Qualified Candidates for Laser Eye Surgery May Increase
Are You A Laser Eye Surgery Candidate?

What is Cataract and Cataract Surgery?

Cataract

A cataract is one of the most common eye diseases among adults. This eye disease occurs when the naturally clear lens of your eye becomes cloudy and your eyesight becomes hazy. Your vision eventually decreases.

The eye’s lens is a very important part of the body organ. It focuses the light entering the eyes to the retina which is located at the back of the eye so that the images that will be formed are clear and not distorted. When this lens is clouded during a cataract formation, your vision will be distorted.

Most often, a cataract gradually forms as one age but there are also instances when it develops rapidly. The cataract usually affects the vision of both eyes.
There are no concrete explanations by experts as to why cataracts develop. In researches, it appears that most cases of cataracts development are associated with alterations in the protein structure of the eye’s lens. This occurs over the years and causes the lens to grow cloudy.

Cataracts rarely occur at early childhood. Cataracts are also triggered by severe eye trauma and eye surgery.

According to a study, the number of people who will experience cataract by 2020 is estimated to increase to approximately 30.1 million. If you develop cataract, you will experience difficulty in engaging into activities that you usually enjoy doing.

Facts on Cataract surgery

• Blurred or hazy vision is an early symptom of cataract.
• Cataracts affect a great number of the human population and as one grows older, this will be more prominent.

• You will know if you have this condition after your physician examines your eye with a specialized instrument.

• The surgeon will determine if your condition requires an operation. The decision is primarily based on the level of difficulty the patient has in performing daily routines.

• The cataract operation includes removal of the patient’s cataract and implanting of artificial lens.

• Cataract patients can choose from different intraocular types of lens that will restore their vision in varied ways.

Cataract surgery is safe and is sure to restore the vision of the patient. A serious complication related with cataract surgery is very rare.

Quick Facts about LASIK Surgery

LASIK or the Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis is a type of eye laser surgery that is commonly used worldwide. The LASIK surgery corrects refractive eye errors which include nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Most of the patients after the procedure do not anymore go back to using eye glasses or contact lenses. The laser used in the operation is called the excimer laser.

10 quick facts

1. LASIK surgery is performed on the eyes. This laser eye surgery has been performed since the early 90s. According to reports, the number of people who have undergone the operation from 1990 to 2007 is almost reaching 17 million.

2. The worldwide market for refractive error correction is more than 1.9 billion pounds. This market continues to grow every year. People with myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism go for laser eye surgery as this method has been proven to be safe and effective.

3. There are a lot of laser eye surgeries and the most popular of is the LASIK- Laser assisted in situ Keratomileusis and the LASEK- Laser Assisted Sub Epithelial Keratomileusis.

4. The main difference between LASEK and LASIK eye surgery procedures lies with the thickness of the flap created. The corneal flap in LASEK is much thinner compared to LASIK since this is created in the epithelial layer of the eye. The flap created in LASIK contains both the stromal tissues as well as the epithelial tissues.

5. The number of female and male patients that undergo the LASIK surgery to correct the refractive errors in their eyesight has almost the same proportion. According to surveys, at least 90 percent of those who have gone the surgery are satisfied with the result and have recommended it to other people.

6. It approximately takes 10 to 15 minutes only for both of the eyes to be operated with LASIK. Each slice of the excimer laser used in the operation takes about 12 billionths of a second.

7. One of the most common problem as reported among LASIK operated patients is dry eyes. However, there are now eye drops developed in order to avoid chronic dry eyes.

8. Experienced surgeons who have done at least 500 operations give you best results.

9. There have been no reports of blindness reported from those who have undergone the LASIK surgery.

10. Another operation or enhancement session is required for those who are under-corrected while overcorrection of visual problem would mean using contact lenses or glasses.

What Age Bracket is Best Suited for LASIK Surgery?

What is the ideal age for LASIK surgery?

The most widely known and used surgical operation for the eyes in LASIK. Millions of people with eyesight problems whether it be nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism choose LASIK because it is reportedly very safe and effective.

The ideal age for LASIK candidates is that you are at least 18 to 21 years old. With this, many wonder especially the parents if their children below 18 could undergo the same operation to produce an improved vision. The older generation, 40 years and above, also would like to know if the procedure is still safe for their age.

When you think which age bracket is suited for a LASIK operation, you need to consider the distinct needs and issues associated with a certain generation or age level. An expert eye surgeon can help you make the decision whether or not to proceed with eye surgery.

Can LASIK be operated on children?

In most cases, physicians do not recommend LASIK on children, unless it is a very rare and extreme case. An eye becomes fully developed only when one reaches adulthood or the age of 18. The eyes of a child are not yet fully developed and are thereby always changing and adjusting shape. If a child had undergone a LASIK surgery, there is a high possibility that he will have to undergo a corrective surgery in the later years.

Can LASIK be operated on teenagers?

Eighteen years old is the age where most eyes are fully developed. Teenagers below this age level are advised likewise. A teenager whose eyes are not yet developed and had undergone a LASIK surgery will only experience the effect to be temporary.

Can middle-aged patients undergo the LASIK surgery?

Patients with visual problems around the age of 40 should consider that there are natural circumstances that happen to the eye as one age. One occurrence is the presbyopia. This happens when the lens of the eye becomes less flexible thus the need of using reading glasses. This cannot be cured with a LASIK surgery.

Can senior citizens undergo LASIK?

Older people suffer from age related syndromes that cannot be treated with LASIK surgery. An example of this would be the cataracts. Patients with this condition should instead consider undergoing a cataract surgery. In this procedure, the eye’s natural lens is being replaced by an artificial one.

Qualified Candidates for Laser Eye Surgery May Increase

Although there is an increased controversy on the safety and long term effect of laser eye surgery among those who went through the medical procedure, an in depth study on the matter is being conducted to understand the procedure and its effects better. According to those who are doubtful of the surgical procedure, the process may be incurring more harm than good among those who subject themselves to the treatment. However, based on the recent findings of Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, their studies reveal that there is no long term damage on the lining of the corneal cells which is associated to laser surgery.

The study was conducted before an actual laser eye surgery and nine years following the procedure. Before the surgery, pictures were taken on the endothelial cells of the cornea. Every year, the endothelial cells of the patients were taken pictures for 9 years to accurately monitor their development. For comparison purposes, a set of individuals who did not go through laser eye surgery were taken images of their endothelial cells as well.

According to the study, a 5.3% reduction of the density of the endothelial cells over 9 years was noticed among those who had laser eye surgery. One could say that this is quite high. However, if placed alongside with the 0.6% decline of endothelial cells per year among those who did not have laser eye surgery, the result would be similar to those who had laser eye surgery if the yearly decline would be added to 9 years.

The scientific experiment focused among those who went through PRK or photorefractive keratectomy and LASIK or Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. This provided hopes and reassurances among those who need donated tissues to treat corneal problems such as posterior lamellar keratoplasty. Based on the extensive research of the time focussing on corneal transplant, anyone who has gone through laser eye treatment are qualified to go through cornea transplant surgery. It is then recommended for patients to talk with their doctors to determine if they are fit to undergo the procedure or not.

Are You A Laser Eye Surgery Candidate?

The surgical procedure of laser eye surgery is considered as one of the latest and highly effective eye corrective measures in the medical field today. However, not everyone can take advantage of this medical breakthrough. Only those who are fit can undergo through this procedure.

Here are some things to be considered before deciding to take the surgery:

• There are employers who prohibit their employees to go through this type of surgical procedure or any vision enhancement surgeries. Similarly, there are also fields that require 20/20 vision and their employees should have not gone through the surgical process such as aircraft pilots and police force.

• The procedure of laser eye surgery comes with risks and potential complications. You should be ready for these risks and should know how to avoid them. Take note that even this eye treatment which is considered to be very safe still has its share of complications. Talk to your doctor about it to ensure that you are fully aware of what you will go through.

LASIK and other eye surgery procedure can be costly. Thus, discuss with your doctors of the estimated amount of the procedure and check with your insurance company if the procedure would be covered. Ask your doctors if they know of a financial scheme or discounts that could minimize your expenses.

• Laser eye surgery would not be conducted on individuals who were asked by their ophthalmologists to change their eyeglasses frame within the last 12 months due to increase or decrease of grade. If your eye grade changed within the period, inform your doctor about this and for sure, your laser eye surgery would be rescheduled.

• LASIK is also not conducted among individuals who have not reached the age of 20. Even those with parental consent would not be conducted upon because the eye doesn’t stop growing until the age of 20. Those who are below 20 still have the possibility of having their eye corrected naturally so surgical procedure is highly discouraged.

• Individuals who have Type I and Type II diabetes are usually poor candidates for laser eye surgery. Their hormones fluctuate in frequent manner and this affects the quality of their eyesight.

• Lactating and pregnant women are also asked to reschedule the treatment to a later time.