Astigmatism is a mild and easily treatable flaw in the curvature of your eye. It usually happens when the cornea (front surface of the eye) has an irregular curvature. Generally, the cornea is smooth and equally curved in all directions; thus, light entering the cornea is focused equally on all planes or in all directions. When astigmatism occurs, the front surface of the cornea is curved more in one direction than in the other. This imperfection can result in vision that is much like looking into a distorted, wavy mirror. The distortion results because of an inability of the eye to focus light rays to a point.
Astigmatism blurs your vision at all distances. This condition is often present at birth and may occur in combination with nearsightedness or farsightedness. Nonetheless, it tends to remain constant and doesn’t improve or deteriorate much over time.
LASIK vision correction is a type of refractive surgery designed to reshape the cornea and produce clearer vision. Ophthalmologists use this procedure to treat hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism. It is performed on an outpatient basis at their offices in Costa Rica.
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If your quality of vision detracts from your enjoyment of activities or interferes with your ability to perform everyday tasks, it is recommended for you to see your ophthalmologist. He/she will be able to determine the degree of your astigmatism and advise you of your options to correct your vision.
If you’re a healthy adult and have your eyes examined about every two to four years until age 65, you’re an excellent candidate for this kind of procedure. After age 65, it is recommended for you to have them checked every one to two years for signs of eye disease or problems.
During the procedure you will be resting on an operating bed specially designed for the excimer laser. Your ophthalmologist will use an operating microscope all the time since this is an integral component of the system; the microscope will be in front of you at all times and will continuously generate a bright light.
Your face will be covered with sterile drapes and oxygen will be provided under them. Make sure you don’t touch these drapes since they have been especially sterilized for the procedure. A small device will be used to hold your eyelids open.
As your surgeon proceeds with the initial cut using the microkeratome, you will feel some pressure in your eye. This is due to the suction ring needed to hold the device in place. As the microkeratome creates the flap it must pass directly in front of your eye. For this reason you will not see the light during this step of the procedure. At this point your ophthalmologist will ask you to look at a blinking light inside the laser. You must keep in mind that better results are obtained if you hold your head and eye completely still during the laser ablation.
Finally, your surgeon will put back into place the superficial layers of the cornea and the procedure will be completed. Throughout the whole surgery, you may occasionally feel cold water over your eye that may even go down your cheek. This is the solution needed to keep your eye properly hydrated.
Subsequent to your LASIK procedure, drops are placed in the eye to facilitate the healing process. After your treatment you will go home and rest. Sleep is very helpful to the eyes and ensures faster healing following the surgery. In most cases, your doctor will prescribe eye drops for five to seven days. During this time, you will have to avoid rubbing your eyes (for at least two weeks).
Most of the time, patients are able to return to work and normal activities the day afterwards. Even though vision may fluctuate a bit, it is usually functional within 24 hours after surgery.
Most prospective surgical patients are aware that any surgery has inherent risks. LASIK eye surgery carries risks, as well, even though they are rare (they happen in about 1 to 5 percent of cases). Nonetheless, some patients do experience laser eye surgery complications. Some of the risks related to this surgery are the following:
Infection – As with any surgery, a risk of infection is probable with LASIK. If not treated, eye infections can result in scarring on the cornea or notable and permanent loss of vision. Nonetheless, eye infections from LASIK surgery are very unusual. Antibiotic eye drops are generally prescribed after the procedure to prevent infections. If an infection does occur after your LASIK surgeon, your ophthalmologist will discuss treatment options with you.
Central Corneal Islands – Central corneal islands are small regions of raised tissue that show up on the cornea when the laser used during surgery fails to remove tissue homogeneously. You must keep in mind that this kind of complication occurs in less than 1 percent of LASIK surgery cases and can usually resolve itself after a few months. If central islands persist, your surgeon may prescribe contact lenses to smooth out the cornea surface or a laser touchup if necessary.
Flap Wrinkles – Small folds in the corneal flap are among the most common complications of LASIK surgery but you ophthalmologist can easily spot and remove them. You must remember though, that within the first few hours following surgery, wrinkles can form in the corneal flap if the patient closes their eye too tightly. The surgeon can fix this by re-laying the corneal flap to smooth out any wrinkles. On the other hand, flap wrinkles are a rare laser eye surgery complication and occur in less than 1 percent of cases.
Make sure to ask your surgeon concerning any risks you might have to face when undertaking this surgery. However, you must keep in mind that our certified group of doctors works full-time to prevent such scenarios from happening, since we value the health of our patients above anything else.
In order to keep the risks at a bare minimum, please make sure that you follow your surgeon’s instructions at all times.
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