Cutting-edge Laser Vision Correction to Restore Clear Vision
Do you suffer from vision impairment? Are you tired of hassling with prescription glasses or contact lenses? If so, there may be a better solution for you. Laser vision correction performed at our Austin practice can provide long-lasting correction that greatly reduces or completely eliminates the need for glasses and contacts. Contact us today to learn more.
The shape of the cornea plays a significant role in the quality of your vision; light must travel through the cornea to reach the retina, which transmits light information to your optic nerve. If your cornea is irregularly shaped, light refracts at the wrong angles, distorting your vision. Patients with corneas that are overly curved have myopia, or nearsightedness, a condition in which patients can see objects up close but not at a distance. In contrast, patients with corneas that are overly flat have hyperopia, or farsightedness, in which patients can see objects clearly at a distance but not up close. When the cornea is shaped more like a football, rather than its ideal round shape, the patient has astigmatism, which can cause blurry vision at all distances. LASIK permanently alters the shape of the cornea to produce clear vision in patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
To be a good candidate for LASIK surgery, you should:
Have a consistent glasses or contacts prescription
Have mild to moderate myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism
Be 18 or older
Be in good ocular health, without bacterial infection, high intraocular pressure, or dryness
Be able to heal properly from surgery and undergo anesthesia
Not be pregnant or nursing, since hormonal shifts can change your eye shape
Have small or average sized pupils, since patients with larger pupils are more likely to experience light sensitivity as a side effect of LASIK
Have a thick enough cornea for the procedure, since your surgeon will need to modify this part of your eye to correct your vision (patients with thinner corneas might opt for PRK instead)
In the weeks and days leading up to your procedure, you will be given a set of simple pre-operative instructions to follow. On the day of your procedure you may first be given local anesthesia (using topical eye drops). The procedure typically takes less than half an hour to complete. Once you are sufficiently numb, your surgeon will create a flap of tissue that he will then lift and open. Some ophthalmologists use a thin microkeratome blade to complete this step, but we use a femtosecond laser to perform blade-free iLASIK. Your surgeon will then modify the stroma, the underlying tissue beneath the cornea, using an excimer laser. Finally, your surgeon will put the flap back in place, where it will reattach to the rest of the cornea as it heals.
The Day of Your Procedure
LASIK surgery can achieve wonderful results that many patients begin to notice immediately following surgery. The full effects of your refractive procedure will begin to develop over the weeks and months following LASIK. During this time, you should carefully follow aftercare instructions provided by your eye doctor. This will ensure your comfort and optimal results. At Broberg Eye Care, Drs. Peter Broberg, Halsey Settle, William McGlathery, and Dr. Ximena de Sabra have extensive experience performing LASIK surgery. We will help prepare you for your surgery and educate you on what to expect in the period following your appointment.
Your Recovery and Aftercare
In the days following your surgery, you will notice that your eyes may become tired quickly and feel somewhat irritated. You will likely experience some light sensitivity which should clear up within a few days. During this time, you should follow a few tips:
Do not smoke
Use your eye drops regularly as prescribed by your surgeon
Avoid getting water or soap near your eyes during bathing or washing your face
Do not wear makeup, eye creams, or lotions around the eyes
Avoid high winds or excessively dry air
Avoid rubbing your eyes
Be prepared to keep the time that you are looking at televisions, computer screens, and other devices to a minimum
These simple steps will ensure that your corneal flap heals properly and your eyes do not become unnecessarily irritated. You will return to our office in the weeks following surgery so that we can ensure that you are healing properly. Your vision should achieve maximum results within three months after surgery.
Prior to your surgery, you will be evaluated by one of our surgeons to ensure that LASIK is right for you. You should tell your doctor about past and current medical and eye conditions. You should also provide the name of any medications that you are allergic to or are currently taking. During your consultation, your surgeon will also take the time to review the procedure and its expected outcomes, as well as answer any questions that you may have.
Contact Lens Use
Contact lenses can effect the shape of the cornea, even weeks after you have stopped wearing them. For this reason, it is important that patients stop using their contact lenses for an adequate amount of time prior to surgery. A failure to do so can compromise your post-operative results and mean that you do not achieve optimal visual acuity. Your surgeon will provide you with an exact duration after evaluating your unique needs, but recommendations generally outline:
Soft contact lenses – Stop use at least two weeks prior to surgery
Toric soft lenses or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses – Stop use at least three weeks prior to surgery
Hard lenses – Stop use at least one month prior to surgery
Patients should also prepare for surgery by arranging transportation to and from our practice on the day of your procedure. After surgery your vision may be temporarily blurry, making driving difficult and dangerous. The use of sedatives can also effect your ability to drive. As such, patients should plan on having a family member or friend get them home safely.
24 Hours Before Your Procedure
In the 24 hours leading up to your LASIK procedure, you should stop using:
The reason you will need to stop using these products is that any debris left on the face or along the eyelashes can increase the risk of infection. Your doctor may also ask that you scrub your eyelashes for a set period of time before your appointment to remove any build-up along the lashes. Lastly, your eyes will be cleansed in a very specific way just prior to your procedure to minimize the risk of infection.
LASIK is a highly effective procedure for treating farsightedness, or difficulty focusing nearby objects. There are two types of farsightedness. Hyperopia can result from corneal irregularities or the position of the crystalline lens. Presbyopia, on the other hand, is caused by age-related changes in the lens. These conditions can make it especially difficult to use the computer or read without corrective eyewear. At Broberg Eye Care, we can create a custom plan to treat your farsightedness using LASIK technology, reducing or eliminating your need for glasses when reading or engaging in other tasks that require up-close focus.
What Causes Farsightedness?
Vision problems are caused by errors in the way your eye refracts, or bends, incoming light. The lens and cornea of the eye are responsible for focusing light on the retina, which then converts the light into signals transmitted through the optic nerve to the brain. Hyperopia occurs when your eye focuses images behind the retina instead of directly onto the retina, resulting in a blurred perception of nearby objects. This error results from irregularities in the shape of the eye, the cornea, or the position of the lens. Presbyopia results from a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the lens. This age-related condition usually begins to develop after age 40. Both conditions cause patients to have difficulty focusing on up-close objects.
How does LASIK Improve Up-close Focus?
LASIK treats hyperopia by reshaping your cornea so that it properly focuses light on the retina, resulting in clearer vision. During the procedure, your doctor will use a femtosecond laser to create a thin, circular flap in the surface of your cornea. The flap is opened, but remains hinged in a small area. Your doctor will use an excimer laser to reshape the stroma, or inner layer of the cornea, by removing microscopic amounts of tissue. Finally, the flap is closed and heals naturally.
Patients who have developed presbyopia can also benefit from LASIK treatment. The procedure involves adjusting the eyes for monovision, in which one eye is corrected for near vision while the other eye remains largely responsible for distance vision. Because some patients have difficulty adjusting to monovision, your doctor will supply you with a set of temporary contact lenses to simulate the effect prior to undergoing monovision correction.
What Are the Benefits of LASIK Treatment for Farsightedness?
Although each patient is unique, many LASIK patients achieve at least 20/40 vision, making glasses and contact lenses unnecessary. Patients are no longer hindered by corrective eyewear and can more easily perform professional duties and recreational activities. This results in an improved quality of life and increased self-confidence. Recovery from LASIK surgery is relatively quick, with patients returning to most everyday activities within a few days. Many patients experience improved vision rather quickly, but it can take up to three months to experience the full benefits.
LASIK questions to ask at Broberg Eye Care should generally be centered around the procedure’s safety, efficacy, recovery timeline, and candidacy requirements. In addition, before undergoing the procedure, you will have a private consultation with one of the doctors at our Austin, TX, practice to discuss the procedure in detail and give you a good understanding of what to expect during surgery. Patients who are prepared are more likely to achieve better results.
Is LASIK safe?
This surgical procedure uses laser technology to reshape the cornea, or outer surface of the eye, correcting the effects of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. By reshaping your cornea, it allows your retina to produce sharper, clearer images. Approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), this procedure is proven as both safe and effective. Because it is performed with computer-controlled, state-of-the-art laser technology, like our Wavefront system, it offers optimal precision with reduced risk for complications.
Will I have perfect vision after a LASIK procedure?
Although patients are able to significantly improve their vision with LASIK surgery, we cannot guarantee 20/20 vision. However, many of our patients are able to participate in activities, such as reading, driving, and playing sports without wearing contacts or glasses.
To achieve a smooth and quick recovery, we encourage our patients to follow their post-surgical instructions carefully.
Can I have LASIK performed on both eyes at the same time?
Yes, both eyes can be treated simultaneously.
Are the results permanent?
Although results are long-lasting, they are not permanent. Certain changes related to your age, particularly presbyopia, can cause impaired vision or blurriness later on in life. In some cases, when results are not ideal, you may consider LASIK enhancement.
Can I have LASIK if I have cataracts?
There are certain eye conditions that could prevent you from undergoing LASIK, including cataracts, severe dry eye, glaucoma, eye herpes, and other infections.
Does LASIK hurt?
Before undergoing LASIK, anesthetic eye drops will be administered to numb the eyes so you should remain comfortable throughout treatment. Afterwards, once the anesthesia wears off, your eyes may feel tired, irritated, and sensitive to light. Our team will provide you with a list of post-surgical instructions and prescribe eye drops to assist you in achieving a smooth recovery.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure can typically be completed in less than 30 minutes.
How can I qualify for LASIK vision correction?
To determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK, one of our doctors will perform a thorough eye and physical examination, carefully reviewing your complete medical history. General guidelines to determine candidacy include patients:
With good ocular health, stable eyesight, and no history of eye infections, diseases, or disorders
Over the age of 18
Who are not pregnant or nursing
Not participating in high-contact sports
With no history of degenerative or autoimmune diseases
How much does LASIK cost?
The cost of LASIK varies from patient to patient and is dependent on a number of factors, including the type of LASIK performed, the complexity of the procedure, whether both eyes are being treated, and your insurance coverage.
What are the side effects or risks of LASIK?
According to the FDA, possible side effects include dry eye, sensitivity to light, halos, or difficulty driving at night. Most side effects subside with time and can be treated with medicated eye drops.
What happens on the day of the procedure?
On the day of the procedure, you will be taken to one of ours rooms and comfortably seated in a reclining chair. Once anesthetic eye drops are administered, the doctor will stabilize your eye with an eyelid speculum. The laser will then be properly positioned to reshape the cornea. Each eye takes about 15 minutes.
What precautions should I take for a fast recovery?
To achieve a smooth and quick recovery, we encourage our patients to follow their post-surgical instructions carefully. This may include:
Not wearing makeup or using eye creams
Limiting your reading and screen time
Applying eye drops as prescribed
Attending follow-up appointments
When can I return to work?
As long as your job does not involve contact sports or strenuous activity, you can return to work within 24-48 hours. However, if your job involves reading or viewing computer screens, your eyes may easily tire or become irritated. This will subside within the first week.
When can I drive after LASIK?
If you see well enough the day after surgery, you can resume driving. Most patients can resume normal activities 24-48 hours after surgery.
When can I wear makeup after LASIK?
You will be encouraged to avoid wearing makeup or using lotions and creams around your eyes for the first week. Once you resume wearing makeup, throw out the old products and start with fresh ones to reduce your risk for infection.
Ready to see clearly?
We can help you decide if Laser Corrective Surgery is right for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.