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                               Frequently Asked Questions

LASIK FAQ     Cataract FAQ    Glaucoma FAQ

Q

What is LASIK?

A

The cornea is a part of the eye that helps focus light to create an image on the retina. It works in much the same way that the lens of a camera focuses light to create an image on film. The bending and focusing of light is also known as refraction. Usually the shape of the cornea and the eye are not perfect and the image on the retina is out-of-focus. These imperfections in the focusing power of the eye are called refractive errors. There are three primary types of refractive errors: myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Persons with myopia, or nearsightedness, have more difficulty seeing distant objects as clearly as near objects.  Persons with hyperopia, or farsightedness,  have more difficulty seeing near objects as clearly as distant objects.  Astigmatism is a distortion of the image on the retina caused by irregularities in the cornea or lens of the eye. Combinations of myopia and astigmatism or hyperopia and astigmatism are common. Glasses or contact lenses are designed to compensate for the eye's imperfections. Surgical procedures aimed at improving the focusing power of the eye are called refractive surgery. In LASIK surgery, precise and controlled removal of corneal tissue by a special laser reshapes the cornea changing its focusing power.

Q

Who is a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery?

A

LASIK candidates are nearsighted (myopic) or farsighted (hyperopic) and may have astigmatism. Additionally, a suitable LASIK candidate will have a stable vision prescription for approximately one year and good overall eye health. There is no maximum age for having LASIK, however, a candidate must be at least 18 years of age (and preferably 21) so that the eyes - and vision - will have matured sufficiently.

Q

Will I still need glasses after my LASIK procedure?

A

For most patients, LASIK eye surgery will correct refractive errors so much, that they no longer require the use of their eyeglasses or contacts. However, the need for reading glasses occurs naturally in most people in their early 40's whether they are nearsighted, farsighted or normal. Laser vision correction can be calibrated to avoid reading glasses after 40 if one eye is kept slightly nearsighted - this is called monovision LASIK

Q

Is LASIK painful?

A

Throughout the entire procedure, your eyes will be numbed so that you will not feel any discomfort or pain For approximately 1-3 hours after the surgery, you may experience mild tearing or a foreign body sensation, like an eyelash in your eye.  This sensation disappears after sleeping and, if needed, a topical eye drop is supplied for use after surgery. Usually, any discomfort goes away after a few hours

Q

Is the procedure done under anesthesia?

A

Yes.  Prior to surgery, the eye is anesthetized with eye drops.  The anesthetic used is the same powerful eye drops used during cataract surgery, which is far more invasive than LASIK. As a result, it is considered a painless procedure.

Q

Is LASIK permanent?

A

Yes, the laser permanently etches the correct shape to your cornea

Q

What are cataracts?

A

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside of the eye. The lens helps us focus on objects at different distances. As a part of the normal aging process, changes in the lens can cause it to become cloudy. Left untreated, a cataract can become so dense that it causes blindness. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world.

Q

What are the symptoms of a cataract?

A

Typical symptoms include:

  • Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy, or filmy vision.
  • Changes in the perception of colors.
  • Problems driving at night because headlights seem too bright.
  • Problems with glare from lights or the sun.
  • Frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription.

Q

What are the benefits of cataract surgery?

A

Cataract surgery restores quality vision for millions of patients each year. Good vision is vital to an enjoyable lifestyle. Numerous research studies show that cataract surgery restores quality-of-life functions including reading, working, moving around, hobbies, safety, self-confidence, independence, daytime and nighttime driving, community and social activities, mental health, and overall life satisfaction.

Q

How effective is cataract surgery?

A

According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), 98% of all cataract surgeries nationwide are successful.

Q

What is glaucoma?

A

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and can result in loss of the visual field or blindness if left untreated. The damage is progressive. It begins with a loss of peripheral vision, moves to reductions in the center of the visual field, and can eventually lead to blindness. The progression of glaucoma can be stopped. However, damage to the optic nerve and the subsequent losses of vision are permanent.

Q

How is glaucoma detected?

A

Screening tests are most likely to detect glaucoma in its early stages. If we find that a patient has high internal eye pressure or there appears to be damage to the optic nerve during a screening examination, additional testing will be needed to make a final diagnosis.

Q

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

A

One of the most serious concerns about glaucoma is that it often has no symptoms or signs in its early stages. In the later stages of the disease, some of the following symptoms may be present:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • An inability to adjust your eyes to the level of light in darkened rooms
  • Difficulty focusing on close work
  • Rainbow-colored rings or halos around lights
  • Frequent need to change eyeglass prescriptions

Q

When Is Glaucoma Surgery Needed?

A

Depending on the type of glaucoma you have, several treatment options may be considered. Non-surgical options include the use of glaucoma eye drops or oral medications.

Most cases of glaucoma can be controlled with one or more drugs. But some people may require surgery to improve the outflow or drainage of fluids. Occasionally, surgery can eliminate the need for glaucoma eye drops. However, you may need to continue with eye drops even after having surgery.

Some recent studies indicate that a laser procedure known as Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) may be equally as effective as glaucoma eye drops for lowering internal eye pressure.

Another procedure called a Trabeculectomy creates an artificial drainage area. This method is used in cases of advanced glaucoma where optic nerve damage has occurred . A third common option is a shunt, a device that a surgeon implants in your eye to improve fluid drainage.

 

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