LASIK Eye Surgery Explained by an Eye Surgeon Orange County Respects
Eye surgeons at the Retina Associates of Orange County can explain that our eyes have a transparent lens that refracts, or bends, light rays that enter the eye in order to help us see. As people advance into their later years, various proteins form and accumulate within this lens, causing it to lose its transparency and become cloudy. This hampers the ability of light to enter the eye, and can therefore adversely affect vision.
How can I tell if I have cataracts?
An Orange County eye surgeon will tell you that symptoms of cataracts can vary and may include any of the following:
- Blurry vision – this can be diffused across your visual field or be splotchy in appearance
- Light sensitivity – imagine seeing headlights when they head toward you while driving. If these appear to cause more glare than previously, this could be a sign of developing cataracts, as the cloudiness of the proteins distorts the light and appears as glare. You may want to speak with an Orange County eye surgeon for treatment.
- Seeing double, or distorted images
- Normally bright colors now appear dull or faded
- Night blindness – also known as nyctalopia, this can be an early presenting symptom of cataracts
- Visual halos – if every light you see appears to have a halo around them, this can be another sign that the normal entry of light into your eye is being distorted
How are cataracts treated?
The definitive treatment for cataracts is surgery. While the idea of surgery on an eye may be frightening, surgical correction of cataracts is actually one of the safest and most effective surgeries in existence.
Prior to surgery, an Orange County eye surgeon will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the level of correction, if any, will be necessary after the clouded lens is removed, as well as to determine the presence of any risk factors or contraindications you might have to surgery.
The actual procedure time is between 15 and 30 minutes. The clouded lens is removed using a high-frequency ultrasound device that uses vibrational force to break up the clouded lens into smaller, extractable fragments. This process is called phacoemulsification, or “phaco” for short. Once the clouded lens has been removed, it is replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens, with specifics parameters based on the diagnostic results from the pre-operative eye exam.
What is the recovery like for cataract surgery?
According to an Orange County eye surgeon, surgery normally takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, however more time should be allotted for setting up and the administration of preoperative medications. Cataract surgery is generally very safe and well-tolerated, and does not require admission to a hospital. Following surgery, you will be unable to drive, so make sure to have a friend or family member with you to drive you home. You should avoid driving until you have been seen by your Orange County eye surgeon and an eye exam is performed to ensure your vision is adequate for driving.
You may notice an improvement in your vision as soon as one day following your surgery. Eye redness, pain, and blurriness are common in the days following surgery. You will be given protective sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight as your eye recovers. In the first week following your surgery, you should avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting, contact of the operated eye with water (e.g. hot tubs, swimming pools, eye-opening during showers), and any activity that could expose your eye to contaminants. If you have any issues, however, you should contact your Orange County eye surgeon right away.
LASIK Eye Surgery
If you are one of the many people who wear glasses or contact lenses, clear vision is something you likely dream of having. This dream can easily become a reality. LASIK eye surgery can make poor vision a thing of the past. Our eye surgeon at Retina Associates of Orange County are highly trained and well practiced in LASIK eye surgery. The procedure is quick and the recovery time is short. Our decades of combined experience can assure you that by choosing Retina Associates of Orange County you are in very capable hands. Call today to schedule an exam with our eye surgeon in Orange County to learn if you are a candidate for LASIK surgery.
What is LASIK?
LASIK eye surgery will render contacts and prescription glasses unnecessary. If you are someone who has lived much of your life wearing glasses or contacts in order to see, this may sound like the answer to lifelong aggravation. Our skilled eye surgeon in Orange County performs LASIK surgery, a procedure that only takes about 15 minutes to complete. The surgery works as follows.
- Our eye surgeon uses a laser to cut a small flap in the cornea.
- He will then pull back the flap and remove tissue to correct your vision.
- As part of the process, our eye surgeon in Orange County will reshape the cornea as needed, depending on the type of vision issue you suffer from.
- With the experience, skill and training of our eye surgeon in Orange County, LASIK could be the right procedure for you.
Is the Process Painful?
Prior to undergoing LASIK, your eye surgeon in Orange County will meet with you to evaluate your eyes and assess your candidacy for the procedure. Most patients do not experience any pain during or after the procedure, which takes about 15 minutes to complete. Most patients can expect to see a difference in their vision within 24 hours.
LASIK is the most popular way of correcting vision issues. A person who has mild vision problems such as nearsightedness has the highest likelihood of achieving a positive result. Patients with astigmatism or have vision issues that are far more severe can have results that are less predictable. However, in most cases, our Orange County eye surgeons will tell you that a patient can expect to receive the benefit of perfect vision or better. It is important to note that despite LASIK, vision can still deteriorate with age. There are a number of procedures that can be used to repair vision, but LASIK is the most prevalent choice. Learn more from our eye surgeon in Orange County at Retina Associates of Orange County.
Laser Eye Surgery
There are several reasons why you may find you need the help of an experienced Orange County eye surgeon to treat a medical condition concerning your vision. At Retina Associates of Orange County, we have been helping patients with optical issues for many years and understand how frightening a medical problem with your vision can be.
At Retina Associates of Orange County, there are several different reasons why patients need eye surgery. Some of the more common types of surgical treatment we offered by our Orange County eye surgeons include the following:
Macular Degeneration Laser Surgery
The majority of macular degeneration is dry and does not usually require treatment. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of these cases will progress to wet macular degeneration. This type is much more aggressive, however, there are laser treatment options now available. Laser surgery can help stabilize the condition and in some cases, patients have even experienced improvement of the condition. The laser can be used to help prevent the “blind spot” that patients suffer from with this condition from increasing in size.
Glaucoma Laser Surgery
Many patients use drops to control their glaucoma condition, but there are patients who can benefit from laser surgery administered by an Orange County eye surgeon for this condition. The surgery permanently opens the areas of the eyes where the pressure builds up and only takes 10 to 15 minutes to perform.
After Cataract Surgery Laser Surgery
There are situations where a patient will experience cloudy vision even after they have had cataract surgery. It is not a cataract but is actual clouding of the capsule behind the lens. This capsule can become hazy and causes the cloudiness. Laser surgery from an Orange County eye surgeon is an effective way to clear that area so the light can focus on the retina, allowing clear vision again.
Diabetic Retinopathy Laser Surgery
Patients who suffer from diabetes can also suffer from tiny blood vessels located in the retina to leak or become closed off. This can cause vision loss. Laser surgery can shrink these blood vessels, stop them from leaking, or reduce swelling. These treatments typically take 10 to 20 minutes to complete and usually require that an Orange County eye surgeon administer local or topical anesthetic for the procedure. It is not uncommon for patients to require multiple surgeries over time, as well as other types of retinal therapy.
Retina Associates of Orange County
Call us today to schedule a consultation so that we can help you determine whether or not you are a candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Our eye surgeon in Orange County will be happy to answer your questions regarding LASIK Eye Surgery. We are truly dedicated to helping people strive for good vision, one eye at a time. Call us today to schedule an exam with our eye surgeon Orange County residents recommend for quality medical care.
Before, During, and After LASIK Corrective Eye Surgery; a Walkthrough
What does LASIK stand for?
LASIK (pronounced “lay-sik”) eye surgery stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis” and is the most commonly performed eye surgery for myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism in the United States.
Our eye surgeons at the Retina Associates of Orange County are available to provide LASIK to qualified candidates. LASIK corrective eye surgery is performed by first using a precise surgical tool called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser to create a flap in the cornea. Once this flap is created, a highly specialized laser called an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea in such a way that light is more properly focused on the retina. Following surgery, or Orange County eye surgeons experience patients who obtain optimal results, including improved vision, often negating the need for corrective eyewear in the form of glasses or contacts.
Before LASIK Surgery
Refractive eye surgery is not ideal for everyone. Prior to receiving LASIK eye surgery, an Orange County eye surgeon will perform a comprehensive eye exam to ensure that you are an ideal candidate for the surgery. In addition, you should weigh the risks of LASIK surgery vs. the benefits; with an Orange County eye surgeon. It’s important to be aware that side effects and complications of surgery are exceedingly rare, but they do exist and it’s important to know about them. These include dry eyes, nighttime glare, infection, or the need for LASIK enhancement a few months after the initial LASIK surgery to achieve the desired visual acuity. It’s important to inform your Orange County eye surgeon of any medical conditions and medications you are currently taking, as these are important in assessing your candidacy for surgery. If you wear contact lenses, you will likely be advised to discontinue wearing the lenses for up to 2 weeks prior to the date of your pre-operative exam and surgery, as contact lens can affect the natural shape of the cornea.
The LASIK Procedure
Prior to the surgery, you will be given eye drops to numb all sensation. After the medication has taken effect, an instrument called an eye speculum is used to keep your eyelids retracted. Your eye will be wet constantly by your Orange County eye surgeon to prevent dryness.
A suction ring is placed on the surface of your eye to prevent eye movements during the creation of the corneal flap. The flap is first created using a microkeratome or femtosecond laser. Once done, your eye surgeon based in Orange County will use a computer to align the excimer laser settings to your specific prescription. You will be asked to look at a laser light, which will send pulses that painlessly reshape, or ablate, your cornea into the specified shape. In total, the actual LASIK laser procedure takes about five minutes.
Recovery from LASIK surgery
Immediately following surgery, you may experience a burning or itching sensation, which is usually transient and will resolve on its own. You may experience blurry vision, which normally resolves within 24 hours following the surgery.
Orange County eye surgeons generally recommend several days of rest following the procedure, however it is not uncommon for patients to return to work the following day. It’s advisable to avoid strenuous physical activity, as this has the potential to adversely affect the quality of the corneal flap.
For many patients, eyesight is immediately and noticeably improved. However, in a subset of patients who undergo LASIK surgery, the improvement in vision can take anywhere from several days to, on rare occasions, weeks. Most patients make a return visit to their Orange County eye surgeon’s clinic the following day to assess their visual acuity. Laws in most states prohibit patients from driving until their uncorrected visual acuity is shown to be 20/40 or better. Most people achieve visual acuity of 20/20 or better, though in some rare instances patients may only achieve visual acuity of 20/40 or less.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with an Orange County eye surgeon, contact the Retina Associates of Orange County today.