In the past, many people were disqualified from laser eye surgery because their eyes or their general health were thought to affect the outcome of the treatment.
Mark Wevill has 20 years’ experience doing laser eye surgery, and has seen first-hand how wonderful new technology, new techniques, and a better understanding of the safety of laser eye surgery have opened up different procedures for people with various health and eye conditions.
The strength of the cornea
Previously, many people were disqualified because their corneas (the window at the front of the eye) were considered to be too thin or weak. This is still an important consideration; however, new scanners and software help surgeons determine the strength of a cornea and, consequently, if laser eye surgery is safe.
In addition, we know more about the strength of the cornea. For example, we know that one advantage of getting older is that our corneas get stronger as we age. This is because exposure to sunlight over many years strengthens our corneas. So, the older we are, the more sunshine we’ve enjoyed. That’s good news for people who were turned away 10 years ago and told they aren’t suitable, because now they are older and their corneas are stronger!
Cornea surgery options
The best treatment for thin corneas is LASEK, also known as ASA (advanced surface ablation). LASEK or ASA has significant advantages over PRK, a similar technique developed many years ago, which often yielded unpredictable healing and results. With our new understanding, we can control the healing so you get better results with LASEK or ASA eye surgery than before.
LASIK is another type of laser eye surgery that involves creating a thin layer of tissue on the surface of the eye. The thinner this layer, the stronger the residual cornea will be after treatment. New lasers and other instruments are extremely precise and are able to create layers that are less than 1/10th of a millimetre thick (that’s really thin!), leaving your cornea stronger after laser eye surgery than before.
Many people with corneas of average thickness were turned away because their prescriptions were too high and treatment would weaken the cornea. However, modern thin flaps and other techniques mean that more people are suitable for LASIK than in the past.
The great news is that even if you still don’t qualify for laser eye surgery because of your prescription and corneal thickness, you can join over a million people who enjoy fantastic, glasses free vision with the Visian ICL!
Night vision is vastly improved
(Image Source: Unsplash)
|In the past, some people were advised not to have laser eye surgery because they were at risk for glare at night from car headlights and street lights. We all get some glare at night but older lasers used for eye surgery often increased the severity of the problem.|
Vision stability is less of a barrier
Previously, your vision needed to be stable for a year or two to qualify you for laser eye surgery. The problem with that is: nobody knows when your glasses prescription will “settle down”.
Granted, the younger you are the more likely your eyes will still be changing. As a result, laser eye surgery is not usually done in children. However, it has been done in children in certain circumstances with the understanding that the focus of the eye will change.
Similarly, we can treat young adults who have much more stable eyes than children and who understand that their eyes may still change. They may enjoy glasses-free vision for a while, but may need further treatment or thin glasses again in the future.
Illness is not an obstacle
People with health conditions, including herpes of the eye, glaucoma, arthritis, and diabetes have also been turned away in the past. We now know that if the condition is mild and well controlled, people can safely enjoy the benefits of laser eye treatment.
You could well qualify
Don’t assume that you don’t qualify for laser eye surgery just because you would have been turned away in the past. Continual advancements in technology and knowledge means that a far greater number of people are suitable for Laser Eye Surgery than a few years ago.
Talk to your eye surgeon to see if you are, in fact, a suitable candidate for LASIK or an alternative vision correction procedure. Note that it is important to disclose your complete medical health to achieve the best possible results. Using the information you provide, an experienced laser eye surgeon will be able to assess your suitability, advise you about your specific suitability, and customise the vision correction treatment to your personal circumstances.