Thursday, January 19, 2012 by Tom Spetalnick
When patients call Woolfson Eye Institute with questions on LASIK, frequently the questions are very simple. Here are some of the tougher questions that we receive:
Q: How long does the dilation last after a LASIK consult, and how many days after the dilation can I have surgery?
A: The dilation usually lasts around 12 hours, but some patients are still partially dilated 2 days later. That’s why we try to give patients 72 hours to recover from dilation prior to surgery. For some patients, we can use milder dilation drops that don’t last as long.
Q: Do I have to be dilated during my consult?
A: We call it a “consult” when the LASIK exam includes the dilation, but we can do a “screening” (without the dilation) to determine if you’re a candidate. Once you’ve decided to move forward with surgery, you would then have the dilation done at a later date either at Woolfson Eye Institute or with your referring doctor.
Q: Would it be best if I have Custom LASIK, and how is that determined?
A: Custom LASIK is one of the technologies that we use to improve the chances of 20/20 or better vision, and to decrease the chances of glare symptoms at night. Not all patients qualify for Custom LASIK—we use a test called the Wavescan to obtain information that enables us to provide Custom LASIK. Sometimes other technologies are more appropriate for specific patients—the doctors here will make a recommendation based on the test results from your screening or consult.
Q: Is 18 years old a good age to have LASIK and, if not, what’s the best age to start? My son is 18; should I wait until he’s 21? A lot of doctors are telling me to wait…..
A: If a patient is 18, and we have good evidence that his vision is stable, it’s ok to have LASIK at that age. Not all 18 year-olds will be offered LASIK, but our doctors are glad to do the testing and compare previous prescriptions to determine if it’s sensible to proceed.
Q: How bad does my prescription have to be for me not to qualify for LASIK?
A: Most patients who wear contacts or glasses most of the time for their distance vision end up being candidates for LASIK. Some patients who just need glasses for reading end up opting for monovision. Most of our patients have vision before surgery that’s 20/30 or worse.
Q: If I want mono vision surgery, how long will I need to try the cls before coming in for a consult?
A: You don’t have to be successful in monovision prior to your consult. Our doctors are able to demonstrate to you in the exam room what monovision would look like, and can then tell you if it’s worth trying in contact lenses to be sure. Some patients know within a day that it’s what they want; some take 2 weeks to adapt. If you haven’t adapted in 2 weeks, you probably won’t.
Q: If a woman just gave birth, how soon can she come in for a LASIK consult?
A: We don’t offer LASIK to patients who are pregnant, but after the pregnancy we often can permit patients to proceed. We used to require patients to discontinue nursing and resume normal menstrual cycles prior to offering LASIK, but we no longer do that, as the research demonstrates that vision does not typically change during that time.
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)
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.