No, LASIK or PRK does not improve the level of your vision. It may be said it improves your vision in the sense that you may no longer need to wear corrective lenses to see. But it does not cure or improve vision problems such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, lazy eye, etc.

Very few people need full time correction after the surgery. When under correction occurs it is usually to such a slight degree “part time” wear of glasses for special circumstances is usually adequate. In the rare case, yes contact lenses can be fit.

No web page nor even a one on one discussion with your doctor could ever cover every possible risk. But some of the possible ones are:

  • Overcorrection
  • Undercorrection
  • Infection
  • Blurred vision
  • Glare
  • Loss of clarity or contrast of vision

(Many of the above symptoms are similar to problems with contact lenses.)Recent studies have indicated contact lenses may pose a greater risk than LASIK surgery

  1. Do not rub your eye for seven days
  2. Do not rub your eye for seven days
  3. Do not rub your eye for seven days. (The above is repeated 3 times because of it’s importance. Rubbing the eye in this period could dislodge the corneal flap and require another procedure and greatly slow healing)
  4. Wear a protective shield home from the surgery and at bedtime for seven days.
  5. No makeup for seven days
  6. No swimming or hot tubs for seven days.
  7. Use your drops as instructed.

There are a LOT of factors that need to be evaluated to determine if a patient is a candidate. Some guidelines are:

  • +6.00 to -14.00 diopters
  • up to 4 diopters of astigmatism
  • 21 years of age (per Dr. Ahdieh, the FDA says 18 for nearsightedness)
  • A stable prescription

For CustomVue the range is smaller:

  • -9.00 diopters of nearsighted
  • -3.00 diopters of astigmatism

More personal criteria are also measured to make the final determination if you a are a candidate.

The procedure is designed to last for the rest of your life. The current information indicates the cornea when modified will remain stable once the healing is done and it will stay modified permanently. There have been cases of regression (the nearsightedness or farsightedness returning), but they have been rare and have been retreatable.

Both PRK and LASIK are designed to be painless. Anesthetic drops will be used just before the surgery begins to ensure you feel no pain. Pressure sensations, vibrations and touch are all expected but do not cause discomfort.

Your vision and refraction will be measured in several ways with and without drops. The drops used during this evaluation are stronger that the typical eye drops used in a “routine examination”, and your vision will be blurry up close and your eyes sensitive to light for about 12 hours. The front surface of your eye will be examined with a microscope and computer to ensure you are a candidate for the procedure. A examination of the eye will also be performed to ensure there are no other ocular conditions that would interfere with the procedure. An in depth “informed consent” will be given to ensure you understand the procedure and the possible complications.

Dr. Ahdieh is a board-certified ophthalmologist (American Board of Ophthalmology) specializing in cataracts, glaucoma, LASIK Laser vision correction, and corneal specialty care. He is also an expert in the medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma.  He has staff privileges at Lehigh Valley Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Fairgrounds Surgical Center and the Surgery Center of Allentown.  Dr. Ahdieh has been performing refractive surgery in Allentown, PA since 1995.

Your eye is anesthetized with drops to ensure you do not feel the procedure. Two small marks which disappear in a few hours are placed on your cornea. A suction ring is placed on the eye to secure the eye and maintain pressure while a corneal flap is created. A Microkeratome is used to create a thin corneal flap. The corneal flap is inspected by the surgeon. If any abnormality is noted the procedure could be aborted and reattempted. The corneal flap is laid back to expose the treatment area. The prescribed laser treatment is applied. The treatment area is cleaned and the corneal flap is closed. A short period of a minute or two is observed to ensure the flap is sealed.

No. No honest surgeon can guarantee you 20/20 vision after the surgery. In our experience we have had results of better than 20/20 vision (20/15), and most with vision 20/20 to 20/40 (20/40 vision will pass a driver’s test in Pennsylvania.)

No. There are some pre-operative procedures that must be completed beforehand. If you are over 40 it is important that you understand that to date PRK OR LASIK cannot correct the need to wear glasses for reading (presbyopia). The tests that must be completed before your refractive surgery procedure are:

  • Eye History & Examination to determine refractive error, absence of eye disease and your expectations of the procedure. (Previous examinations or your current glasses should be obtained to determine if your prescription is stable.)
  • Corneal topography (a topographical map of your eyes)
  • Pachymetry – A measurement of the thickness of your corneal to determine if the surgery is possible.
  • Hard and gas permeable contact lenses should be removed 3 weeks prior to testing and if there is any question as to the stability of the refraction, they should be left out until the refraction is stable.
  • Soft contact lenses should be removed 1 week prior to testing.
  • It is essential that contact lenses are removed for the appropriate time before testing.
  • These times may be longer as determined by your examination.
  • Overcorrection
  • Undercorrection
  • Infection
  • Blurred vision
  • Glare
  • Loss of clarity or contrast of vision
  • (Many of the above symptoms are similar to problems with contact lenses.)
  • It is impossible to cover every possible complication from refractive surgery or any surgery.

PRK and LASIK are both effective surgical procedures for correcting nearsightedness, astigmatism, and farsightedness. The top layer of cells are removed using PRK exposing the treatment area, while LASIK involves making a flap from these cells to expose the area. The end results are very similar, it’s just a matter of how and when they are achieved.

  • PRK has a higher risk of residual cornea haze though the rate is still very low.
  • There is less discomfort after LASIK
  • The final result is quicker with LASIK
  • Less postoperative drops are usually required for LASIK

There are a lot of factors which determine if you’re a good candidate. You must be 21 years or older. Your prescription must be within range of treatment. Your eyes should be in good health. A discussion with your eye doctor will be a much better way to determine if you’re a good candidate.

There are very few, if any, insurance companies that currently cover the surgery. Most consider LASER vision correction to be cosmetic or part of normal vision care (which usually isn’t covered). “To allow you to pay for your procedure over time, we offer financing options with approved credit.”

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