Many patients who rely on contacts or glasses to see clearly will eventually find themselves wondering if Lasik could be right for them. Dr. Patel of Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, KS, is pleased to offer this treatment as one of the many ways we can help support the health of your eyes.
What Is the Best Age for Getting Lasik?
Even though a consultation is the best way to know for sure whether Lasik is the right call, there are some factors that can be useful to know ahead of time. One of those factors is age. Patients who are younger than 18 may still go through some vision changes, meaning their vision issues may also change before they reach adulthood.
Once you’re over 18, your vision has likely stabilized, so patients 18 and older could be excellent candidates for this treatment. To further help you make this decision, Dr. Patel will ask you questions about your goals, and examine your eyes.
You may be wondering what happens if it’s determined that this treatment isn’t the best fit for you. This is one of the reasons we offer a wide range of eye treatments; it allows us to help you find the best fit. One alternative to Lasik is PRK surgery.
PRK is also known as Photorefractive Keratectomy, and it can handle a wide range of vision issues. During this surgery, the top layer of your cornea, which is called the epithelium, is loosened. Dr. Patel would then use an excimer laser to reshape your corneal tissue. At the end of the treatment, the surface of the cornea will be gently coated with medication to prevent visual haze.
What Can Lasik Treat?
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is when you can see close objects clearly, but when you look farther away everything is blurry. This condition is due to some part of the eye being misshapen. Clear vision depends on accurate light refraction, so when the eye’s shape is even slightly off it can cause visual issues due to bending the light inaccurately.
If you can look out the window and clearly see the leaves on the trees, but struggle to see the words in a book or the text on your computer, you could be dealing with farsightedness, or hyperopia. This condition can make it difficult for your eyes to “focus” on what’s right in front of you, which can pose some challenges when it comes to work or even just daily life.
Some patients choose to handle this with reading glasses, but corrective treatment can help you reclaim clear vision so you don’t have to think twice about it.
Astigmatism is basically nearsightedness and farsightedness put together. It can make vision blurry at all distances, and its severity can range drastically. As with the other conditions, an incorrect eye shape can contribute to this issue. One common cause behind astigmatism is when the lens inside of your eye have mismatched curves, or the front surface of the eye is curved incorrectly.
All of these conditions can be genetic, but astigmatism can also be triggered by an injury. Some patients find that their astigmatism contributes to headaches, especially if they are always straining to see clearly. It can make driving at night more difficult as well, so improving astigmatism can bring a lot of relief.
What Can I Expect During Lasik Treatment?
This treatment is able to reshape your cornea with the use of streamlined laser technology. It’s a fast, gentle, and extremely effective process.
This is an extremely common treatment; millions of people have benefitted from the permanent visual improvements it can offer. The treatment itself has been FDA approved, and the lasers Dr. Patel uses here at the Wichita Vision Institute are also FDA approved.
Dr. Patel will be happy to guide you through each step of the process before completing it, to ensure that you feel prepared and have a good understanding of what’s going on and what to expect.
We strive to make the environment as soothing and comfortable as possible to put our patients at ease. The thought of going through eye surgery may be unnerving for many patients, but we want to assure you that your mental and physical comfort are both a top priority for us.
To help you relax, you can be given medication to soothe your anxiety. The eyes themselves will be numbed gently and thoroughly.
When it’s time to begin your treatment, you will receive numbing anesthetic eye drops, and Dr. Patel will gently clean your eyelids. An eye retractor will be used to prevent blinking during surgery, and your head will be positioned under the laser.
Our specialized laser instruments will then make a small flap in the eye’s cornea, which can be folded back so the underlying corneal tissue can be targeted. As this corneal tissue is treated, it allows the cornea to take on a more correct shape. Once Dr. Patel is satisfied with the shape of the cornea, the corneal flap will be put back in its place. It will seal itself and serve as an all-natural bandage.
Traditionally, the corneal flap would have been created with a blade known as a microkeratome. This isn’t at all a bad approach, but Dr. Patel is happy to now offer a blade-free alternative. With a femtosecond laser, Dr. Patel can create the corneal flap without having to use any blades at all.
The entire process only takes around 10 minutes for each eye, making it a very fast treatment. Another thing you should notice fairly quickly is an improvement to your vision. Many patients notice improvements almost immediately, and the results should continue to improve over several weeks.
Almost every patient can expect to achieve 20/40 vision, or better. 20/20 vision is certainly possible after treatment, but specific results will vary slightly between patients. Dr. Patel would be happy to work through your expectations and goals with you before surgery.
What Are the Benefits of Lasik?
Some people love to accessorize with glasses, but others feel self-conscious about them. Patients who need corrective lenses but don’t like how they look may feel frustrated and “trapped” with glasses they don’t want. It can be especially hard if these patients also don’t like the hassle of contacts, or how contacts feel in the eye.
Correcting your vision can allow you to ditch the glasses and contacts, be more spontaneous, and dress the way you want to without any unwanted accessories.
No matter what your lifestyle is, the convenience of this treatment can offer many expected or even surprising benefits. Traveling for work or vacation can become easier and less stressful if you don’t have to worry about packing all the materials for your contacts, or losing your glasses. Enjoying your hobbies, especially active ones, shouldn’t take as much time to prepare for if you don’t have to protect your glasses or contacts.
Whether you have practical reasons to seek out corrective surgery or are just tired of dealing with glasses and contacts, there are many reasons to enjoy the convenience of good vision.
Improving vision is the whole goal of this treatment, and it can offer so many of its own benefits. With your vision issues corrected at their source, you won’t have to scramble to look for your glasses before driving, worry about getting dirt in your contacts, or realize you’ve forgotten to take your contacts out before bed.
While some people find contacts to be more convenient than glasses, they still aren’t perfect. High-quality contacts can still shift slightly when you blink, which can feel annoying and can lead to visual distortions. Having excellent natural vision without any of the hassle can make daily life that much easier.
Since this treatment offers permanent changes to the eye, that means it’s able to offer permanent improvements.
It’s important to note that while this treatment is an excellent way to correct eye issues, it can’t stop the effects of aging. Your sight may go through changes due to the aging process, just as it could have if you’d been born with perfect vision. Dr. Patel will also be here to help and answer your questions if you have any concerns about vision changes after your surgery.
Ready for a Complimentary Consultation?
During a consultation, Dr. Patel can answer your questions and also help you decide on the right treatment. By going through your medical history, examining your eyes, and taking eye measurements, Dr. Patel can get a comprehensive idea of what treatment has the best chance of fitting your needs. Reach out to us at Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, KS, to set up your consultation today.