New York

Many people don’t fully understand the details of LASIK eye surgery, even those who are undergoing or about to undergo the procedure. Don’t be someone who waits until afterwards to discover the things you should have known beforehand. Be an informed consumer, especially with something as important as your vision.

The field of optometry is expanding rapidly, with new advancements being made every day. As a result, an increasing number of roles are emerging in specialised fields of optometry - such as ophthalmology and laser eye surgery - prompting passionate medical professionals to pursue placement within these roles. But what does working in the optical field entail, and what are some of the specific steps required in pursuing a profession in optometry and ophthalmology?

Becoming an ophthalmologist - similar to becoming any other doctor - requires years of college and medical school, followed by a residency placement. And, like most health professions, ophthalmology education, certification and practice are regulated according to country specifications. Ophthalmology also includes sub-specialties, which deal with various eye diseases - and anyone pursuing a career in laser eye surgery should choose their specialization before - or during the process of - obtaining certification.

In the UK, there are three colleges that grant postgraduate degrees in ophthalmology: the Royal College of Edinburgh grants MRCSEd, the Royal College of Glasgow grants FRCS, and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists grants MRCOphth and FRCOphth (postgraduate exams).

Once certification is gained for laser or LASIK eye surgery, a residency - where the candidate completes a supervised practice under a qualified, experienced practitioner - can be secured. During their residency, the candidate is given a number of regular assessments and examinations - upon the completion of which, he or she will be eligible to register with the appropriate examining body for ophthalmologists in the UK, such as the General Medical Council (GMC).

To become a practicing ophthalmologist in the UK, candidates will also be required to hold the 'Fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons' (FRCS) qualification. And finally, ophthalmologists are also required to take part in ongoing education courses to stay current on the latest developments and standards of care within the field.

If you're considering joining the field of ophthalmology, there are many resources available to point you in the right direction and to help you gain the required certifications. You can start with a simple search online, visit a local career center, or enquire directly at a postgraduate institution that offers ophthalmology.

The field currently has much to offer, and is expected to expand significantly over the coming years - which means there's never been a better time to pursue a career in laser and LASIK eye surgery.

Types of Laser Surgery Following Cataract Surgery: Lasik, PRK, YAG Laser

The following are the pros and cons behind two of the most common misconceptions about LASIK.

1. “After the procedure, I’ll never need glasses or contacts again!”

Depending on your age at the time of the procedure and the issues with your vision that you’re trying to correct, you may or may not continue to need glasses or contacts, either immediately after surgery or possibly later on, as you age.

This is not to say that the procedure can’t be both effective and life-changing. It can be, and it generally is. The vast majority of patients who undergo the procedure report significant improvement in their vision.

It allows New York drivers to drive without glasses within days of their surgery. A small percentage require “enhancement” surgery, which is a second procedure, conducted to fix any over- or under-correction of your vision resulting from the first procedure.

Also, many people, as they age (generally between the ages of 40 and 50), develop poor vision for reading (called presbyopia). If you had LASIK surgery in New York prior to developing presbyopia, you could still need reading glasses as you get older. Presbyopia is sometimes treated with Monovision LASIK, which corrects one eye for distance vision and the other eye for close vision.

How to choose a LASIK Eye surgeon in New York

The incidence of laser eye surgery complication is minimal however, if you're considering the procedure then you need to be aware of what they are as part of your preparation process.

The percentage of people who suffer corneal infection following surgery is less than one per cent. Delayed healing will be a hindrance to recovering patients but the long term effects with proper post operative treatment are almost negligible.

In this article, we'll highlight some of the most common laser eye surgery complications.

- Under or over correction probably heads the list of complications. This simply means a surgeon can't predict accurately the response of your eyes to treatment and you will be required to continue wearing protective eye wear following the procedure. In more severe cases, further surgery could be required.

- Corneal haze is common and related to PRK(Photorefractive Keratectomy). It's considered a common aspect of the recovery process and shouldn't effect one's vision after complete recovery. Corneal haze risk is not as common with patients who undergo lasik treatment.

- An annoying complication revolves around a condition known as regression. Simply put, despite the procedure, the eye returns to it's pre-operative state and depending on the patients risk factor, may require another operation.

- The halo effect is another annoying aspect of both PRK and lasik procedures yet it can be serious in some circumstances. A halo effect is a worrying complication for patients especially for those driving at night.

- Lasik patients could be prone to a laser eye surgery complication known as flap damage. In other words, a supposed hinged flap created on the center of the cornea could unexpectedly be dis-lodged. This will present problems if it's damaged and while it can be replaced following the treatment, this is not always 100% certain.

- The flap could also become distorted to the extent it could affect to some degree a patient's best corrected vision.

While risks are always present with any type of surgical procedure, the chances of suffering any major laser eye surgery complication are extremely low.

Surgeons may be reluctant to operate on patients who are considered a risk in the pre-operative stage. While this may sound harsh it's simple logic and the patients well-being is not going to be compromised.

Lasik Eye Surgery - A Cost Effective Surgery

lasik plus

Dry eye has been long recognized as a postoperative side effect of Lasik surgery. Studies have concluded that clinically detectable dry eye is present nearly universally following Lasik surgery, even when patients do not normally experience dry eye symptoms. There are a couple of causes of dry eye problems. First, when the corneal flap is created during the Lasik procedure, either a steel blade or a laser must cut through the corneal tissue and corneal nerves are disrupted in the process. The deeper this cut, the more likely the disruption to nerve tissue. The laser reshaping of the cornea further disrupts the nerve tissue. During the time while the nerve tissue heals and regenerates, the reflex to tear and blink is significantly diminished; thus creating the dry eye problem.

The quality and smoothness of the corneal surface and tear layer is important for quick recovery of good visual acuity. The tear layer is actually the first optical surface that light hits when it enters the eye during the Lasik procedure. If that tear layer is irregular or deficient, it can create a poorer visual image, with heightened "ghosting" or "fuzziness."

To maximize my patients' vision postoperative, I suggest approaching the problem of dry eye with a basic regimen that includes the following:

1) A good preoperative evaluation for preexisting dry eye problems and maximizing the surface condition prior to performing Lasik.

2) The usage of the Intralase FS lasers for making the initial Lasik flap rather than the steel razor blade microkeratome.

3) The good use of artificial tears and gel lubricants postoperative, even if the patient does not complain of dry eye symptoms.

I also suggest that patients use cyclosporine 0.05% eye drops (Restasis) twice per day for one month postoperative. Studies have shown that this regimen can improve visual outcomes and reduce the need for enhancements after Lasik surgery. It appears that the improved quality of the tear layer can actually improve a patients vision, so that they are less likely to feel the need for additional or touch up surgery. This not only improves the patients overall experience but decreases the possibility of any secondary side effects or complications that could occur with a second procedure, however rare that would be.

Ultimately, attention to detail with every aspect of surgery enhances the outcomes as well as patient satisfaction in the long run. That's why surgeons need to pay so much attention to new and innovative technologies and medications on every level as they are developed.

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