Frequently Asked Questions
We’re here to answer your questions. Below you will find answers to some of the most common questions patients have regarding vision correction surgery. Information is critical for making an informed decision. Call us today at (877) 599-9925 to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Dougherty Laser Vision offers an exceptionally wide range of vision correction options including LASIK, PRK, Revision Surgery, Implantable Contact Lenses (ICLs), Intraocular Lenses (IOLs), Laser Cataract Surgery, Dropless Cataract Surgery, Keratoconus Treatment, Corneal Cross-linking and more to treat most common vision problems. Our experience and breadth of service ensure that you receive the most appropriate, customized treatment for your unique vision correction needs.
People with most common vision disorders can be treated effectively by one or more of the above-mentioned procedures. Common disorders include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related trouble focusing) and astigmatism.
Possibly. Most people who wear corrective glasses or contact lenses may be suitable candidates. A thorough evaluation by a vision care expert is necessary to determine your suitability. Careful assessment of your overall eye health must be performed before any decision can be made regarding your treatment.
Typically no. Insurance coverage depends on many factors, including which vision correction procedure you require. We recommend you bring your insurance card to our office so we can check for any coverage (extremely rare) or a negotiated fee with your vision insurance (more common). In rare circumstances, we are pleasantly surprised. We may also be able to work with your human resources or benefits department to arrange flex pay plans (paying for surgery with pre-tax dollars) or corporate contracts.
LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure that employs a cool beam of laser light to reshape the cornea. Microscopic fragments of cornea tissue are removed to flatten, steepen or smooth the cornea, depending on the disorder being corrected. In recent years, LASIK has become one of the most popular elective surgical procedures in the U.S.
The goal for surgery is to reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Following LASIK, many patients achieve 20/20 vision. Nearly all are able to pass a driving testing without glasses.
Most patients feel little or no pain during LASIK. You will remain awake and alert during the procedure. Typically, anesthetic eye drops are all that is required to avoid discomfort. Some patients report a mild burning sensation, which usually goes away by the next morning.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recognizes LASIK as a safe and effective treatment. The procedure is performed with a cool, highly accurate beam of laser light. There are many important safeguards in place to reduce the risk of surgical errors. As with any surgical procedure, risks and adverse side effects are possible.
Patients can typically return to work and resume normal activity the day after surgery. Exposing eyes to water from swimming pools, hot tubs, the ocean or intense perspiration should be avoided for 7 days following surgery. Dusty environments and eye makeup should be avoided for the first 48 hours following surgery.
Without surgically removing the cataract, most patients will continue to have blurred vision, which can lead to significant vision loss. Removing the cataract surgically is the only way to improve vision.
As soon as one meets the visual acuity criteria (20/40) and feels comfortable enough with their vision to drive. This could be as early as the next day after surgery.
All surgery involves some risk, so yes, it is serious. However, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in the United States and is highly likely to improve your vision. Many cataract surgeons have several thousand procedures under their belt. Choosing a surgeon with this much experience will reduce the risk of something going wrong.
As with any surgery, pain, infection, high eye pressure, swelling and bleeding are possible, but very few patients have serious problems or complications. Your surgeon may prescribe medications for any side effects. Retinal detachment can also occurs occasionally. Be on the lookout for excessive pain, vision loss, bright flashes of light, or nausea, and report these symptoms to your eye surgeon immediately.
- Standard IOL’s – The basic Government Issue IOL. You will often need to wear glasses with this type of IOL
- Aspheric IOL’s – This type of IOL has aspheric optics, which improves vision quality
- Astigmatism correcting IOL’s – These IOL’s correct astigmatism, where the eye is steeper in 1 direction than the other (much like a football cut in half). An eye without astigmatism has the same curvature in all directions (like a basketball cut in half).
- Presbyopic correcting IOL’s – These IOL’s improve both distance and near vision without glasses and are most effective at decreasing or eliminating the use of glasses or contact lenses after surgery.
ICL (Implantable Contact Lens)
ICL is placed behind the iris and in front of the eye’s crystalline lens. The lens does not touch any internal eye structures within your line of vision and is designed to stay in position, so you will not feel it.
No. The lens is positioned behind the iris where it is invisible to both you and observers. Only your doctor will be able to tell that vision correction has taken place.
ICL is intended to remain in place in the eye without maintenance – it is self-cleaning. Should it become necessary, the lens can be removed by your surgeon later in life when you develop a cataract.
Most patients can return to their full daily routine activities the next day. However, we ask that you do not go swimming, bend past the waist or lift more than 20 pounds for 1 week after surgery.
ICL lens is made of Collamer, an advanced plastic lens material that is highly biocompatible. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and contains an ultraviolet filter that provides protections to the eyes.
Because Intacs are not FDA approved, many insurance companies consider them “experimental” and do not pay for the procedure. We are happy to attempt to work with your insurance carrier, but they usually will not cover the procedure.
Consult with your eye care doctor to determine this. Patients, who have had the most benefit from Intacs have been diagnosed with keratoconus, are 18 years old or over, no significant corneal scarring, have minimal thinning (no less than 450 microns thick), and are looking to improve fit or vision with contact lenses and/or glasses or potentially be considered for vision correction surgery (typically with an ICL) to get the best level of vision without glasses or contacts.
No. There is no current cure for keratoconus. Intacs can reshape and stabilize irregular corneas to improve functional vision and make contact lens wearing tolerable. It may delay the need for a corneal transplant.
The procedure usually takes about 20 minutes. They are removable and placement can be adjusted if needed.
You may resume normal activities immediately with the exception of swimming for the first week. The eyes may be uncomfortable (burning, stinging and/or tearing) for the first week. Your eye doctor my allow you to start wearing contact lenses a week after the procedure.
Intacs are not specifically FDA Approved for treatment of keratoconus, but are implanted in the United States under an FDA Humanitarian Use Device Exemption (HDE) that was granted in 2004. While not specifically approved by the FDA to treat keratoconus, they are specifically approved for this use in many other countries.
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