Corrective Laser Eye Surgery

When patients receive corrective laser eye surgery, their vision can be greatly improved, enhancing the quality of life. In some cases, patients that receive LASIK procedures have regained a near perfect twenty-twenty vision, allowing them to see the world without the aid of glasses or contact lenses and allowing a freedom from these encumbering tools. Evolving and improving as they become more and more popular, these in office surgical procedures are drastically changing the way many people see. Those who want to consider corrective eye surgery should first, however, obtain in-depth information about the process, learning what to expect before and during the procedure. Also, not every person is a good candidate for LASIK, so individual evaluations will be necessary. There are risks involved with this high tech process so patients should be well advised before undergoing this very popular, yet major surgery.

Laser Assisted Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK, is a surgical process that uses an intense laser beam as a means for cutting areas in the eye to permanently alter the shape of the cornea. Doctors utilize laser beams in corrective laser eye surgery to open two different flaps over the cornea, gaining access to the small area that reflects light. When the flaps are opened, the middle section of the cornea, or the Stoma, is accessible, and a monochromatic beam is used to evaporate a portion of it, altering its shape. When the cornea has been reshaped, refraction is perfected and near sighted and far sighted vision problems are greatly improved.

The shape of the cornea determines how well a person can see, in the context of astigmatism problems. Eye diseases are another matter entirely. The cornea is the part of the eye that focuses light and helps create an image on the retina. When the cornea is slightly misshapen, light patterns cause distortions on the image being sent to the retina. Often, corneas that do not reflect light properly are inherited. Those who have parents that wear glasses are likely to have the same sight problems. But, once the stoma is reshaped to near perfection with corrective eye surgery, light refraction greatly improves, giving the patient better site. There are different lasers and techniques used in surgeries to alter the cornea.

Usually performed in a doctors office, corrective laser eye surgery generally takes less than thirty minutes. The entire process begins when numbing medications are placed in the eye and surrounding areas. This area is then thoroughly cleaned to protect against infection. A device is placed over the eye to keep the eyelid open and from blinking. Then, another devise is used to apply pressure pulling the cornea forward. Laser beams are then used to open the flaps and reshape the cornea. After corrective eye surgery, there will be a protective covering placed over the area and this covering is worn to protect the eye during the healing process.

Patients should know what to expect during the post-op period. Some have experienced diverse side effects immediately following corrective laser eye surgery. Dry eyes or excessive watering may result. Patients may also experience short-term problems with night glare and blurred vision. These post-operative conditions are considered to be normal, but should always be reported to the attending physician. There are also cases where patients have experienced long-term side effects that led to another corrective laser eye surgery procedure. It is vital that patients understand the risks involved with the surgery and the potential for less than perfect results. This operation has become so popular, so wide spread, and so competitive, some are rushing to have LASIK procedures without the information needed to make wise choices.

Seeking counsel before determining if this procedure is right for any individual will be vital. As mentioned earlier, not every sight problem can be corrected with LASIK, and it is important to discover who is a candidate and who is not. Those hoping to have vision corrected with this procedure should seek out medical doctors that will carefully explain the procedure and all risks to patients. Then, prayer should be initiated, seeking the counsel of God, who knows and sees all. "Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)

Anyone suffering from the most common optical conditions, hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, or a combination of, are the most likely candidates for this surgery. Refractive instability is a condition that causes the eye's ability to focus light to change often, making this diagnosis impractical for corrective eye surgery. Also, patients who are pregnant, who have fluctuating hormones, diabetes, or other diseases that prevent proper healing should not consider this process. Cataracts are addressed by slightly different procedures and should also be thoroughly investigated when considering this surgical procedure.

Corrective Eye Surgery

Because of modern technology corrective eye surgery is a viable option for more and more of the population. Glasses and contact lenses are still commonly used and probably always will be. Advances in surgical procedures have been significant, but they are not the cure-all for vision problems some people are being led to believe. Healthy vision is important both literally and figuratively. And the Bible makes reference to sight numerous times. Proper vision not only helps people clearly see the physical world they are living in but clear sight also allows people to see the spiritual realm. "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6: 22-23) So maintaining proper vision is important for both physical and spiritual reasons.

Although corrective eye surgery procedures have grown in popularity since about 1995, there are several risks involved and some people are exclude from using them for a variety of reasons. Today, there are about a dozen possible surgical procedures used to correct vision problems, but two are more commonly used than the others: Photorefractive Keratotomy (RK) and Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis (LASIK). Of the two procedures, LASIK is the more commonly performed procedure. According to online sources, the two corrective eye surgery techniques basically produce the same results. However, because of the differences in how the outcome is produced LASIK has more possible risks of complications. Both of the procedures involve reshaping the surface of eye to produce clearer vision. Back in the 1980s, a technique called Radial Keratotomy was developed and commonly used. Basically, a surgeon would make incisions to flatten the surface of the eye. RK was mainly used to correct nearsightedness. However, the procedure often produced negative side effects such as fluctuating vision, glare, and night vision problems. Now, the procedure is rarely used. That's because safer and more reliable methods have been developed and approved for use.

According to a surgery website, Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) was being used in other countries at about the same time RK was being performed in the United States. Photorefractive Keratectomy uses laser light energy to remove tissue directly from the surface of the eye. This procedure alters the curvature of the cornea. In 1995 the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of PRK in the United States. Although PRK has been upstaged by LASIK corrective eye surgery, the procedure has some advantages. Since nerves appear to regenerate faster with PRK, there is less risk of some complications developing. The main differences between the two procedures are that Keratectomy is a surface procedure and LASIK involves creating a small thin surgical flap. During the LASIK procedure, the surgeon lifts the surface flap and then uses laser energy to reshape the eye. Once this is done, the flap is replaced. Unfortunately, there are at least two possible risks with creating a flap during surgery. First, the flap could be damaged or come off completely. Second, improper healing of the flap could distort the cornea. However, there are other complications that could arise during and after corrective eye surgery.

Research all the procedures and consult a surgeon for more specific details. Apparently, LASIK's main advantage is that there is little discomfort following the procedure. Also, unlike PRK, the patient's vision clears within hours instead of days. During the past decade, several forms of LASIK corrective eye surgery have been developed: LASEK, EPI-LASIK, Blade-free LASIK and Wavefront LASIK. Generally, the main difference is how the flap is created. And there are several other types of corrective procedures being used. For example, Conductive Keratoplasty uses a probe and heat radio waves to steepen the cornea. This procedure is useful for people who are farsighted. Implantable Lenses are similar to contact lenses but are surgically implanted to correct nearsightedness. Refractive Lens Exchange is similar to cataract surgery and helps eliminate farsightedness. Cataract surgery is useful for correcting both nearsightedness and farsightedness. Obviously, all the procedures have a common goal: allow people to see better and live more productive lives. Christians and others often follow their hearts in an effort to lead productive and faithful lives. Proper vision and insight can lead people down the good and proper path, too. On the other hand, poor vision and lack of insight can sidetrack an individual. "Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil." (Proverbs 4: 25-27)

Although corrective eye surgery procedures have grown in popularity, they are not right for everybody. Consult with a surgeon to find out which procedure, if any, is the best one. In most circumstances, people under the age of 18 are rarely considered for laser vision surgery procedures because their eyes are still changing. Certain health conditions and diseases could preclude a person from some types of vision correction procedures, too. Most laser procedures are performed quickly and without pain. During the laser vision procedure, the eye is anesthetized using drops and there is often no discomfort during the surgery, which normally takes 15 to 45 seconds to perform. Apparently, few side effects are experienced following laser surgery. Sources indicate that the most common are a halo effect and glare around lights. However, most people usually return to normal activities within a few days of corrective eye surgery.





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