How Laser Eye Surgery Works

How laser eye surgery works is something that will be explained to a patient before the procedure is undertaken, so that there will be no surprises when the day for the operation actually arrives. PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), or laser eye surgery, used to be the most common refractive procedure, but now the one you hear most often is Lasik surgery. They are both grouped under the umbrella "laser eye surgery," but each is a little different. Lasik patients have less discomfort and obtain good vision more quickly, but many surgeons prefer PRK for patients with larger pupils or thin corneas.

PRK was invented in the early '80s, and the first FDA approval of a laser PRK was in 1995, but the procedure was practiced in other countries for years. In fact, many Americans had the operation done in Canada before it was available in the U.S. An explanation of how laser eye surgery works follows: PRK is performed with an excimer laser, which uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove very tiny bits of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it. When the cornea is reshaped correctly, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before.

When this procedure was first introduced, it was offered only to people with nearsightedness. Now PRK is performed for both nearsighted and farsighted people. When a person is nearsighted, the too-steep cornea is flattened, while with farsighted folks, a steeper cornea is shaped. A corneal topographer will photograph the eye beforehand, which creates a map of the cornea so the surgeon knows the exact irregularities he must correct. Laser eye surgery complications seldom occur, so the patient has improved eyesight in a short time. Recovery is gradual, and takes somewhere between a few days and a few months, depending on the individual.

The information most welcomed by patients is the fact that they can walk into the medical center, have PRK, and walk out again. The actual operation takes less than a minute, and the patient is awake the whole time. Sometimes a surgeon will give a patient a mild sedative beforehand if a person is unusually anxious, especially if they worry about laser eye surgery complications. Even without that though, most people do not feel any pain during the procedure, because the eyes are anesthetized with special drops. The doctor may prescribe medication for any postoperative pain, but most people feel only mild discomfort afterward. Just think how simple the procedure might have been if the patient had lived in Jesus' time, and had been one of his cures. After all, He gave the blind their sight. " Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached." (Luke 7:22)

Following the doctor's instructions post operation is very important to avoid laser eye surgery complications, and that is usually discussed when the patient is told how laser eye surgery works beforehand. Resting afterward is the first order of business upon returning home. Relaxing for a few hours is essential. Doctors usually advise a couple of days of rest instead of returning to work the next day, and no strenuous exercise for up to a week, so as not to traumatize the eye. Almost daily visits to the doctor post-operation will allow him to ensure that the epithelium is healing properly. There is a special "bandage" contact lens and antibiotic drops the patient will use for a few days, and anti-inflammatory drops for several weeks.

The occurrence of laser eye surgery complications is less than 5% in all cases, but they can be very serious. Over correction could make wearing glasses necessary. Double vision, night myopia, halos and star-bursts or blurred vision are some examples of what could happen. Of course, there are even more serious complications that require further surgery. Some of the problems are caused by surgical errors, but some arise out of failure of the patient to follow instructions after the operation. The patient must pay attention to everything he's told when being given an explanation on how laser eye surgery works.

Even with the absence of laser eye surgery complications, the patient may still need reading glasses or bifocal contact lenses upon reaching the age of 40. This is because of a condition called presbyopia, which begins to develop in most people when they are between the ages of 38 and 42. Distance vision will probably remain crisp, but seeing up close will be more difficult. Researchers are studying ways to correct the problem surgically, so that procedure may be available in the future.

Obviously, anyone who thinks this kind of operation will help his vision problems has some homework to do. First, a competent surgeon must be found and a thorough explanation gleaned from him on how laser eye surgery works, which will include information on complications that could occur. After all of that, the decision as to whether or not to have the operation is the next logical step. Since a person's eyesight is so very important, this is not a step to be taken lightly.

Laser Eye Surgery Information

Laser eye surgery information online provides valuable information for anyone seeking options to common eye disorders. A few years ago the first available technique was performed on individuals who were nearsighted. With advancements in ophthalmology, now techniques can correct farsightedness, and astigmatism. Laser eye surgery cost is more affordable now than when the procedure first became available. There are a couple different techniques that are used in correcting vision problems with laser surgery. One procedure is called "Precision" and is performed as an outpatient procedure with no incision necessary. The other procedure requires an incision and is called "Lasik." Lasik is a more complex procedure that can correct severe disorders or refractions.

Recovery time is usually minimal according to laser eye surgery information on the Internet. Drops are put in the patient's eyes for a numbing effect during the procedure and there is usually little discomfort after the procedure. Sensitivity to light may be experienced and other side effects may include seeing a halo and glare around lights. The procedure is usually very quick and improved vision is usually noticeable within 3 to 5 days. The changes are normally permanent but do not provide guarantees for corrective vision in all cases. Each person must be evaluated based upon individual vision concerns so an ophthalmologist should be consulted to find out particulars on the procedure and laser eye surgery cost.

Advances continue to be made and tests are being performed for different techniques in correcting refractions. As time progresses there will probably be more choices regarding vision corrections, according to laser eye surgery information online. Positive aspects to having laser surgery include freedom from having to wear glasses or contact lenses. When considering the procedure ask the doctor if the laser that will be used has been approved by the FDA and have the doctor explain the procedure in detail so that one can make an informed decision. Understanding what is going to be done during the procedure and what to expect afterwards will assist the patient with making a decision on whether to go ahead or not. Pray about having the surgery and ask others who have had it done. "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6).

It is important to consider current health conditions before having Lasik. Diabetes, pregnancy, certain medications, and autoimmune diseases can all affect the outcome of surgery. Discussing these concerns with a physician would be wise before making a decision to have the procedure. Fluctuations in hormones can affect one's sight and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes could slow healing or prevent proper healing. Laser eye surgery information suggests that the procedure not be performed on an individual 20 years or younger because their sight could change since they are still growing and developing. Let the ophthalmologist know of any medications that are currently being prescribed since some medications can affect vision.

Most insurance companies will not cover corrective surgery for vision. The procedure is not as expensive as it was early on but it is still important to consider laser eye surgery cost in determining affordability. Information on the Internet advertises as low as $299 per eye but this will depend on the type of procedure needed to correct vision refractions. Ophthalmologists usually suggest that both eyes are done at the same time to prevent unforeseen problems. A consultation and exam will need to be performed before determining the final costs.

In some cases elimination of glasses and contacts may not be possible but a reduction of use is more likely according to laser eye surgery information. Some individuals may require more than one procedure and others may need a repeat surgery later on. There are some risks involved with Lasik and that is why it is important to understand those risks before agreeing to the procedure. Before having an initial consultation for Lasik, make a list of any conditions associated with sight such as dry eyes, glaucoma, cornea scarring, unstable vision, cataracts, and other vision disorders. Some conditions will make it impossible to have the procedure done because the risks are too great. Some of these conditions include cataracts, advanced glaucoma, corneal diseases, and other diseases that could threaten vision. Testing may be necessary for some individuals before the outcome can be determined for Lasik.

According to online information about Lasik, most candidates have success with the procedure and their need for corrective glasses or contact lenses is reduced and some are so successful that they can completely stop wearing them. The laser eye surgery cost will be worth it for individuals who have success and can completely eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. Candidates older than 45 years may still have to use reading glasses after Lasik unless they have the procedure for monovision, to set one eye for distance and one for reading.

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