Good Morning America reports that the American Academy of Ophthalmology states 90% of patients achieve 20/20 vision following laser vision correction. What the AAO report does not address is that 20/20 does not mean that the patients have a good quality of visual acuity. The Good Morning America Video (video at the end) interviews both satisfied and unsatisfied patients. Some patients complain of a worsening of their dry eye symptoms, halos or shadows, glare or starbursting, poor night vision, reduced contrast or simply uncorrectable blurry vision. The vast majority of the patients that have had LASIK or PRK are happy with the result. However, laser vision correction is not reversible and some of the resultant problems from refractive surgery are not resolvable.
Options available to patients that are not happy with their surgical result, of course depend on the symptom. Some of the options available to patients are:
Post Surgical Contact Lenses
These special contact lenses are available as soft contacts, as gas permeable lenses and as a combination soft/gas permeable. Post refractive surgery contact lenses are usually used when a patients vision can not be corrected by additional surgery, glasses or regular contact lenses because their corneal surface has become slightly irregular or distorted. The symptoms may include, blurry vision, halos and shadows.
Dry Eye Syndrome
The most common complaint following refractive surgery is dry eyes. Most often the dryness improves two to six months following surgery. Ocular dryness can also cause blurry vision. Should the dryness not improve there are numerous solutions to improve patient comfort and it is worth seeking help from an eye doctor that is familiar with treating dry eye syndrome.
Glare and Poor Night Vision
Often glare, halos and night vision problems are due to large pupils and/or uncorrected refractive error. Night driving glasses will usually help patients that are still a little nearsighted following refractive surgery. Treating the glare is little more difficult. Glare often improves with time, however a medication called Alphagan has been known to improve night glare symptoms by causing the pupil to constrict slightly. Alphagan may contribute to the ocular dryness, however.
Know Your Vision Correction Options
LASIK and PRK are good procedures and can greatly improve one’s quality of life. Prior to taking the refractive surgery plunge patients should thoroughly research their options. In an upcoming article I’ll cover the alternatives to refractive surgery.
At Total Eye Care we offer all of the refractive surgery and non surgical vision correction options available and we pride ourselves on giving our patients an objective opinion of all of their choices. It is important for our patients to be well educated on the pros and cons of each option so that they can make an informed decision.
Check out the video below from the Good Morning America’s investigation on LASIK, it offers a balanced report on refractive surgery.
Have you ever wondered how soft contact lenses are made? We found this Discovery Channel video from the show How Do they do it? showing how custom soft contact lenses are made.
I like optical illusions. Here is a video of one that gives the illusion of movement using paper and a clear overlay.
WFAA TV in Dallas produced a good video on the optomap® Retinal Exam technology. WordPress won’t allow it to be embedded here, however I’ve added it to the optomap® page on the Total Eye Care Website. An optomap® video from the TV show The Doctors can also be found there.
Today we’ll take a departure from the typical eye care related topics. If you have never heard of Perpetuum Jazzile, they are an a cappella group from Slovenia. Here is a video of them performing Africa, a popular hit of the 1980s, originally performed by the group Toto. Check out the African thunderstorm sound effects at the beginning and the beat box percussionist, all without instruments …. amazing. Turn your sound up. It starts quietly.
Computer glasses can not only help reduce eyestrain but they also reduce neck pain at your desk. Numerous factors need to be addressed to maximize your comfort and effectiveness while working at the computer. Computer related eyestrain is especially common for those approaching their 50s and above.
When working at our computer we often find ourselves raising our chin to make the monitor clear. This puts our neck in a very bad, uncomfortable position. Everyone that experiences neck pain should see their eye doctor about computer glasses. A few minutes to read a quick email is not a problem, however the longer you spend in this position the worse it is for your eyes, your posture and your neck. Computer glasses place your monitor in the proper focus allowing you to look directly at the monitor while still allowing you to view reading material at a normal reading distance.
Another important consideration while working at the computer is your blinking. When we work at the computer we become so engrossed in what we are doing that our blink rate goes down which increases the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. The video below gives a good summary of computer vision syndrome and computer glasses.
Coopervision has produced this 10+ minute video on how to insert, remove and take care of soft contact lenses. There is a brief commercial at the beginning outlining the different kinds of contact lenses offered by CooperVision. This video outlines the right way to do it. Throw away that contact lens solution everyday!
Here is a video where a retinal melanoma was initially diagnosed using the optomap® Retinal Exam. The optomap® is a new generation of scanning laser ophthalmoscope that takes a series of 16 photos in 1/4 of a second and puts them together making a panoramic view of the back of a patient’s eye. The optomap® allows us to view over 80% of the back of the eye without dilating the pupils. The optomap® was also recently featured on the TV Show The Doctors.
The first 6 seconds of the video below is blank.
Here is an interesting video from the TV show How It’s Made on how custom soft contact lenses are made. The vast majority of soft contact lenses prescribed today are mass produced and molded, however if you have a lot of astigmatism or wear special custom ordered contact lenses then the odds are good it was manufactured in a similar manner.
FDA Taking Steps to Improve Contact Lens Safety
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to improve contact lens safety by reminding consumers of the importance of following proper cleaning and storing procedures. Consumers who do not follow instructions for contact lens care and use increase their risk of serious eye infections that can lead to blindness.
To support proper cleaning and storage, the FDA has developed a new video on contact lens safety. The video stresses the importance of emptying the solution out of the contact lens case after each use and using the rub-and-rinse method for added effectiveness.
Other important lens care tips include:
• Do not top off or reuse lens cleaning solution;
• Use a contact lens solution to clean, rinse, and then air dry contact lens cases after each use;
• Do not expose contact lenses or lens storage cases to any type of water or other non-sterile solutions.
• Replace your contact lens case at least every three (3) months
In early 2009, the FDA convened a workshop called “Microbiological Testing of Contact Lens Care Products,” in collaboration with several eye care professional groups, to develop consensus on test methods for evaluating contact lens solutions. Based on discussions from this workshop and from a 2008 meeting of the agency’s advisory panel for ophthalmic devices, the FDA is developing manufacturer guidance on potential labeling improvements for these products.
In its June 2008 meeting, the advisory panel for ophthalmic devices made specific recommendations for contact lens product labeling and directions for use, including adding a discard date on their products, in addition to the usual expiration date. The discard date is the date the solution should be thrown out after opening.
On May 19, 2009, the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health issued a letter to manufacturers of contact lens multipurpose solution products that include an option for cleaning without a step for rubbing the lenses. This letter informed these manufacturers of the panel’s conclusion that there is improvement in lens care when using a rub-and-rinse regimen as compared to a rinse-alone regimen, which omits the rubbing step. The direction to rub and rinse lenses, based on the advice of an eye care professional, has always been part of the labeling for multipurpose contact lens care products. More information on contact lens safety is available in a PDF.