Posts Tagged ‘LASIK Surgery’

Can You See LASIK in Your Future?

LASIK Surgery Web ChatLaser vision correction was first performed in the 1980s and since then, the demand for such procedures has resulted in rapid advancement of the technology. For many people who previously were not a good candidate for laser vision correction, LASIK is now an option. Because LASIK is changing so quickly, our vision team fields lots of questions from people interested in LASIK, but who are not sure if it’s the right option for them, or what the procedure involves.

To help get you up to speed on LASIK surgery, the changes that have been made in the laser vision correction world, and what you can expect if you do choose LASIK, board-certified Emory Vision LASIK surgeon, Dr. Randleman, is hosting a 1 hour free web chat on Wednesday, October 12, 2011.

If you have questions such as…

  • Is LASIK surgery safe?
  • Is LASIK right for everyone? Is it right for me?
  • How long does LASIK surgery take?
  • What happens during the LASIK procedure?
  • Is LASIK painful?

…whether or not you prove to be an ideal candidate for LASIK, you are an ideal candidate for Dr. Randleman’s chat. All that’s required to participate is that you fill out our form so we can send you a link to enter the chat. You can ask as many or as few questions as you’d like during the chat, and in fact, if you’d rather just observe and read on as Dr. Randleman fields questions on LASIK, you’re more than welcome to.

We hope to see you for Dr. Randleman’s LASIK online chat on Wednesday, October 12. If you can’t make it but want more information on LASIK, you can either check out our LASIK resources online, or you can call the Emory Vision offices at 404-778-2733.

Am I Too Old (or Young) for LASIK?

LASIK surgery and age

Emory’s LASIK surgeons review every patient on an individual, case-by-case basis, but there are some basic considerations to think about regarding your age and its role in LASIK surgery:

Children 18 and younger

The FDA has approved LASIK surgery for people over the age of 18. Young eyes don’t fully develop and are constantly adjusting and changing shape. Our surgeons, therefore, advise patients who are 18 and under to wait until their eyes have fully matured before considering LASIK surgery.

Middle-aged adults

LASIK is a safe and effective way to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism at any adult age. As we get older, however, new vision problems can develop. The most common age-related vision problem – presbyopia – occurs when the eye becomes less flexible and makes it difficult to change focus between near and far objects. This is why most of us will need reading glasses at some point.

If you’re middle-aged, you may want to consider LASIK surgery with blended vision (where we treat one eye for distance viewing and the other for close up vision). See what blended vision surgery looks like live!

Seniors

LASIK surgery may not the best option for older patients who suffer from age-related conditions such as cataracts. Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy, resulting in blurred vision. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss among older people. Our surgeons at Emory Vision are board-certified ophthalmologists who are also experts at performing cataract surgery – where the eye’s natural lens is replaced by an artificial lens. If you have cataracts, I encourage you to contact the Emory Eye Center at 404 778-2020 to schedule an appointment.

Still have questions about the right age for LASIK? I’m happy to try to guide you in the right direction!

LASIK Myths Debunked

Think you can’t have LASIK surgery? Think again!

If you’ve been told in the past that you couldn’t have LASIK surgery, it’s time to come to Emory Vision. During the last five years, LASIK technology has made a huge leap forward—and you may find that you’re now the perfect candidate. I’d like to take a moment to address two reasons you may have been told you can’t have LASIK.

#1- If you wear gas permeable contacts, LASIK is not for you (UNTRUE!)
Gas permeable lenses change the shape of your cornea to correct your vision. In fact, many eye doctors prescribe them to correct astigmatism. What you may not know, is that LASIK can actually be a way to treat the condition of astigmatism permanently.

What does this mean for you? It may be time for LASIK surgery! To find out, just take a three-week break from your gas permeable lenses, to allow your eyes to go back to their original shape, and then come in for your initial exam.

#2 – If you wear bifocals, you can’t have LASIK (UNTRUE!).
Do you wear bifocals—or are you nearing a time when you will? Have you longed for LASIK surgery but been told you’d still need to wear reading glasses? Now bifocal wearers can enjoy the benefits of LASIK surgery with blended vision—and put aside those reading glasses.

Blended vision means that, rather than treating both eyes for distance, we treat one eye for distance viewing and one for close up. Your eyes then make the necessary adjustment depending on your activity. Still not convinced? Come in for an initial exam at Emory Vision, and we’ll let you try out how blended vision works and feels before you have surgery using a special pair of glasses that simulates the effect.

Does LASIK Hurt?

Most patients who have had LASIK surgery tell me, “I can’t believe the procedure was so fast and painless!”

During our initial consultations, many patients express concern about pain during and after LASIK. The great news is that during surgery most patients do not feel anything other than slight pressure on the eye and perhaps some mild discomfort.

In preparation for your LASIK surgery, we’ll administer some anesthetic eye drops that numb your eyes. As a result, you will only feel some pressure while the laser reshapes your cornea. Some patients may experience a slight feeling of discomfort from the instrument we use to keep your eye open during the procedure – since our natural inclination is to blink. However, because the surgery only takes a few minutes, this discomfort is very brief.

During the recovery period, you may experience some mild stinging or dryness. This is part of the normal healing process and usually only lasts a few days. Artifical tear drops often help to quickly take care of these symptoms.

If you’re interested in seeing exactly what you’ll experience during the procedure, watch our video of live LASIK surgery (displayed below). You’ll hear firsthand from one of our Emory Vision patients. Still have questions about pain during LASIK surgery? I’m happy to answer them!

LASIK and Your Career

Throughout the years, I have heard countless stories from patients who say that having LASIK surgery enhanced their career.

Some jobs simply require good vision, like being a pilot, athlete, photographer, surgeon, and many more. For patients who work in these fields – or who want to – LASIK surgery can be a necessity. Improved vision may mean the difference between getting the job you want or not. It can also have a marked impact on your performance.

I always enjoy seeing the smile on a patient’s face who no longer has to constantly wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. As you know, eyeglasses can fog up, get dirty, or fall off, causing safety hazards. Contact lenses can fall out, shift in the eye, or make some tasks extremely dangerous. If you have one of the jobs I mentioned above, LASIK surgery can mean the problems or risks of always wearing eyeglasses and contact lenses are a thing of the past.

Even if your job isn’t hindered by eyeglasses or contacts, you may find that your job satisfaction and performance increase as a result of having LASIK surgery. Improved vision benefits almost every career, allowing you to focus on the job at hand rather than worrying about your sight.

Finally, be sure to check with your employer to see if having LASIK could in any way jeopardize your career. There are a few jobs requiring very precise vision that may preclude your having certain refractive procedures, so it’s always best to check before considering LASIK surgery.

If having LASIK has benefited your career, please share your story with us!

The Top Five Benefits of LASIK

Our patients choose LASIK surgery for many reasons. While each patient is unique, we hear the same benefits mentioned time and again. Besides improved vision, I’d like to share with you the top five benefits we hear mentioned most frequently:

Immediate Results – As soon as your surgery is complete, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in vision, and it will continue to improve while you heal. Read about one of our patient’s excitement over saying “Goodbye to Glasses”!

Quick Procedure – The procedure is fast, typically 15 minutes or so. In fact, most people are surprised at how brief the surgery actually lasts. Want proof? Watch a live LASIK procedure here.

Cost Savings – LASIK is a great solution to many vision problems, which means no more need to update your glasses every few years or replace contact lenses every month. The cost savings keep adding up year after year.

Improved Self-Confidence – After LASIK, I continually hear patients say, “It’s like seeing the world in a whole new light!” Seeing clearly can help you become more comfortable in social situations and more outgoing.

Freedom – After surgery, there is no need for many of you to worry about losing or breaking your glasses, or to pay for prescription sunglasses. There is no need to put in your contacts every day and clean them every night. And you can swim, golf, drive or whatever else you like to do without having to think about your vision!

To find out more information about the benefits of LASIK surgery, or to schedule a free initial exam, call Emory Vision today at 404- 778-2733.

Do you have any questions about the benefits of LASIK? Or, would you like to add some additional benefits of your own? If so, be sure to let me know in the comments.

Fun in the Sun After LASIK

From scuba diving to water skiing or swimming at the pool, LASIK surgery can make a world of difference in how you enjoy water sports during the hot summer months. Imagine how much better the experience will be with clear vision!

Just remember you’ll have to ease into the fun immediately after having LASIK. Swimming can be dangerous to your healing eyes in the weeks following the surgery. Keep in mind that the corneal flap needs time to heal. Though you will feel fine and your vision will be improved, be sure to take extra precautions for at least the first two weeks after LASIK.

Oceans, rivers and lakes contain countless microscopic organisms that could easily slip under your unhealed corneal flap and cause infection or other complications.  Swimming pools contain their own microorganisms, along with chlorine and other harsh chemicals, and present a level of danger.

If you have a vacation scheduled and plan to be at the beach within a few weeks after surgery, be sure to wear goggles or a mask that completely prevents water from having any contact with your eyes. In some cases, we may recommend avoiding water for a further amount of time, depending on your particular situation. So be sure to check with one of the experts at Emory Vision before heading into the water!

Still not sure whether LASIK is for you? Be sure to see our Novel Approach to LASIK and view live LASIK surgery to hear one patient’s testimony about how it completely changed his life for the better. To find out more information about Emory Vision or to schedule an initial exam, leave us a note in the comments section, or contact us at 404-778-2733 today.

Three Emory Employees; Three Patient Stories

Paula (left), Eddie (middle) and Robin (right)

I’d like to introduce you to three Emory employees from the Faculty Staff Assistance Program at Emory Healthcare who experienced LASIK here at Emory Vision.

It began with Eddie Gammill, who had his surgery here with us a few years ago and was so thrilled with his results that he proceeded to tell all of his coworkers about his experience.  Eye health is of particular importance to Eddie, not only because he’s the Manager of Wellness Programs for Emory’s Faculty Assistance Program, but also because of his family history—his grandmother was blind.

Eddie felt that LASIK surgery was an incredible opportunity. When interviewed for this blog post, he made a point to say, “I wish I hadn’t waited so long. LASIK surgery is truly one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself.”

It didn’t take long for Eddie’s enthusiasm to move Robin Huskey (his co-worker and the Manager of Outreach and Education at FSAP) to consider LASIK as well. Robin wore glasses that always interfered with her passion for water skiing, snow skiing and tennis. She said, “Eddie had such a great experience and spoke so highly of the staff and physicians.”

According to Robin, “The procedure went smoothly, and my vision is great!” In fact, Eddie and Robin’s positive reviews inspired yet another FSAP employee to explore the possibility of LASIK surgery—Paula Gomes, the Director of Wellness Programs.

“Eddie and Robin talked about how LASIK surgery changed their lives,” Paula said. “They were on a campaign to encourage me to think about it.”

Paula had her surgery earlier this year and is delighted to be free of her glasses: “Now, when I wake up in the morning, I’ll look across the room and just gaze at the alarm clock, enjoying my new vision.”

Naturally I’m fond of these stories because I’m an Emory Vision patient advocate. That said—I also think that they demonstrate the extraordinary power of positive word of mouth, something that happens naturally when you give patients only the best of care.

Epilogue

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the horizon over the past couple days. Right now, with everything turning green around Atlanta, the leaves on the trees are especially lovely to see. But the reason I keep staring at them is that the detail of each tree in the distance is so much greater than anything I remember seeing before. My vision seems far better now than it was before even when I was wearing glasses.

When I’m driving, I keep feeling as if I should be reaching for my glasses, simply out of habit. I don’t have them anymore—I dropped them in the recycling bin. I KNOW that I shouldn’t drive without them, so I reflexively look for them. It’s an odd sensation, but one I’m happy to get used to.

In the days leading up to the surgery, I spent a lot of time thinking about having great vision, but it was only “day of” when I thought seriously about the procedure itself and started to really get nervous. But my wife Eva was with me, and that helped a lot. At one point, I was sitting in the waiting room and woman asked me if I was the guy in the videos on the Emory Vision blog. She said she’d been watching to see how the surgery turned out. We talked about being a little nervous, but I think she was as excited to have the process done as I was.

The folks at Emory were great. They clearly understood that I’d be nervous getting ready, and they carefully explained each step of the procedure, and the follow up as well. Knowing exactly what to expect really calmed me down.

The procedure itself was shockingly fast, painless, and really psychedelic, with lights flashing green and red. I wish I had brought my iPod along, because it was like the best Pink Floyd laser light show ever. I would have played The Great Gig in the Sky for the actual procedure.

The evening of the procedure I sat in the dark and listened to music and a couple podcasts. Emory Vison didn’t put these kind of restrictions on me, but I just thought I’d play it safe. First thing next morning, I got checked out, and got the all clear. Since then, I’ve been applying the eyedrops they prescribed four times a day, but that’s just for a week. My eyes feel normal to me now, except for being able to see for miles and miles.

Day After LASIK