Friday, December 9, 2011 by Tom Spetalnick
One common fear among the patients I see at Woolfson Eye Institute is of severely dry eyes after surgery, and it’s a question patients are smart to ask. The short answer is that, yes, your eyes will most likely be a little drier for at least a few weeks or even months following LASIK. On the positive side, surprisingly few patients find the temporary dryness bothersome—in fact, lots of patients have no dryness symptoms at all.
Dry eyes are not necessarily a reason for you to fear LASIK. In fact, it’s frequently the reason people seek an alternative to contact lenses. Patients with mild dryness often are intolerant of their contact lenses, but usually do very well with LASIK. Our approach at Woolfson Eye Institute is to simply assess the degree of dryness based on your responses to our questions and the results of your dry eye testing. Our job is to classify your dry eye problem as mild, moderate or severe, and then counsel and treat you accordingly.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to predict who is more likely to have dry eyes and also plenty of methods for treating it. If you already have dryness as a symptom, you’re more likely to have similar symptoms or worse right after LASIK. Or, if you’re over 50 years-old, you’ll need to be prepared for the higher chance of at least temporary dryness after LASIK. Farsighted patients often have a tougher time, as well. Some health conditions, like thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis can also increase the chances of annoying dryness symptoms.
If your history and our testing lead us to determine that you have mild dry eyes, using lubricant drops before and after surgery is usually the only treatment needed. Moderate dry eyes sometimes need more aggressive treatment, like plugs in the tear canal (called punctal plugs) or prescription eye drops in order to transform you into a candidate for LASIK. Severe dryness typically means that LASIK is not for you.
Dry eye treatment with punctal plugs often improves the problem very quickly. Your plugs can be inserted either all the way into the canal (called the canaliculus)
Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Tom Spetalnick
If you’re like most patients, you want to know everything that’s going to change about your vision after LASIK. The average age of a Woolfson LASIK patient is approximately 38 years-old, and if you’re like the typical patient, you’re looking for correction of nearsightedness—in other words, your distance vision is blurry and you wish to escape contacts and glasses. But you also have to prepare yourself for the effect that LASIK will have on your near vision. Most people are a little surprised, and sometimes even disappointed, upon being told that they’re going to need reading glasses following LASIK.
Does LASIK cause your near vision to change sooner? No, LASIK is an alternative to glasses and contacts. But if you’re a nearsighted patient who’s approaching 40, it may be hard for you to imagine having difficulty with your near vision, since near vision has always been what you do best.
You, like everyone, will eventually develop an eye disorder call Presbyopia (which literally translates to “old eyes”). If you’re over 40, it’s probably already happening. The lens and muscle system within your eyes is simply programmed to break down over time—like an auto focus camera that wears out.
Once that occurs, glasses are needed for near vision whether you’re wearing contacts or you have LASIK. We spend a lot of time explaining this concept to patients, because there’s nothing more disappointing than a vision-related surprise.
During your LASIK evaluation, we can help you recognize that near vision fades, with or without LASIK, and we can even show you what your intended result will look like. That way, you can move forward with realistic expectations about what Woolfson LASIK can do for you.
What if you just can’t live with having eye surgery that still leaves you wearing glasses for near? It turns out we can provide alternative that WILL give you everything—monovision LASIK or multifocal lens implants. But those are topics for another day.
Monday, November 14, 2011 by WEIblog
We’re excited to announce the launch of our NEW Blog page. Here, you will be able to get lots of information posted by our doctors and staff on various topics. Be sure to click the button on the right so you can sign-up to receive our email updates, newsletters and other important messages we periodically send out.