Category Archives: LASIK
Summer puts more demand on our eyes and vision than any other time of year. Because the days are longer and the sunshine a little brighter, most find themselves outside soaking up the rays, enjoying water activities and time with friends. You may not realize it, but all of this summer fun make vision correction, such as glasses and contact lenses, a challenge.
Oceans and Lakes and Pools, Oh My!
There is nothing like getting to the shore or pool to beat the heat of summer. Or surfing in the ocean, enjoying water skiing or other boating and water activities in lakes and rivers. But, if you wear contact lenses, you should know they shouldn’t be used in the water because of the risk of bacterial contamination that can lead to sight-threatening infections.
The reality is regardless of your need for vision correction, water poses a real threat to the health of your eyes. Between the chlorine in pools and pollution along the Great South Bay, you will want a pair of well-fitting goggles to help prevent any exposure that can lead to irritation or infection.
Working and Playing with Eye Safety in Mind
Summer is all about the art of spontaneity – a pick-up game here or a tennis game there. But having to think about your vision correction needs can put the brakes on last-minute plans.
Protective eyewear is a must, particularly for sports like baseball, paintball and tennis where the ball can cause significant eye injuries. While prescription sport goggles are available at specialty eyewear centers, if you have good vision or have had a corrective procedure like LASIK, you should pick up a pair at the local sporting goods store.
If your summer plans include tackling some big chores and projects around the house, even if it is just mowing the lawn, be sure to use safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris.
Eyes Need Sun Protection, Too
After you’ve slathered on some sunscreen to protect your skin from damaging UV rays, be sure to take the same precaution for your eyes. We know eyes can suffer from sun damage with vision-threatening results. Cataracts and macular degeneration are both linked to long-term sun exposure.
Sunglasses should have 100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB radiation, some labels have UV 400 – which covers both UVA and UVB rays. Just because the lenses are dark, doesn’t mean they offer sun protection. Dark lenses are designed to block visible light, which is great when you are at Long Beach on a bright sunny day, but UV rays are invisible. You want to be sure your sunglasses have the protection your eyes need.
Larger, wrap-around styles are best to ensure your eyes are adequately covered. You want to block any UV light from your eyes (as well as the skin around them). This is particularly true if you’ve had LASIK, you want to protect your investment in great vision. Some contact lenses offer UV blocking technology, but we strongly recommend wearing sun-protecting sunglasses as well. If you know you are going to be out in the sun for a while, put a wide-brimmed hat on for added sun safety.
Packing for Sightseeing
If travel is on the agenda this summer, your vision takes on a whole new meaning. Your eyes take in everything around you – especially if you are visiting a new destination or packing for an adventure of a lifetime.
Add to your packing list the items you need to enjoy the sights:
- If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you won’t want to be caught without a back-up pair of prescription glasses. This is important in case you lose or break your regular pair or have a problem with your contacts while traveling.
- Speaking of contacts, be sure to pack extra daily disposable lenses. Whether your travel plans change, your delayed for any reason or a pair gets damaged. Include plenty of solution, drops and an extra sterile case for your extended wear or rigid lenses so you can take great care of your contacts regardless of the water quality of your destination.
- No matter what your vision correction, don’t forget the sunglasses (see above!)
There are No “Safe” Fireworks
As a final note, don’t be fooled by the labeling. Lighting off fireworks at home in inherently dangerous. Yes, even the seemingly benign sparklers can cause significant harm to the eyes, face and body. There is no need to take such chances with you and your loved ones when there are fantastic fireworks shows everywhere around the Fourth of July. In fact, Astoria Park is starting their celebration on June 29th – take a picnic and make an evening of it. Please protect yourself and your eyesight by leaving the firework displays to the professionals.
We hope you have amazing plans for this Summer and hope you find these tips valuable for making sure your eyes and vision help you make the most of it. If you find your glasses or contacts are getting in the way of your activities, rather than supporting them, we are here to help. Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK but there might be other laser vision correction procedures that can help you achieve your best vision. Your first step in exploring your options is a thorough evaluation with your eye doctor so we can make the recommendations best suited for your eyes and vision.
How To Use Your Tax Refund To Invest In Yourself
Did you know most Americans receive a tax refund? If you are among the 8 out of 10 expecting a refund this year, you may already have a plan for the money. Many people take advantage of tax refunds to travel, build their savings, or to improve their overall quality of life. Following are some options you may want to consider.
Investing in yourself is an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often. And investing in crisp, clear vision represents a smart way to spend that extra money while providing perhaps the healthiest return ever.
If you’ve considered LASIK but are worried about the price, the average tax refund of $2,800 can go a long way toward the health of your eyesight. And with LASIK qualifying as a medical expense, some taxpayers are able to achieve a double benefit with a tax deduction.
Improving your vision with LASIK offers several benefits. Freedom from corrective eye wear, improved athletic performance, and eliminating the ongoing cost of glasses, contacts, solutions and drops are just a few. Today, LASIK is an extremely advanced procedure with the capability to correct a range of vision problems including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, meaning more people and prescriptions can benefit than ever before.
Best of all, laser vision correction is a decision that can improve your quality of life. Great vision is a terrific way to invest in yourself and the first step is a visit with a highly-qualified surgeon to determine if you are a candidate.
Pay Off Debt
Buying your financial freedom by using your return to reduce or eliminate high-interest debt can be very satisfying. It can also boost your credit rating and improve your monthly cash flow. Put that refund to work by paying down private student loans, car loans, or credit card debt. You’ll be making a 13%-20% return on your investment, depending on your current APR. If you have several credit cards, pay down the one with the highest interest rate first.
Many feel they’ve saved all year, and want to use their tax refund toward a vacation the entire family can enjoy. Studies show that we value memories much more than we value material possessions. So splurge a little — it can enrich your life and be a welcome reward for paying down debt and other expenses. But act responsibly – don’t use a $500 refund to take a $4,000 all-inclusive family vacation that results in running up additional debt.
It’s not often that we experience a windfall of extra cash, so it’s important to spend that tax return wisely. Whether you decide to pay off high interest debt, splurge on your family, or invest in clearer vision with LASIK, it terrific to have an option to invest in yourself and your quality of life.
Parents have enough to worry about — everything from getting meals on the table to potty training to chauffeuring kids around to their activities. One thing they shouldn’t have to worry about is relying on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly.
Laser vision correction with LASIK is designed to give patients freedom from visual aids, which in turn makes everyday life a little easier. Read on to learn why Dr. Eric Donnenfeld feels that parents especially can benefit from LASIK. Continue reading
I spend most of my day talking with patients about their vision; how to protect it and make it better. It’s what I love to do. The very best conversations I have with patients include lots of questions – particularly important for those who are considering an elective procedure such as LASIK. I decided I wanted to write about the top questions I want you to ask me about LASIK. Here are the first five:
How safe is LASIK?
The safety of LASIK is proven by a tremendous amount of scientific evidence gathered by hundreds of clinical researchers. Based upon all this data, and it has one of the largest data sets ever compiled concerning a medical procedure, that LASIK is considered extremely safe.
Am I a good candidate and if so why?
This should be determined by a thorough evaluation of your vision and eyes in a comprehensive consultation with your LASIK surgeon. Being a good physical candidate is important, but it is also necessary to include your personality and lifestyle in making the decision to move forward.
What are the chances I will obtain the vision I desire?
As with the data supporting the safety of LASIK, there is a vast amount of research supporting the effectiveness of the procedure. The latest lasers and diagnostic technologies have further refined the performance of LASIK to deliver visual outcomes that are better than ever with more than 95 percent of patients achieving 20/20 vision and nearly 100 percent of patients achieving at least 20/40. The most recent review of the LASIK research worldwide shows that more than 96 percent of patients are satisfied with their vision.
Will I need to ever wear glasses again in the future?
Most patients no longer need to rely on glasses or contacts, and the ones that do see their dependence on corrective eyewear drastically reduced. While the results from LASIK surgery are considered to be permanent, you will still be susceptible to age-related eye conditions such as presbyopia and cataracts. Should you develop one of these conditions, you may need to use reading glasses or additional treatment.
What can I do to improve my results prior to, during, and following the procedure?
Having a thorough understanding of the procedure, what to expect during the recovery and carefully following the post-operative medication and activity regimen are all essential to a successful outcome.
When can I go back to doing normal activities?
Typically, patients return to work the next day and are back to their normal routine within a week or two.
We strongly recommend, once you’ve had a thorough LASIK evaluation and it is determined you are a good or even excellent candidate for LASIK, you get information from a variety of sources. We are here to answer your questions and want to help you with this decision in any way we can. We also understand the need to do some independent research. In addition to talking with your friends and family who have had LASIK, the American Refractive Surgery Council offers a lot of information about vision correction procedures and is a good resource.
Let’s face it, most people who wear contact lenses have a love-hate relationship with them.
Ah…the exhilaration of that first pair of contact lenses when for the first time you, who have known the struggle with glasses, are able to see without anyone knowing that, in reality, you can’t. But, that sense of freedom can be fleeting once you realize that contacts, too, have limitations. And, for many, the disappointment sets in when signs of contact lens intolerance appear. It begins with a slight irritation or dry eye; but over time, it can become a sight-threatening issue.
What is contact lens intolerance?
Contact lens intolerance happens when a person’s eyes get irritated when they put in their contacts – becoming bothersome enough that they want to take them out and stop wearing them. Symptoms can be temporary and range from a mild gritty or stinging sensation to more serious issues such as chronic dry eye, abrasions, infections and even corneal ulcers. And for some, these complications are sight-threatening – for up to 1 in 500 contact lens users per year – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing a study published in 2008.
What causes contact lens intolerance?
There are several possible factors. It could be that the fit isn’t right. Perhaps age or hormone changes are contributing factors. Certainly the over-wearing of lenses and the resulting deposits developing on the surface of the lens is as issue, as is not cleaning lenses properly, or sensitivity to lens cleaning solutions; all are associated with the spectrum of symptoms in contact lens intolerance. Whatever the cause, people with contact lens intolerance are better off looking for alternative solutions, such as switching to glasses or having LASIK eye surgery to correct their vision permanently without needing corrective lenses of any type.
Even people who don’t suffer from contact lens intolerance eventually find that the appeal of contacts begins to fade. All types of contact lenses reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the cornea – the front of the eye where the contact resides. Even with proper care and meticulous hygiene, this can lead to an increased risk of eye problems.
A recently published study of long-term (<5 years) contact lens users showed that, over a 3-year period, their level of satisfaction with using contact lenses decreased significantly: from 63 percent down to 54 percent. The study also showed that people who used to use contacts, but then chose to have LASIK eye surgery, had a much higher level of satisfaction with their vision that only improved over time. Importantly, LASIK has a much lower risk of sight threatening infection – 1 in 10,000 according to clinical research.
If you wear contacts and experience symptoms such as red, irritated eyes, ongoing dry eye symptoms, pain or swelling, it’s vital you don’t ignore any of these symptoms. To protect the health of your eyes and vision, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Donnenfeld at Long Island LASIK immediately as you may be contact lens intolerant. It may be time for you to consider other forms of vision correction, such as LASIK.
At Long Island LASIK, we have a proud and long-standing tradition of contributing to the body of science in vision and eye health. As part of that work, we participated in the recently published study, “Modern Laser in Situ Keratomileusis Outcomes.” The study, a scientific literature review of more than 4,400 peer-reviewed clinical studies, found patients are experiencing better visual outcomes than ever before and that the procedure has improved over time. The findings underscore the tremendous amount of research both supporting and advancing the science of LASIK. The data clearly show LASIK results have only improved with innovation and better patient screening protocols.
For those considering LASIK, the good news from this study is that LASIK continues to be a very safe and effective vision correction procedure that has only gotten better over time.
Dr. Eric Donnenfeld and our entire team love to hear from patients about life after LASIK. Many patients tell us how their favorite activities, like exercise and traveling, become easier and more enjoyable without having to depend on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly. We are very pleased to have helped improve quality of life for so many people! Here, Dr. Donnenfeld shares some examples of activities that are more convenient and rewarding after LASIK. Continue reading
If you need glasses or contacts in order to see your way through life, it is likely at some point, perhaps in a moment of struggle with your eyes, vision or lenses, you’ve thought about what life would be like without a vision problem. In that moment, you’ve probably thought about LASIK vision correction surgery. And then you say to yourself: “Yeah…someday.”
Having LASIK is a choice and so is putting it off. Every choice comes with certain outcomes – even putting something off. With a decision like vision correction, you may not think about the consequences of NOT having it done, but here are a few:
You Might Be Wasting Money
A lifetime of vision correction expenses adds up to a surprisingly large amount of money – thousands of dollars. LASIK is an investment, but very doable for most budgets with the very economical financing options available today. And every day, week, month and year you don’t pay for glasses, frames, lenses, solution, cases, etc. is a day you are recouping your investment in your vision. So, the sooner you have vision correction surgery, the sooner you begin saving money. Those who make the investment in their 20s and 30s can expect at least a decade or two of excellent vision (eventually everyone needs reading glasses), meaning they will certainly save more than they spend on the cost of LASIK.
You Might Be Compromising the Health of Your Eyes
This is particularly true if your choice of vision correction is contact lenses. Contacts require diligence. Maintenance is mandatory. The fact is, a lot of people abuse their lenses and put their eyes and vision at risk from infection. We see this frequently in young adults who take their health for granted. The reality is the risk of sight-threatening infection from long-term contact lens use is greater than that of LASIK. And choosing eyeglasses doesn’t eliminate risk – ask anyone who has fallen or been hit in the face while wearing them. The fear of damage and injury due to broken frames or lenses is very real.
Importantly, two recent research studies show that contact lens wearers who choose LASIK are much happier with their vision after surgery, while the longer people wear contacts, the less satisfied they are with them. In fact, patients under the age of 40 report being especially satisfied with LASIK as opposed to wearing contacts or glasses.
You Might Be (Artificially) Limiting Your Life
Do you like to travel? Are you into playing sports or working out? Do you like camping and hiking? What about going to the beach?? Each of these circumstances and scenarios should be the fun part of life – and they are, even when you wear glasses and contacts. But let’s be honest, they do present a challenge. Dirt, sand and water threaten the safety of contacts. Hauling contact lens supplies around is a hassle. Prescription sunglasses are expensive and fashions change pretty frequently. The list of compromises you are making in life with glasses and contacts can be pretty long. If you are fortunate enough to pursue your passions in life, you owe it to yourself to experience it all without the limitations of corrective lenses.
So if you’ve been thinking about have LASIK “someday,” these are just a few of the reasons to think again and make your vision and lifestyle a priority. Today’s modern technologies make LASIK a safe and terrific vision correction option for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism – the latest research confirms up to 96 percent of patients are satisfied with their results. There really has never been a better time than now to find out if you are a candidate for the procedure and if LASIK is right for you.
People Who Choose LASIK After Contact Lenses Are More Satisfied with Their Vision and Remain Satisfied Over Time
A lot of our patients who are interested in LASIK are currently wearing contacts. Here’s news of a recently clinical research study about how LASIK patients who used to be contact lens wearers think about their vision (HINT: They are happier than the study participants who stayed in contacts…by a big margin).
To learn more about the results of this study and how LASIK might be a better option for your vision, visit the American Refractive Surgery Council Insight blog.
Contact lenses are a very popular vision correction option, but did you know they may not be the ideal vision correction for your summer plans? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration strongly advises against using them while swimming in pools, lakes, rivers hot tubs, or oceans to avoid the risk of contamination or severe vision threatening infection.
Many of our patients at Long Island LASIK are shocked to learn about the very real hazards related to wearing contact lenses while enjoying typical summer activities. People use contact lenses because glasses get in the way of outdoor fun, so it is natural to be disappointed in their limitations. The downside of contact lenses is one of the many reasons vision correction procedures like LASIK are so popular
The chief concern about wearing contact lenses in or around the water stems from the risk of contamination from bacteria and other microorganisms. These are present in all types of water including chlorinated pool water and tap water and pose a significant threat to eye health and vision. A few facts about the risk of contact lens use in water:
- A study by Indiana University showed that 100% of soft contact lenses used in pool swimming were contaminated when cultured.
- According to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology (October, 2006), contact lens wearers have a one in 2,000 chance of contracting a sight-threatening eye infection.
- Lenses can absorb water as they adjust to the surrounding water content, which causes the lens to stick to the cornea.
- It can take up to 30 minutes after swimming for lenses and the tear film to return to normal and removal of the lenses before they equilibrate can damage the cornea, creating a passage for bacteria and potential infection.
Eyeglasses may not be a useful alternative to contacts. While sunglasses are summer mainstay, most people recognize that glasses aren’t really an option in the water. Even if you can put up with water spots on your lenses, the risk of losing your glasses as well as hurting yourself is significant. Even high-performance goggles with prescription lenses don’t stand up well to surfing, waterskiing and kayaking.
So if you love the water, being limited by contact lenses and glasses does not have to put a damper on the fun. Come in and let’s talk about your options and find out if you are one of the millions who can benefit from vision correction with LASIK.