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.

Growing Number Of Parents Urging Contacts-Wearing Kids To Have LASIK Vision Correction

It’s normal for parents to be concerned about their children’s health and well-being. But Tammy Crane, mother of 21-year-old Garrett, took a more active route-something she could do for her son that would have both of them worrying less. She had Garrett get rid of his contacts by having LASIK.

“Garrett’s broken his glasses several times and, of course, he always wants the latest designer glasses. He would go through contacts like water,” says Tammy.

Ophthalmologists are seeing growing numbers of parents encouraging their young adult children to have LASIK. One reason is the monetary savings. Contacts cost up to $600 annually, and glasses can run upwards of $1,200 a pair. Considering that male eyes stop “growing” at age 21 and female eyes at age 18, young adults having LASIK in their early 20s will recoup their costs well before they hit their 30s. Additionally, the procedure can last for up to 30 years, making the cost savings of LASIK as compared to contacts and glasses significant-well into the thousands.

Tammy was so pleased with the results of her own LASIK procedure that she knew she wanted the same for her son. “I had LASIK four years ago and knew what a blessing it was,” she says. “I knew if Garrett had it now, he could get even more years of enjoyment out of it. I also knew he didn’t take proper care of his contacts and with the recent breakout of fungal infections, I was worried.”

Among the other LASIK benefits parents find appealing is that they no longer worry about the risks associated with their children’s poor contact lens hygiene.

“Garrett told me of different times when he had stored his contacts in glasses of water. And the outside of his case was disgusting. He never changed the solution,” Tammy says. “In fact, he had a few minor infections over the years due to his poor contacts care.”

For Tammy and Garrett, they insisted on the most advanced technology available-LASIK with the IntraLase Method. Dr. Daniel Durrie, who did Garrett’s procedure, commented, “Patients who have this advanced LASIK method generally achieve vision better than 20/20. Additionally, LASIK with the IntraLase Method is blade-free, meaning patients avoid the most serious and sight-threatening complications associated with the traditional metal blade.” The safety advantage of the IntraLase Method has given parents such as Tammy the confidence to allow their children to have LASIK.

Today, Garrett enjoys a contacts-free lifestyle that includes his favorite hobbies, such as canoeing and jet skiing. “It’s awesome,” he says. “I opened my eyes underwater and could see. It was pretty cool.”

Parents worried about infections and costs urge kids to have LASIK with the IntraLase method.

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 MD – How To Find The Right Doctor!

Finding the right LASIK MD should not be very difficult if you know what to look for and more importantly what is important. Today, with the increased popularity of Lasik eye surgery, it’s possible to find doctors and eye centers now advertising using direct mail and newspaper ads. Although this may be a way to start the search for the right Lasik surgeon, it’s not the way to decide who will do the procedure

LASIK is the most popular refractive surgery procedure used today and stands for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. Due to advances in technology, there are newer procedures however most are focused on delivering a better result for the patient. Due to the increase in popularity, the price of refractive corrective surgery has continued to drop

Do not assume however that the way to find the right doctor is by price alone. Here’s a short checklist to see if the doctors or eye care facilities that are being considered should stay on the short list of possible prospects

1. Education. Medical licenses are typically a general authorization to practice almost any type of medicine. Just being a medical doctor isn’t enough. Look for someone with specialized refractive eye surgery education. Although all ophthalmologists are considered specialists, they all aren’t qualified to do refractive surgery.
2. Experience. How many of the surgeries has the doctor successfully completed? Although technology continues to make it easier to obtain a satisfactory result, experience does matter.
3. Equipment and procedure to be used. Today there are many difference “flavors” of Lasik. Customer Lasik using Wavefront technology offers some of the latest advances in this field. No need to go to someone using yesterday’s technology when the newest equipment is out there and available.

Finally, there’s price. Looking in almost any major city Sunday newspaper and it becomes evident where the larger eye centers and Lasik Centers are located. These are the ones that advertise using expensive full page and color pages in the newspaper. Although most focus on price, note that due to their size, these groups and Lasik surgeons typically do a lot of business. This means experience! It also suggests that they have the capital to purchase the latest equipment. So don’t be quick to eliminate the heavy advertisers without due consideration.

Finding the right Lasik MD is not difficult considering the growth of this field. Due to competition, many doctors and eye centers, even those using the latest technological advances, are very price competitive. The most important part of finding the right medical facility to doctor is not to decide who will do your procedure based solely on price alone

Lasik Surgery FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lasik Surgery?

Lasik, an acronym for Laser-assisted, is a form of refractive laser eye surgery procedure performed by ophthalmologists intended for correcting vision. The procedure is usually a preferred alternative to photorefractive keratectomy, PRK, as it requires less time for full recovery, and the patient experiences less pain overall.

The Lasik Operation

The Lasik Operation is performed with the patient awake and mobile; however, the patient typically is given a mild sedative and anesthetic eye drops.

Lasik is performed in two steps. The initial step is to create a flap of corneal tissue. This process is achieved with a mechanical microkeratome using a metal blade, or a femtosecond laser microkeratome that creates a series of tiny closely arranged bubbles within the cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is folded back, revealing the stroma, the middle section of the cornea.

The second step of the procedure is to use an excimer laser to remodel the corneal stroma. The laser vaporizes tissue in a finely controlled manner without damaging adjacent stroma by releasing the molecular bonds that hold the cells together. No burning with heat or actual cutting is required to ablate the tissue. The layers of tissue removed are tens of micrometers thick.

Currently manufactured excimer lasers use a computer system that tracks the patient’s eye position up to 4,000 times per second, redirecting laser pulses for precise placement. After the laser has reshaped the cornea, the Lasik flap is repositioned over the treatment area by the surgeon. The flap remains in position by natural adhesion until healing is completed.

Performing the laser ablation in the deeper corneal stroma and under the Lasik flap fools the cornea into not knowing that it has had surgery. The wound response is muted, thus the patient is typically provided rapid visual recovery and virtually no pain.

Wavefront-guided Lasik

Wavefront-guided Lasik is a variation of Lasik surgery where, rather than apply a simple correction of focusing power to the cornea (as in traditional Lasik), an ophthalmologist applies a spatially varying correction, using a computer- controlled high-power UV laser guided by measurements from a wavefront sensor.

The goal is to achieve a more optically perfect eye, though the final result still depends on the physician’s success at predicting changes which occur during healing.

Nor are wavefront aberrations the factor to degrade vision; especially in older patients, scattering from microscopic particles plays a major role. Hence, patients expecting so-called “super vision” from such procedures may be disappointed.

Surgeons claim patients are generally more satisfied with this technique than with previous methods, particularly regarding lowered incidence of “halos”, the visual artifact caused by spherical aberration induced in the eye by earlier methods.

Although there have been a number of improvements in Lasik technology, a large body of conclusive evidence on the chances of long-term complications is not yet in place. Also, there is a small chance of complications, such as slipped flap, corneal infection, haziness, halo, or glare. The procedure is irreversible.

The incidence of macular hole has been estimated at 0.2% to 0.3%.

The incidence of retinal detachment has been estimated at 0.36%.

The incidence of choroidal neovascularization has been estimated at 0.33%.

The incidence of uveitis has been estimated at 0.18%.

Although the cornea usually is thinner after Lasik because of the removal of part of the stroma, refractive surgeons strive to maintain a minimum thickness in order to not structurally weaken the cornea.

Decreased atmospheric pressure at higher altitudes has not been shown to be extremely dangerous to the eyes of Lasik patients. However, some mountain climbers have experienced a myopic shift at extreme altitudes. Although there are no published reports documenting diving-related complications after Lasik, urban legends that describe eyes that have popped open during scuba diving still persist.

There are also concerns about possible Lasik-related problems with night vision, to the extent that some armed forces around the world advise aspiring air force and special forces personnel not to have the surgery.

Lasik Surgery: What Happens Before and During Surgery

Pre-Surgery Requirements
Patients wearing soft contact lenses typically are instructed to stop wearing them approximately 7 to 10 days before surgery. Some surgeons recommend that patients wearing hard contact lenses should stop wearing them for a minimum of six weeks plus another six weeks for every three years the hard contacts had been worn.

Before the surgery, the surfaces of the patient’s corneas are examined with a computer-controlled scanning device to determine their exact shape. Using low-power lasers, it creates a topographic map of the cornea. This process also detects astigmatism and other irregularities in the shape of the cornea.

Using this information, the surgeon calculates the amount and locations of corneal tissue to be removed during the operation. The patient typically is prescribed an antibiotic to start taking beforehand, to minimize the risk of infection after the procedure.

Higher order Aberrations are visual problems not captured in a traditional eye exam. In a young healthy eye, the level of higher order aberrations are typically low and insignificant.

Concern has long plagued the tendency of refractive surgeries to induce higher order aberration not correctible by traditional contacts or glasses. The advancement of lasik technique and technologies has helped eliminate the risk of clinically significant visual impairment after the surgery.

There has been controversy about the amount of higher order aberrations that would lead to significant vision impairment. In extreme cases, where proper policy was not followed and before key advances, some people could suffer rather debilitating symptoms including serious loss of contrast sensitivity in poor lighting situations.

Over time, most of the attention has been focused on spherical aberration. Lasik and PRK tend to induce spherical aberration, because of the tendency of the laser to undercorrect as it moves outward from the center of the treatment zone.

This is really only a significant issue for large corrections. There is some thought if the lasers were simply programmed to adjust for this tendency, no significant spherical aberration would be induced. Hence, in eyes with little existing higher order aberrations, “wavefront optimized” lasik rather than wavefront guided Lasik may well be the future.

Regardless, most patients with even the highest corrections remain highly satisfied even with conventional lasik.

Possible Complications
The incidence of flap complications has been estimated to be 0.244%. Flap complications (such as displaced flaps or folds in the flaps that necessitate repositioning, diffuse lamellar keratitis, and epithelial ingrowth) are common in lamellar corneal surgeries but rarely lead to permanent visual acuity loss; the incidence of these microkeratome-related complications decreases with increased physician experience.

A slipped flap (a corneal flap that detaches from the rest of the cornea) is one of the most common complications. The chances of this are greatest immediately after surgery, so patients typically are advised to go home and sleep, to let the flap heal.

Flap interface particles are another finding whose clinical significance is undetermined. A Finnish study found that particles of various sizes and reflectivity were clinically visible in 38.7% of eyes examined via slit lamp biomicroscopy, but apparent in 100% of eyes using confocal microscopy.

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.

Tips If You’re Considering Laser Eye Surgery

Each eye surgery and each patient is unique. In spite of this, there are a number of universal tips that can help patients better prepare for eye surgery and speed their recovery time.

First and foremost,
 Take the extra time you need to find a reputable surgeon with extensive experience in your type of surgery.
o Finding the right doctor is the critical first step in the surgery process. Your eye surgery will only be successful if it is performed by a qualified medical professional. Selecting a doctor based on cost alone is rarely a good move, since surgeons offering cheaper solutions usually do so because they are inexperienced in performing that type of surgery. Keep in mind that should complications arise, you want someone who knows how to quickly and effectively deal with the situation and minimize any damage to your eye.

 Thoroughly research the procedure you will be undergoing before signing any consent forms.
o This includes taking the time to ask your surgeon any questions you may have about the procedure. A good doctor will take the time to answer all of your questions, as well as inform you of any potential risks and side-effects of the surgery. Take advantage of this and be sure you are fully comfortable with the procedure before you agree to undergo the surgery.

 Follow all of the pre-operative procedures recommended by your doctor.
o Your surgeon may advise you to avoid certain medications, foods, or activities (such as smoking and drinking alcohol) before undergoing eye surgery. These restrictions are put in place to ensure your eyes are in good condition for the procedure, giving you the best possible chance for a successful surgery and a quick recovery period. Failure to abide by these restrictions may put your health and the success of your surgery at risk.

 Stop wearing contact lenses in advance of the surgery, as directed by your doctor.
o Since contact lens rest directly on your eye, they exert pressure on the cornea and can actually change the shape of your eye. This is an importance consideration for individuals undergoing eye surgery, especially patients of refractive eye surgery to correct their vision. In order for the procedure to be successful, it is necessary to pinpoint those regions of the eye that need to be treated. If your eye is not in its normal natural shape or state, any attempts to correct visual impairments will not be successful. For this reason, surgeons will request that many eye surgery patients stop wearing contact lenses anywhere from two to four weeks prior to the procedure.

 Get a good night’s sleep the night before the surgery.
o A well-rested patient is less likely to be unduly anxious and will recover more quickly than someone who is stressed and suffering from lack of sleep. Remember – adequate sleep is necessary to stay healthy.

 Make arrangements to have someone you trust drive you home from the surgery.
o Your vision will be blurry and you may be under the effects of a sedative after undergoing your eye surgery. Regardless of the type and extent of the procedure, patients are in no condition to drive immediately after the surgery. Ensure your safety and well-being by arranging for a ride home in advance.

 Know what side-effects you may experience before undergoing the procedure
o Inquire about potential side-effects and make sure you know what to expect during the recovery period before you go in for the procedure. On your surgery day, you will likely be distracted and anxious and will not retain much information. It’s important to know what to look out for after your surgery so you can catch any potential problems immediately, before they can cause significant damage and jeopardize your health.

 Call your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual side-effects
o If you experience anything unusual or are concerned about how you are recovering from your procedure, contact your doctor immediately. Refer to the potential side-effects of the procedure as discussed above, and use these as your guidelines for what is normal and to be expected. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and call your doctor – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 Take all medication as prescribed.
o The medication prescribed by your surgeon is designed to speed the healing process and protect your eye from adverse side effects. Therefore, it is imperative that you take all medication as prescribed.

 Avoid touching, rubbing, or bumping your eye while it is healing.
o Any direct contact with your eye while it is healing can result in damage to the eye and may result in severe complications. Wearing an eye shield as needed, especially while you are sleeping, can help you avoid unnecessary contact with your eye.

 Avoid makeup, lotions, and creams while your eye is healing.
o These items can interfere with the eye’s natural healing ability and prolong your recovery period.

 Stay away from medications that can interfere with your body’s natural healing process, such as steroids
o Some medications can prevent your eye from properly healing and delay the recovery process.

And last, but not least
 Give yourself time to recover from the surgery before jumping back into your busy life
o Keep in mind that you are recovering from an invasive procedure. It will take some time before you start feeling like your normal self. Taking it easy for a few days will enable your body to rest and heal faster than it will if you subject it to undue stress.