A Cure for Near Sightedness – Radial Keratotomy

Radial keratotomy (RK) is a refractive surgical procedure employed to correct myopia or nearsightedness. Radial Keratotomy came into existence by accident rather than through meticulous research. The procedure was discovered by Dr. Svyatoslav Fyodorov when he operated one of his patients who had met with a bicycle accident. The boy wore eyeglasses, which broke on impact, and the glass splinters lodged into his eyes. The doctor had to make several radial incisions in the corneal tissue in order to extract the glass. When the cornea healed, the doctor found that the boy’s eyesight was significantly improved.

In radial keratotomy (RK), a series of micro-fine incisions are made in the outer portion of the cornea with the aid of a high-precision calibrated diamond knife. The surgeon administers a local anesthetic, since the incisions are superficial and the procedure is fairly painless. The corneal thickness of the patient’s eye is measured prior to the surgery. Before the incisions are made, the diamond-edged cutting instrument is precisely set under the operating microscope. Thus by flattening the curvature of the cornea in such a manner, RK can easily correct myopia or nearsightedness.

Radial keratotomy was first introduced in the United States in the 1980s. Initially it was much of an investigational procedure, with doctors operating only one eye at a time and waiting for at least 3 months to observe the results, before operating on the other eye. But the surgeons gained experience over time and now they could well operate both eyes simultaneously. Now, radial keratotomy is a minor surgery that takes about 15 to 20 minutes for each eye.

Radial keratotomy is constantly improving, owing much to the rapid advances in technology, and the fact that a number of such procedures have already been performed successfully. However, RK is not as precise as LASIK and PRK. Since, RK is less predictable, only a few surgeons now perform this procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ About LASIK Laser Eye Surgery

LASIK is a well-renowned refractive surgery procedure, and hence often takes center stage in a lot many discussions pertinent to refractive surgery. A technology so advanced as that wielded by LASIK often boggles the mind. Patients planning to undergo LASIK surgery will have several questions requiring elaborate answers. It is imperative that all lurking doubts be elucidated on prior to going in for surgery. Following is a brief list of frequently asked questions about LASIK.

How do I know if I am a viable candidate for LASIK? – The best way to determine your candidature is to have a comprehensive preoperative examination, which discovers any condition that might preclude LASIK. In general, you must be above 18, having healthy eyes with low to moderate refractive error (for best results), and should not be suffering from any eye ailments. Moreover, pregnant or nursing women are advised to postpone LASIK surgery until after there prescription stabilizes.

How long does the procedure last? – LASIK is a fairly expedited procedure. The whole process is over within half an hour or less.

Does LASIK hurt? – LASIK involves virtually no pain. The surgeon typically administers anesthetic eye drops and a mild sedative prior to the surgery.

Can I drive back home after the surgery? – No. It is advised that you arrange for someone to drive you back home, since your vision would be blurry immediately after the surgery.

Are the effects of LASIK eye surgery permanent? – Yes. LASIK is an irreversible procedure. It might take around 3 to 6 months for the complications, if any, to subside and the vision to stabilize. Following this period, the physical effects of the treatment are permanent. However, age related vision problems might alter the visual acuity.

Will I require eyeglasses after LASIK surgery? – In general, LASIK eliminates a person’s dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses. Though a rarity, a few people might need a minimal prescription for certain activities. Anyway, reading glasses are typically necessary beyond the age of 40, when presbyopia sets in. This is when the eye lens loses its accommodation power.

What is the frequency of follow up visits after surgery? – The surgeon would normally examine you on the day following surgery. After that, there should be regular checkups spanning a period of around 3 to 6 months – a time period enough for the visual results to completely set in. Basically, the recovery should be meticulously monitored over a substantial period of time.

If you find a LASIK doctor that you are confident with, you will be able to get more information about LASIK laser eye surgery.

Is LASIK Laser Eye Surgery Painful?

LASIK is by far the most prevalent and safest refractive surgery procedure. It has been employed to treat a host of visual anomalies. Since it’s a surgery, people often harbor a false belief that LASIK is a painful procedure. In fact, LASIK is a relatively painless technique, and what the patient experiences during and after the surgery can be categorized as mild discomfort rather than pain.

LASIK is performed with the patient awake and mobile, and this certainly corroborates that the operation is relatively painless. The surgeon typically administers a mild sedative (for instance Valium) and anesthetic eye drops. LASIK involves creation of a flap of corneal tissue. This hinged flap may be created with a microkeratome (a surgical blade) or a femtosecond laser. During this initial step of flap formation, the patient may experience a little bit of pressure on the eye.

In the following step, the flap is folded back to reveal the middle section of the cornea, in order to make way for precise ablation by the excimer laser. Then the flap is repositioned to allow natural healing. Upon completion of the surgery, the patient may experience discomfort, scratchiness and irritation, akin to the sensation of wearing an uncomfortable contact lens. Such irritable sensation can be soothed with the aid of eye drops, and it normally wears off within a few hours after surgery.

Since the laser ablation is performed the middle section of the cornea and under the LASIK flap, the cornea does not register the fact that it has been surgically operated. As the wound response is subdued, the patient experiences speedy visual recovery and almost no pain.

However, as with any surgery, LASIK has associated complications that may force the patient to bear greater discomfort after surgery. A few of such nagging complications include dry eyes, visual acuity fluctuation, halos or starbursts around light sources at night, double vision, light sensitivity, and several flap related problems.

All in all, LASIK is a safe and efficacious procedure, which is virtually painless. Though the patient may experience mild discomfort due to potential complications, the complication rate itself is quite meager. If presented with the question of whether LASIK hurts or not, I would certainly say that it’s a painless procedure.

Finding a LASIK surgeon that you are confident about will be able to give you more information about laser eye surgery.

LASIK Vision Correction – Throw Away Those Eyeglasses and Enjoy Life to the Fullest

LASIK is the one of the most prevalent corrective eye surgery procedures, chosen by many to alleviate their vision troubles. It’s rightly said that the eyes are the most precious of the five senses, and it’s imperative that we keep them in good health. However, no matter how hard you strive to keep your eyes healthy, vision defects may creep up all the same. Thankfully, LASIK is an efficient procedure to cure all your vision problems.

LASIK is a superlative eye corrective surgery that has state of the art technology and equipment at its disposal. It employs a high-precision laser to achieve precise and much expected results. LASIK vision correction is a simple procedure where the corneal tissue is carved to accomplish desired refraction and improved vision acuity. LASIK vision correction is a mere 20-30 minute chore. A single surgery is normally enough to restore clear vision. Though rare, some patients might have to go through surgical enhancements.

In general, LASIK provides clear vision almost instantly. Many patients experience a significant improvement right after the surgery. However, a few patients may have blurry vision for a day or two, which certainly wears off as soon as the cornea is completely healed. Patients might have to take a few precautions as prescribed by the eye surgeon. This certainly aids in a speedy recovery.

It is recommended that you carry out a basic research when choosing an eye surgeon to perform LASIK vision correction for you. Any type of vision defect should not be ignored. It is essential that you do the needful to correct your vision anomaly. Do bear in mind that LASIK is a superlative option for the same. It is just a matter of making an informed decision and carrying it out.

LASIK vision correction once used to be a procedure that could be accessed by a select few people. However, owing to a lot many finance options, LASIK is now accessible to almost everyone. Therefore, it’s time to throw away those eyeglasses and enjoy life to the fullest through LASIK vision correction.

Night Vision Problems Caused By LASIK Eye Surgery

According to research studies conducted in recent years, several patients who underwent LASIK reported problems seeing at night. The induced night vision defects included halos, starbursts and glare around brightly lit objects at night. These night vision problems signify deterioration in quality rather than quantity of vision. Though these night vision problems are typically transient and wear off in a few days, in some patients, the symptoms might persist long after the eye heals.

LASIK is a refractive surgery technique that involves reshaping of the cornea via precise ablation. Night vision problems are known to be caused by the irregularity between the untouched part of the cornea and the reshaped part. It is a known fact that the pupil dilates in darkness and contracts when faced with bright light. However, it is impractical to perform LASIK such that it covers the expansion of the pupil at full dilation at night.

Daytime post-LASIK vision is optimal, since the pupil is smaller than the LASIK flap. But at night, the pupil may expand such that light passes through the edge of the LASIK flap into the pupil. This is what gives birth to night vision anomalies.

Studies have also shown that the possibility of night vision problems increases in patients who have undergone some sort of enhancement LASIK surgery. It might be the case that the desired refraction is not accomplished in the foremost surgery, and hence, patients typically require enhancement surgeries. These patients are generally less happy with the outcome than those patients who have had LASIK surgery only once in life. Moreover, patients who have flatter corneas at the outset are more likely to suffer from starbursts and other night vision problems after surgery.

LASIK technology has advanced over time and the surgeons have gained loads of experience in the pertinent field. As a result, the number of patients reporting night vision problems has dropped significantly. Expert surgeons carry out a comprehensive preoperative examination to determine if the patient has large sized pupils. They make use of advanced contemporary equipment to accomplish the same, and therefore, rule out the possibility of long-term night vision defects.

Finding a LASIK surgery that you are confident about will be able to give you more information about night vision problems.

Wavefront – Better Than Conventional LASIK Eye Surgery?

Traditional LASIK surgery achieves a simple correction of focusing power by reshaping the cornea with the aid of a laser. Wavefront LASIK is a variation of that conventional procedure and accomplishes a spatially varying correction based on readings from a wavefront sensor. In essence, a wavefront sensor measures the eye itself. It detects any aberrations by directing a weak laser source into the eye, and by sampling and processing the reflection off the retina.

Wavefront measurements reveal the irregularities of the lens, which cause optical aberrations (any deviation from a desired perfect planar wavefront). Wavefront custom sculpts the cornea to accomplish corrected vision. In many ways, Wavefront offers better results than traditional LASIK. The procedure is carried out by an ophthalmologist, with the aid of sophisticated computer-controlled equipment.

LASIK has certain potential side effects including halos or glare, which are caused due to induced spherical aberration. Wavefront has helped reduce instances of such cases where patients complain of post-operative halos or glares. A drop in such complaints is owing to the precise measurements provided by the wavefront sensor.

Thus Wavefront can help achieve a more optically perfect eye, since the corneal tissue area to be carved is measured more precisely using advanced technology and tools. But, wavefront aberrations are not the sole cause for all types of vision impairments. Therefore, Wavefront LASIK should not be treated as a panacea for all kinds of vision defects. However, eye surgeons claim that a great deal of success has been accomplished in patient satisfaction, relative to earlier refractive surgery procedures.

Though wavefront technology has been used for years by astronomers who require adjusting their telescope optics, its application to human vision has been discovered only recently. It’s true that Wavefront is a superior procedure, but it’s certainly not required by or suitable for everyone. It is imperative that you go through an elaborate wavefront diagnostic to determine if you are a potential candidate for it.

What Are Your Chances Of 20-20 Vision After LASIK Eye Surgery?

You might have come across eye centers touting outrageous offers of “20/20 vision or your money back”. The whole concept of 20/20 vision has been ballyhooed immensely when it comes to laser eye surgery. In essence, the value 20/20 refers to a way of measuring visual acuity via the Snellen eye chart – the same old alphabet chart that you might have seen at a nearby eye care center. As an instance of Snellen measurement, people with 20/40 vision can see clearly at 20 feet what people with 20/20 vision can see clearly at 40 feet.

With the latest technological advancements in laser eye surgery, the conventional LASIK procedure has been augmented with superlative techniques like wavefront LASIK, and its add-on, iris registration. With such enhancements there is an even greater chance of 20/20 vision relative to that with conventional LASIK. By wielding wavefront technology there is a great, around 95%, chance of 20/20 vision. However, with the iris registration technology, the possibility of 20/20 vision skyrockets to an overwhelming 99%.

20/20 vision is what you aim for while undergoing any type of refractive surgery – it’s used as a benchmark. However, some people hold a somewhat dissenting opinion about 20/20 vision, as far as laser eye surgery is concerned. The argument put forth is that visual quality matters more than visual acuity. As is evident from a number of cases, laser eye surgeries, for instance LASIK, have potential complications. A patient might experience blurry vision, halos, ghost vision or double vision, glare, and starbursts surrounding light sources at night.

Normal vision is crisp and sharp. But after laser eye surgery, a person might have to deal with debilitating side effects, which typically diminish vision quality. Though the patient might still be able to decipher a 20/20 line on the Snellen chart, the vision might be blurry. Unless the complications subside, eye surgeons’ famous promise of 20/20 vision is merely a myth.

In general, the degree of refractive error and the pupil size are the only criteria while determining the candidature of a patient for laser eye surgery. Most patients are not tested on other grounds, such as contrast sensitivity, glare and depth perception. The data pertinent to such aspects is fairly anecdotal. A comprehensive preoperative test regime is necessary for achieving authentic 20/20 vision (with enhanced vision quality) after laser eye surgery.

If you find a LASIK surgery that you are confident with, you will be able to get more information about 20/20 vision.

What Is Laser Eye Surgery And How Can It Help You?

Laser eye surgery is the most prevalent corrective eye surgery. Scads of people have undergone laser eye surgery with a high success rate, often resulting in a significant improvement in vision. Laser eye surgery wields superlative technology and provides excellent results more often than not. Peruse this article to have a clear understanding of how this fabulous technology could help you.

The corneal tissue plays a major role in providing you crystal clear vision. Basically, light rays are refracted (bent) by the cornea so that they fall on the retina (a layer of light-sensing cells). In a patient with a refractive error, these light rays don’t exactly converge on the retina, and hence the patient’s view is rather blurry. Depending on how the rays are refracted, a person may suffer from nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Now, laser eye surgery aims to correct this error by carving the corneal tissue with the aid of a high-precision laser, the Excimer. After reshaping the cornea, the light rays fall on the retina and the patient can again experience crystal clear vision.

Laser eye surgery is the preferred choice for correcting several types of vision impairments. Since the surgery has gained popularity, you could easily find an experienced laser eye surgeon in your vicinity.

Laser eye surgery, like any other surgical procedure, does have its complications. However, unlike other surgeries, laser eye surgery has a minimal complication rate – a mere 5%. Therefore, laser eye surgery is a relatively safe and technologically advanced procedure.

Laser eye surgery does have a few side effects, such as eye irritation, under-correction, over-correction, and other minor complications. These normally wear off within a few weeks, and crystal clear vision is restored. Although rare, a few patients might require enhancement surgeries to accomplish accurate vision. All in all, laser eye surgery presents itself as a safe procedure, and is the choice of many.

After all, who wouldn’t want to throw away those awkward looking spectacles?

When Should You Consider Wavefront Guided LASIK Eye Surgery?

In order to understand the effectiveness of wavefront-guided LASIK, we must first have a quick roundup on the natural imperfections of the eye. The cornea and the crystalline lens are not perfect, and light rays passing through the eye are subject to being distorted due to these imperfections. These distortions are termed as “aberrations”, which are categorized as lower order and higher order aberrations.

Lower order aberrations constitute a major chunk (90% or more) of these aberrations, and lead to the more prevalent refractive errors, such as farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. These vision anomalies can be compensated for by corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses, or can be treated through conventional surgical procedures like PRK, LASIK or LASEK. However, the remaining 10% optical aberrations, also known as higher order aberrations, give birth to anomalies that cannot be cured via conventional LASIK.

Such a scenario necessitates the use of wavefront-guided LASIK.

Since higher order aberrations are entirely unique to a particular patient, much like fingerprints, a wavefront analysis system (known as an Aberrometer) is used to measure these aberrations. The Aberrometer is digitally interfaced with a sophisticated, computer controlled laser, which is directed in a precise manner over the cornea. In essence, the laser custom sculpts the cornea – a completely customized reshaping of the corneal surface.

The procedure employed by the wavefront analyzer to measure higher order aberrations would appear quite complex to a layman.

At first, a ray of light is passed through the eye and is reflected off the retina as an outgoing wavefront. This wavefront is compared against a planar wavefront, in order to determine both lower and higher order aberrations. These aberrations are displayed on a monitor screen in the form of precise 3D images. This information is then used for a custom ablation of the cornea, with the aid of an excimer laser eye surgery system interfaced with the Aberrometer.

On the whole, the conventional LASIK procedure would suffice for the treatment of common lower order aberrations, such as myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism.

However, higher order visual defects normally call for a much advanced surgical procedure like wavefront-guided LASIK.

If you find a LASIK doctor that you are confident about you will be able to get more information about wavefront guided LASIK.

Why You Might Consider Enhancement After LASIK Laser Eye Surgery

Undoubtedly every patient and eye surgeon would want to accomplish the desired visual correction in the very first refractive surgery procedure. Surgeons typically conduct a comprehensive preoperative examination to determine whether the patient is a viable surgery candidate, and in order to predict the results of the refractive surgery. But unfortunately, it is difficult to accurately predict results in the case of higher refractive errors. Things gone awry during the preoperative examination or during the surgery itself may necessitate an enhancement surgery.

On certain occasions, the patient could well do without an enhancement surgery. Minor undercorrection and overcorrection can be treated through a technique called CLAPIKS (Contact Lens Assisted Pharmacologically Induced Kerato Steepening), which uses Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses to reshape the cornea and eye drops to make the cornea more malleable. However, other major issues may typically require enhancement surgery.

Even if your eye surgeon gives you the slightest hint of the requirement of an enhancement surgery, it is advised that you don’t hastily demand enhancement re-treatment. You must wait for the eyes to settle down to a fixed refraction, before you decide on having an enhancement. Most enhancements are carried out between 3 and 6 months after the first eye surgery. This is because it is common for the eye to regress back to a fixed refractive error, and enhancement should not be performed until the regression has resolved.

A hyperopic patient is more difficult to predictably correct via surgery when compared with a myopic patient. And therefore, a hyperopic patent is more likely to require an enhancement surgery. If your initial eye surgery was LASIK or IntraLASIK, the surgeon would typically lift the existing flap and cut out the corneal surface at the location of the original flap. Though the LASIK flap adheres to the stroma, it can still be lifted, thereby averting the need to create a new flap.

With the advances in laser technology and an increase in the experience of eye surgeons, enhancement cases have significantly dropped. However, some cases might still occur that necessitate enhancement surgery.

Enhancement surgery is not something to be anxious about, since an enhancement surgery would typically accomplish the desired results, which were somehow missed during the first surgery.

If you find a LASIK surgeon that you are confident with, you will be able to get more information about eye enhancement surgery.