Category Archives: LASIK
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.
When you look at a light source – like a headlight or a streetlamp – do you see a halo around or a starburst over it? Do you see glare or ghosted images at night? These night vision symptoms – glare, halos, starburst and ghosting – happen because light doesn’t focus properly into the eye. Everyone’s eyes naturally have microscopic imperfections of the cornea and lens, which can scatter, rather than focus light with precision into the eye.
Recent research shows today’s modern LASIK technologies significantly improve the quality of vision for the majority of patients, including fewer night vision side effects. In fact, night vision symptoms related to LASIK have recently been studied* and, when the latest technologies are used, the majority of patients find their night vision symptoms are reduced after LASIK. Here are some of the recent statistics related to LASIK and night vision symptoms:
Glare: 19 percent of patients developed new glare symptoms; 66 percent of patients reported their pre-existing glare symptoms resolve within 3 months after LASIK.
Halos: 35 percent of patients developed new symptoms of halos around light sources; 50 percent of patients reported their pre-existing halo symptoms resolve within 3 months after LASIK.
Starbursts: 31 percent of patients developed new symptoms of starbursts around light sources; 50 percent of patients reported their pre-existing starburst symptoms resolved within 3 months after LASIK.
Ghosting: 5 percent of patients developed new ghosting symptoms; 90 percent of patients reported their pre-existing ghosting resolve within 3 months after LASIK.
Just like any surgery, there are risks with LASIK to be aware of in order to make an informed decision. LASIK is an excellent procedure with an extremely low – less than 1 percent – risk of significant, sight-threatening issues. This is far less than the potential problems associated with contact lens use. During your initial consult, you should come prepared to discuss not just your vision, but the quality of your vision including your existing visual symptoms such as glare and halos.
*FDA Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK (1 & 2) Study Findings – Presented at ASCRS 2016 Annual Meeting by Dan Durrie, M.D.
This post originally appeared on the ARSC Insight Blog.
At the May 2016 annual meeting of the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery – the medical organization of surgeons specializing in vision correction and cataract surgeries – updates of several high-profile research studies of LASIK safety and performance, including the FDA PROWL study, were presented showing impressively and consistently high marks for safety, outcomes, as well as patient satisfaction.
What do these data mean for the person considering LASIK?
Ultimately, these studies support the overwhelming body of clinical evidence proving LASIK is a safe and effective vision correction option for those who qualify. Remarkably, these studies report the procedure is more likely to help symptoms of dry eye, glare, halo, starbursts and ghosting than it is to cause symptoms.
Two results of two studies in particular, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-sponsored “Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK (PROWL)” and an evaluation of the available scientific literature worldwide on advanced LASIK entitled, “Modern LASIK Outcomes: A Review,” conducted by ASCRS president Kerry D. Solomon, M.D., have been much anticipated by vision correction surgeons.
“Although each take a different investigative approach, these studies provide some of the best data and insights into LASIK, particularly from the patient’s perspective,” said Daniel S. Durrie, M.D. and one of the clinical investigators for the FDA PROWL study. “One of the key findings, from both studies, is with modern equipment, modern techniques and well-selected patients, good surgeons can deliver terrific results with a high degree of safety. LASIK is a great procedure.”
The FDA PROWL research was conducted as prospective, post-market, observational studies designed to develop and evaluate a patient reported outcome questionnaire for use post-LASIK. Approximately 574 subjects (262 active duty military personnel, 312 civilians from 5 investigational sites) were enrolled and asked to fill out an online questionnaire before LASIK and 3-months after LASIK.
The “Modern LASIK Outcomes: A Review” updated the work from the “LASIK World Literature Review: Quality of Life and Patient Satisfaction published in 2009 by analyzing the impact of advanced treatment profiles in LASIK (employing femtosecond laser keratomes and wavefront diagnostic/guidance). In the current work, nearly 4500 clinical study papers on the topic of LASIK were evaluated for relevancy and authority. The final data set included 97 high-quality studies that combined represented 67,893 procedures.
These substantial studies made fresh inquiries into the basics of LASIK: Is it safe? Does the procedure improve vision? What is the potential for side effects? The findings from these studies affirmed the consensus of previous research into LASIK performance:
- Patient satisfaction rate of up to 98 percent.
- Nearly 100 percent of patients achieving at least 20/40 vision, with more than 90 percent achieving 20/20 vision.
- Less than 1 percent of patients lost two or more lines (on the eye chart) of best corrected visual acuity (BCVA).
There was particularly good news out of the FDA PROWL study about the potential for side effects, including dry eye and other visual symptoms such as glare, starbursts, ghosting and halos, post LASIK
- For dry eye, more than half of patients (59%) with dry eye symptoms before surgery reported having no symptoms of dry eye 3-months after LASIK. For those reporting residual dry eye symptoms, there were statistically significant decreases in the severity of symptoms at 3 months post LASIK
- For those patients with no symptoms of dry eye prior to surgery, approximately 30 percent reported experiencing symptoms at 3 months after LASIK. The typical clinical experience with dry eye post LASIK is a gradual improvement of symptoms throughout the healing process, up to one year after surgery.
- LASIK also benefitted those with visual symptoms (glare, starbursts, ghosting and halos) before surgery. More than twice the number of patients reported their pre-operative visual symptoms were gone at 3-months than those who reported an increase in symptoms at 3-months.