LASIK, or laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, is a two-step surgery in which a thin layer of the cornea is lifted and the inner cornea is sculpted to correct its shape and allow for better vision.
If you’re at least 21 years old, in general good health with no eye diseases, and you have a stable vision prescription, you will most likely qualify for LASIK surgery. LASIK surgery can correct any type of refractive error. People with most cases of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism will all benefit from LASIK. A free screening is the best way to determine if you are a good candidate.
LASIK surgery is extremely safe is relatively painless… About 32 million LASIK procedures have been performed to date, making it the most common elective vision procedure in the United States. All branches of the U.S. military and NASA have approved LASIK surgery for their service people.
Anesthetic drops numb your eyes, so all you feel is slight pressure. You will remain awake and comfortably reclined throughout the procedure. You may choose to receive medication to help you relax. Some patients experience slight discomfort in the 12 to 24 hours following the treatment, but medication is available to alleviate this possibility.
When you consider how much you might spend on contacts and eyeglasses for the rest of your life, LASIK surgery is clearly a more cost-effective vision solution. Eye Surgical Associates offers a range of pricing and financing options designed to make LASIK affordable for everyone.
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear crystalline lens of the eye. This prevents the lens from properly focusing light on the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in a loss of vision. A cataract is not a film that grows over the surface of the eye, as is often commonly thought.
Cataracts are a naturally occurring process, and cannot be avoided. They simply come with age. Cataracts are most often found in persons over the age of 65, but they are also occasionally found in younger people. Diabetes, certain eye diseases, certain types of steroid medication, and genetics can be a factor of early onset cataracts. Babies can sometimes be born with cataracts (this rare condition is called congenital cataracts).
Cataract surgery is among the safest surgeries performed today. Though it’s true that any surgery poses risks and may create complications, cataract surgery boasts over a 98% success rate, and becomes safer each year as the technology behind it advances.
Most patients don’t experience any side effects from cataract surgery. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes, half of which is just recovering from the anesthesia. Afterwards, you will be given special sunglasses and eyedrops and sent home where you will be able to rest (make sure you have someone to drive you!) Cataract surgery is painless. During the surgery, your eye will be completely numbed with a topical anesthetic. At most you may feel a slight pressure. Recovery is also very easy and painless. You may experience mild irritation, but this should go away within a couple days as your eye heals. Typically, you should be seeing clearly within a few hours, but it could take a couple of weeks to fully restore vision.
Eye Health Exams
The concern with relying on visual complaints from a child is that children assume how they see is how everyone sees. The American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommend children receive their first eye exam by an eye doctor at 6 months of age, and again before entering school, or around 4 to 5 years of age. Eye examinations are then advised annually during school age years. Although the visual system will often shift until age 15-17, if some visual defects are not correctly identified and addressed before the age of 10, permanent damage can occur.
The age that children embrace responsibility varies, but most patients are able to successfully begin contact lens wear between the ages of 10-11. Our Doctors recommend and encourage daily disposable contact lenses, which are the healthiest and most comfortable contact lenses available. Daily disposable contact lenses are ideal for children and adults with busy lifestyles because they avoid the hassle of daily cleaning, complicated solutions, and sporadic wear schedules.
There are different options our doctors have when ordering medications for eye dilation. The most common medications can often cause visual effects lasting up to 4 hours.
These effects include:
- light sensitivity
- sometimes near or distance vision blur
- large pupils
Sometimes dilation medications are required that are stronger than the common dilation medications. These medications include Cyclopentolate, Homatropine, and Atropine. These stronger dilation medications are often required with children having frontal headaches or other suspicious findings, and are also used for certain inflammations of the eye. The stronger dilation medications can have effects lasting 8-12 hours, or even up to 7 days. Side effects for non-routine dilations are discussed instillation.
The doctors encourage dilating the eyes during pregnancy for any of the following conditions:
- Gestational Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus.
- Recent onset of flashes of light in vision, or recent onset of new floaters in vision.
- Significant shift in prescription.
Although dilation medications are very safe, dilation is usually postponed without the above conditions until after nursing.
Specializing in eye and vision care, an ophthalmologist is primarily an Eye M.D. or D.O. (medical or osteopathic doctor). This professional is different from optometrists in terms of level of training and in the conditions that can be diagnosed and treated. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who has completed a bachelor’s degree in the sciences and at least eight years of additional medical training (4 years of medical school, 1 year of internship in general medicine, and a minimum of 3 years in a university and hospital-based residency specializing in ophthalmology). Therefore, this professional is licensed to practice medicine and surgery.
This eye doctor undergoes specialized training covering the different facets of eye care during residency, including the prevention, diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatment of various eye conditions and diseases. That is, an ophthalmologist performs diagnosis and applies treatment to all eye diseases. If needed, this specialist performs eye surgery and prescribes and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision issues. A number of ophthalmologists are also active in scientific research to determine the causes and cures of various eye conditions and vision disorders.
By contrast, an optometrist is an eye specialist with the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Similar to ophthalmologists, these professionals examine the eyes for vision issues, and they correct refractive errors also by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. They also are licensed to prescribe medication to treat certain eye conditions and diseases, but their scope of medical care is determined by state law. In addition, as opposed to ophthalmologists, optometrists are not trained or licensed to perform eye surgery, with a few exceptions.
In terms of training, optometrists undergo four years of post-graduate training in optometry school after completing a four-year college degree in the sciences. Their period of training is therefore similar to that of a dentist. Similar to ophthalmologists, optometrists must undergo continuing education to maintain their licensure and stay updated with the latest standards of eye care.
Opticians usually have a combination of college (or two years of optician school) and on-the-job training. Opticians are trained to fit and dispense eyeglasses or contact lenses based upon a prescription from a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist. You may see an optician if you want to order glasses and/or contacts.