vision at night, and might slowly recede over time. However, they can remain permanent in rare cases. They occur in roughly 5% of cases.

Under Corrections, overcorrections, astigmatism: If the laser removes too much or too little tissue from your eye, you won't get the clearer vision you wanted. Uneven tissue removal can result in astigmatism. These issues are relatively rare and occur in less than 5% of cases.

Flap problems: The LASIK procedure involves creating a thin hinged flap on the front of your eye. Complications arising from this can affect your vision. These issues are rare, occurring in less than 1% of cases.

Regression of effect: Over time, your eyes can slowly return to the level of vision you had before surgery. This occurs in a small percentage of people.

Vision loss or changes: Rarely, you may experience loss of vision due to surgical complications. In some cases, this may not be correctable with glasses, contact lenses, or additional surgery. This is extremely rare, happening in less than 0.5% of cases.

Epithelial Ingrowth: This is when cells from the outer layer of the cornea (the epithelium) grow under the flap after LASIK surgery. This can cause discomfort, blurred vision, and other symptoms. It's rare, occurring in about 1-2% of cases.

Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis (DLK): Also known as "Sands of Sahara," this is an inflammation under the flap that can lead to vision loss if not treated promptly. It's also rare, occurring in less than 1% of cases.

Corneal Ectasia: This is a progressive thinning and bulging of the cornea, similar to a condition called keratoconus. This can result in vision loss and often requires corneal transplant to treat. This is very rare, occurring in less than 0.2% of cases.

Remember, it's always best to discuss any potential risks with our optometrist or your eye surgeon to fully understand how they might apply to you personally.

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Pre and Post Operative Care of LASIK at Amplify EyeCare Practices

Pre and Post Operative Care of LASIK at Amplify EyeCare Practices

At Amplify EyeCare, we co-manage refractive eye surgeries with our patients, guiding them before and after LASIK.

Preoperative care before LASIK typically involves a comprehensive eye exam to determine if the patient is a good candidate for LASIK. During this appointment, we will measure the corneal thickness and curvature, check for any pre-existing eye conditions, and assess the overall health of the eye.

In the days and weeks following LASIK, it is important to attend follow-up appointments with our eye doctor. These appointments help to monitor the healing process and ensure that your eyes are healing properly. We may also adjust the prescription for glasses or contacts if necessary.

What Visual Conditions Can LASIK Correct?

LASIK can correct several common visual conditions, including:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia): This occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too steep, causing distant objects to appear blurry. LASIK can reshape the cornea to improve distance vision.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia): This occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is too flat, causing close-up objects to appear blurry. LASIK can reshape the cornea to improve near vision.
  • Astigmatism: This occurs when the cornea is shaped more like a football than a basketball, causing blurred or distorted vision at any distance. LASIK can reshape the cornea to correct the irregular shape and improve vision.
  • Presbyopia: This is an age-related condition in which the eye's natural lens loses flexibility, making it difficult to focus on close-up objects. LASIK cannot correct presbyopia, but a variation of the procedure called monovision LASIK can be used to improve near vision in one eye while leaving the other eye corrected for distance vision.
The Advantages of LASIK for Clearer Vision
What are the risks associated with LASIK?

What Should You Expect During LASIK?

Here's what you can generally expect during the LASIK procedure:

Preparation: Before the procedure, your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic drops. You will then lie down on a reclining chair and a small device will be used to hold your eyelids open.

Creation of the corneal flap: A specialized laser is used to create a thin, hinged flap in the cornea. This flap is lifted to expose the underlying corneal tissue.

Reshaping the cornea: A different laser is used to remove precise amounts of corneal tissue, based on the measurements taken during your preoperative exam. This reshaping of the cornea is what corrects your vision.

Replacing the corneal flap: Once the cornea has been reshaped, the flap is carefully repositioned and smoothed back into place. It will adhere on its own without the need for stitches.

The entire LASIK procedure typically takes around 15 minutes per eye, and both eyes are usually done on the same day. After the procedure, you will need to rest for a short period before you can leave the clinic, and you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home. Your vision may be blurry or hazy for a few hours after LASIK, but most people are able to return to work and other normal activities the next day.

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Common Questions

The results of LASIK surgery are generally long-lasting. Studies have shown that more than 95% of LASIK patients achieve 20/40 vision or better, which is good enough to pass a driver's license test, and more than 85% achieve 20/20 vision or better. However, the longevity of the results can depend on various factors such as the age of the patient, the degree of vision correction required, and the progression of natural eye changes over time. Some patients may require a touch-up procedure or additional corrective eyewear after a few years.
LASIK is not typically painful, as the eye is numbed with eye drops before the procedure. Some patients may experience slight discomfort or pressure during the procedure, but this is generally mild and brief.
Some potential disadvantages of LASIK surgery include dry eye syndrome, halos or glare around lights, decreased contrast sensitivity, and regression or the return of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism over time. In rare cases, complications such as infections or vision loss can occur.
Whether LASIK is worth the risk depends on the individual's personal preferences and circumstances. LASIK can provide long-lasting vision correction without the need for glasses or contacts, which can improve quality of life for many patients. However, there are potential risks and complications, and not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure
LASIK is generally not recommended for patients under the age of 18, as their eyes are still developing and changing. Additionally, LASIK may not be worth the risk for older patients who have age-related eye conditions that could affect the success of the surgery.
There is no specific age at which LASIK is no longer recommended, as the suitability for the procedure depends on individual factors such as eye health and prescription stability. However, LASIK is generally not recommended for patients over the age of 60, as they may be more likely to have age-related eye conditions that could affect the success of the surgery.
LASIK Eye Surgery: Who is a Good Candidate?
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Summary

With improved vision, convenience, and cost savings, it's no wonder that LASIK has become such a popular choice for vision correction. If you are considering LASIK, it's important to discuss your options with our experienced optometrist. We can help you determine if LASIK is a good choice for your specific needs and circumstances, and answer any questions you may have about the procedure.

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