Lasik Q & A

Thinking About Having Lasik? Things You Need To Consider First

You expect perfect results. Thousands of people have had excellent results
from LASIK surgery, but there is a slim margin of error in all operations and
because LASIK is relatively new, there is no long-term data reflecting
percentages for accuracy or complications.

It will affect your job. Some professional associations and divisions of the
military do not support refractive procedures. For your sake, approve the
operation with your employer before making an appointment for LASIK.

You cannot afford the procedure without insurance. While LASIK is gaining
recognition, most insurance packages still do not cover refractive surgery.

You have a refractive instability. A refractive instability means that your
eyes ability to focus light is still changing. This is usually caused by: age,
hormones, a chronic disease like diabetes, or some medications. Some
refractive instabilities are temporary, so be sure to discuss your options with
a doctor.

Your immune system is compromised. Some diseases, conditions, or
medications that affect your immune system may prevent your eyes from
healing properly after surgery.

You are an athlete that may receive blows to the face. In some contact and
combat sports, you have a higher risk of being struck on or around the eyes.
This type of injury could alter the results of your refractive surgery.

You are under 18. Because of associated risks and the earlier mentioned
condition of refractive instability, this procedure is not approved for minors.

Again, because long-term statistics are not yet available on LASIK eye surgery, there are some conditions that may or may not increase your risk of complications. Ask your doctor for a referral if you have: a strain of Herpes that has infected the skin around your eyes; glaucoma, a risk of developing glaucoma, or hypertension of the eyes; eye diseases that cause inflammation (like iritis or uveitis); eye injuries with residual damage; previous eye surgery; or Keratoconus (a degenerative form of astigmatism).

Other Considerations

Some complications are believed to be associated with the following conditions. Consult your doctor if you have:

Blepharitis. This condition is characterized by inflammation of the eyelids and
may agitate your eyes post-operation, increasing your chances of
developing an infection.

Large pupils. LASIK has been perfected for eyes with average pupils. Thus
the entire pupil may not get treated on patients with abnormally large pupils.
This can cause serious refractory disorders leading to visual aberrations like
glare, starbursts, and multiple images. This may be dangerous and
debilitating in certain light and weather conditions.

Thin Corneas. Again, refractive surgery demonstrates the best results in
patients with eyes of average proportion and construction. Because the
procedure works by reshaping the cornea of the eye, a thin cornea may
complicate the procedure.

Previous eye surgeries. If you have tried refractive surgery before, your
doctor may not approve a second surgery. It is possible that you have
refractory instabilities or another condition that will affect your vision even
after the second surgery.

Keratitis or KCS. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the scientific term for dry
eyes. LASIK surgery may exacerbate your condition.

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