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Blade vs. Blade-Free LASIK Surgery – What is the Difference?

Before we enter into the intricate differences between blade and blade free LASIK surgery, it will be helpful to know the basics of LASIK and its applications in eye surgery. In the past, eye surgeries used to be quite painful and the quest for pain-free surgery led to the discovery of the Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis process which is termed as LASIK. This procedure is now widely used for all surgeries related to vision correction and improvement. The minimally invasive procedure enhances the eye’s ability to change the contour of the cornea thereby helping people to regain lost vision. The procedure that was discovered with the purpose of making eye surgeries pain-free has now been modified even further to make it safer, and to enhance the ability of surgeons to perform surgeries with more precision. The modified version is known as Blade-Free LASIK Surgery.

The Basics Are Similar

The procedures of the surgeries are not much different as it is based on the same principle. Since the objective of the surgeries is to correct the vision, both procedures use laser beam that is directed to the cornea to improve vision. Both procedures involve two primary steps. In the first step, the surgeon creates an ultrathin tissue flap to access the cornea. By folding back the tissue flap, the cornea gets completely exposed. In the second step, the treatment is carried out in the inner layer of the cornea by using laser beam. In order to achieve the desired correction of vision that is predictable and reliable, it is necessary to customize the flap. The inherent limitation of the procedure does not allow complete customization and this affects the extent of vision correction, which also gets restricted.

The Use of a Blade

The limitation discussed stems from the technique of creating the flap. A handheld mechanical device fitted with a metal blade is used to create a minute incision on the cornea. Since a metal blade is used, it limits the capabilities of surgeons in creating the most precise and customized flap and this affects the extent of vision improvement. In order to overcome the impediment, the advanced method of Blade-Free LASIK Surgery has been introduced.

Blade-Free LASIK Surgery

Blade-Free LASIK Surgery is an advanced surgical procedure that does not use the metal blade thereby improving the customization options that leads to more precise vision correction. Instead of using a mechanical cutting device with metal blade, a laser beam is used to perform the cutting of the cornea and the creation of the flap. Owing to the unobstructed view of the cornea, surgeons are more comfortable in achieving the level of customization that they want which leads to better vision.

Two different types of laser beams are used in Blade-Free LASIK Surgery as compared to the use of a single laser beam in the traditional LASIK procedure. The cutting action is performed by using femtosecond laser and an excimer laser is used to create the flap and create a smooth and uniform surface of the cornea that is necessary for better vision.

Elderly People Developing Cataracts

Many older people who develop cataracts in their eyes do not choose to have surgery to remove them immediately. Perhaps the idea of any type of surgery scares them or maybe their cataracts are not severe enough to interfere greatly in their lives. Good ophthalmologists will not push Houston cataract surgery on a patient, because they do not damage the inner workings of the eyes. However, there may come a time when the cataracts have progressed so much, they do make every day living difficult and surgery seem to be the only answer.

Cataracts are caused by a buildup of protein on the lens of the eye that results in cloudy vision. Imagine seeing life through a dirty windshield and that is what it is like to see through eyes infected by cataracts. Eventually, these cataracts can become debilitating. Signs that you may want to consider surgery include not being able to drive safely, not being able to perform well at work anymore, interference with enjoying leisure activities like reading and watching TV or movies. Difficulty walking up stairs due to vision problems is another sign that Houston cataract eye surgery may be imminent.

If you do decide to have this surgery done, talk over all the details with your doctor. A well-informed patient is the best patient and a doctor who is up front with you and communicates well with you is one you can trust. Your doctor will explain how the procedure works and also help you decide which type of cataract surgery in Houston is right for you. In general, the process works by breaking up your infected lens via ultrasound waves and then removing the fragments. An artificial lens will be put in its place and eventually your vision will begin to stabilize. If cataracts are infecting both eyes, many doctors will choose to only operate on one eye at first and then the second one a few months later.

After cataract surgery, be sure to wear the dark sunglasses your doctor gave you, and also take any prescription eye drops as directed. Antibiotic drops are usually prescribed to help ensure an infection in your eye does not develop. Be sure not to wear any cosmetic products in the area for a few weeks and also avoid getting hot water or soap in your eye due to the chance of extreme irritation. Your new improved vision is a precious gift and following doctor’s orders is a way to keep it that way.

Your New Lens After Cataract Surgery

The prospect of cataract surgery can be quite daunting. It may be an extremely common and simple procedure, but it is surgery nonetheless and any surgery can be frightening. The first step in alleviating your fears is talking to your doctor. He or she will discuss with you how the procedure is done so some of the fear of the unknown diminishes.

Many people think that cataract is similar to LASIK surgery. They may both be quick, outpatient procedures, but the techniques used are different. At your initial consultation for cataract surgery in Houston, your ophthalmologist will explain to you what will be done. Contrary to popular beliefs, a laser is not used to remove the cataracts. And what most people do not know is that in order to remove the infected lens, the entire lens must be removed. In order to do this, ultrasound waves are used to break up the lens and then the pieces of the lens are suctioned from the eye. Ones the entire infected lens has been removed, an intraocular artificial lens is put in its place. The procedure should take no more than an hour and is often done at an ambulatory surgery center.

There are several types of intraocular lenses that can be used for Houston cataract surgery. The most common type is called a monofocal lens. The power in this type of lens is evenly distributed and can provide high-quality distance vision. Toric lenses have unevenly distributed power and can treat both nearsightedness, as well as astigmatism. However, glasses may be needed for reading even after having the surgery. You will not be fitted for these glasses until months later after your eyesight has stabilized. Multifocal lenses have increased power in some regions and less power in others. People who are treated for this type of lens will be able to see at a number of distances. However, glare problems are sometimes encountered so multifocal lenses are not for everyone.

You will discuss your lens options with your Houston cataract eye surgery doctor before committing to the procedure. A good doctor will help you make an individualized decision that is right for you and answer any questions you might have about the procedure. You may have known you had cataracts just from the cloudiness in your vision before being diagnosed, but your fears have kept you from doing anything about them. Once your worries are put to rest and you firmly decide to go ahead with the surgery, you will feel both relieved and happy as you look forward to a clearer life ahead of you.

The Different Types of LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery is the most popular eye surgery available and has been the go-to for losing the inconvenience of glasses and contact lenses for more than a decade. Originally thought to be an exclusive procedure that people were wary of when it first became popular, it has now improved in technology as well as in the minds of consumers who see it as a way to improve more than just their vision. It can improve self-esteem and mental outlook as well.

There are various types of Houston LASIK eye surgeries available, using the latest technologies to give you the best possible vision results.  One of the most common forms of Houston LASIK will have an option for Wavefront LASIK, which is also known as Custom LASIK. With this form of the surgery, a wavefront analyzer is able to help doctors make a 3D picture of individual eyes so they know exactly what they are dealing with and can tailor the surgery for the patient’s own needs. This is a more precise type of procedure and preferred by many.

PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) is considered by many to be the parent of modern custom LASIK surgeries. It was first approved by the FDA in 1995 and is used on patients who have more complicated eye issues, including oddly shaped eyeballs or extremely flat corneas. Your doctor will thoroughly examine you at your initial consultation for LASIK in Houston before deciding if this procedure will be right for you.

LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis) is another variation of the LASIK procedure for people who have thinner or flatter corneas. Rather than using a blade, your Houston LASIK eye surgery doctor will use an instrument called a trephine to perform the procedure. The recovery time from LASEK is also considered to be quicker than it is for Wavefront of Custom LASIK.

IntraLASIK surgery is the bladeless type of LASIK surgery in Houston. Rather than using the blade, it uses a laser to make the all-important flap on your cornea that is intrinsic to all LASIK procedures. Once the flap has been created by a second laser and not a blade, the procedure continues much like the aforementioned Custom LASIK. This type of LASIK can be used successfully for patients who suffer from both nearsightedness and farsightedness.

While there are many options when choosing to have Houston LASIK surgery, not every option may be right for you. That is why our doctors are here to talk with you and learn your individual needs to ensure you have the best LASIK surgery experience possible.

 

The Side Effects of LASIK Surgery

The speed at which LASIK surgery is performed may make it seem like a simple procedure with very few side effects. And indeed, you may not experience many at all. However, there are several side effects that your Houston LASIK doctor will inform you of before the procedure that you must keep in mind. They may not happen to everyone who undergoes LASIK in Houston, but being aware of them makes you an educated patient and it can also ease your mind to know these effects are normal if they occur.

First, know you will not see clearly immediately following your Houston LASIK eye surgery. Your eyes have just been through a traumatic experience and your vision will be fuzzy the day of the procedure. There will be improvement the next day, but your eyes will definitely not feel comfortable and will not be completely recovered as a full recovery may very well take months.

In the days following your LASIK surgery in Houston, your eyes may feel extremely irritated and may also have an itching and burning feeling. You may find that your eyes are red and blood shot and may also experience an extreme sensitivity to light. It is also not unusual to see haloes or what some might call “floaties” before your eyes, as well as what appear to be starbursts and glares. These visual are most common in a brightly lit room, but can happen anywhere.

Dry eye is another common side effect of this procedure in the months following Houston LASIK surgery. You may find excess crusty mucus after a night of sleep and even may experience excessive tearing that can cloud your vision temporarily. It is of the utmost importance that you diligently use the artificial tears that have been prescribed by your LASIK doctor to keep your eyes lubricated. This also helps with any burning and irritation you may be feeling. Also, do not do anything that can irritate the eyes any further. Avoid rubbing them no matter how strong your urge is to do so. And, do not use any eye makeup or creams for several weeks as these can also irritate your recovering eyes.

The good news is that these side effects usually lessen over time. Do not be alarmed if they continue for months, but you will most likely find that the occurrences are less and less as these months go by. However, if the symptoms to not decrease or even get worse, it is imperative that you call your Houston LASIK doctor immediately for an appointment.

Before and After LASIK Surgery

When you choose to undergo LASIK surgery in Houston, you are opening yourself up to a whole new world and life. You will see clearer than you had ever imagined or can ever remember and will also look at your own self differently. Your face will take on a new look when free from glasses and your life will be filled with a convenience you never imagined. Of course, to make this procedure work for you as successfully as possible, you will need to be diligent about following your Houston LASIK doctor’s advice for the best possible outcome.

Prior to undergoing LASIK in Houston, you will have a thorough examination and consultation to learn if you are an ideal candidate for this popular procedure and what Houston LASIK surgery options work best to suit your individual needs. He or she will also give you very specific instructions on what to do in the weeks and days before your surgery takes place. If you are a regular wearer of contact lenses, you will be told to opt for that spare set of glasses you should always have around to give your eyes a rest and prep them for surgery. You will also want to avoid makeup for several days prior to the surgery and definitely wear no makeup, lotions or creams the day of your LASIK because any debris in the eyes can cause infection. This may seem like somewhat of an inconvenience, but is well worth it to get the desired clear vision results with little chance of unwanted complications.

The day of your Houston LASIK eye surgery you must have a ride home from your doctor lined up. Your vision will be blurry immediately following the procedure and there is no way you would be able to drive safely. You will still want to avoid makeup around the eyes until your doctor gives the go ahead. Other things to avoid include rubbing your eyes, contact sports and pools and hot tubs, as chlorine can cause unwanted irritations.  Again, this might disrupt usual habits and activities for a bit, but like your pre-op instructions, following post-op instructions to a tee is well worth it in the end.

Remember to schedule and keep the necessary follow up appointments with your doctor to make sure your eyes are healing correctly. Your vision is a precious gift and not something you want to play around with. And LASIK surgery can enhance that gift, so call us today to schedule a consultation and learn all the benefits this incredible modern technology can bring you.

Your LASIK Post-Op Needs

You may hear your friends talking about how simple and easy LASIK surgery is. And the procedure really does seem to be just that. It is over so quickly that you may be completely surprised by the speed, but just because it seems simple, that does not mean there is much care that needs to be taken after the surgery has been completed. Your Houston LASIK doctor will explain to you the post-operative instructions you must follow to ensure the best outcome for your vision.

Immediately following your Houston LASIK eye surgery, do not be surprised when your vision is extremely blurry. Your eyes have just been through a trauma, and although it was a positive trauma, it is still something they need to recover from. You will not be able to drive yourself home and will have to have made arrangement for a ride from your Houston LASIK surgery center beforehand. You will also be required to wear specialized dark glasses that you often see on cataract patients. This shields your eyes from ultraviolet sunlight rays and protects them, as they are very vulnerable following any eye surgery. The best advice is to wear them for at least a month following the surgery when you are outdoors to get the best results. This includes the very next day, when you visit your LASIK doctor for a post-op exam.

You will also want to rest your eyes that day as much as possible. Try napping if you are able to fit it into your schedule after leaving your Houston LASIK eye surgery doctor. The more rest your eyes get, the quicker your vision will become clearer. Also, in the weeks following the surgery, avoid any contact sports and heavy exercise. Other things to avoid for several weeks would be hot tubs and swimming pools, as chlorinated water can severely irritate your eyes. You also do not want to wear makeup around your eyes for several weeks, not put any lotions or creams on your face in that area. Keeping your eyes clean is of the utmost importance. You will also be prescribed artificial tear drops and other eye medications after undergoing LASIK surgery in Houston. Take them exactly as directed as they can ease any discomfort you have and also help you avoid any infections.

If you are considering LASIK in Houston, call us today for a consultation. You will learn if you are the perfect candidate for the procedure and any doctor recommendations suited for you for before and after this amazing life-changing experience that can open your eyes to a whole new beautiful world.

Is Houston LASIK Surgery Right for You?

After years of wearing glasses or worrying about the comfort and condition of your contact lenses, many people choose to give that all up and opt to have LASIK surgery in Houston. They grow weary of constantly having to have their eyes exams to get new glasses or contact prescriptions and then having to go through the hassle of choosing frames or soaking those contacts in a solution each night, while also having to take time to put them in each morning. And if either contacts or glasses get lost, your vision will take a hit until you can replace them, which is something busy people cannot afford when they have to drive, work, take care of kids of take care of themselves.

That is when Houston LASIK surgery comes into play. It has literally changed the lives of millions of people since it was first introduced in the 1990s. It has become one of the most common elective medical procedures around. Although Houston LASIK eye surgery uses the most modern technologies and can seem quite complicated on the surface, it is really a simple procedure performed so quick that it is over before you can blink, so to speak. It is done on an outpatient basis and most often in the mornings so that you have the entire day to rest your eyes and the next day wake up realizing your glasses or contact lenses are a thing of the past.

There are several different ways that LASIK can be performed. Some people opt to have Wavefront LASIK (also known as Custom LASIK) done and indeed this is one of the most popular choices. The procedure is tailor made for your set of eyes and the problems that your eyes have. Undergoing LASIK in Houston can also be done with or without a blade and this is something you would decide with your Houston LASIK surgery doctor when you have your initial consultation. The best LASIK doctors are the ones who will work with you and your individual needs for the best possible vision outcome.

And, while the cost of LASIK may be a concern to many, there are various price and payment options available so that the surgery will not take its toll on your bank account of pocketbook. Call your Houston LASIK surgery center today to set up that first consultation that can send you on your way to a whole new life free from the inconvenience of glasses and contacts that is complete with a clear vision of the future.

 

The Right Age for LASIK Surgery

When considering the life-changing procedure of LASIK surgery, age is a factor that needs to be taken into account. Not every age is eligible for the procedure, and the effect LASIK has on different ages can vary. Be well-educated on statistics for your age group before taking the leap and your Houston LASIK doctors can be a helpful resource for age factor considerations.

The FDA has only approved LASIK for those over the age of 18. However, the procedure has been performed on people younger than 18 by using off-market technology when a doctor feels it is warranted on younger patients. One of the reasons 18 is a benchmark age is because the eyes and vision change more rapidly at a young age and in order for LASIK to be performed, the eye has to have remained relatively stable for at least two years. That means, if your glasses prescription has been changing each year, then your Houston LASIK eye surgery doctor will tell you that you are not a candidate for the procedure no matter what your age is.

After 18, there is no age that is ineligible for Houston LASIK surgery. However, different age groups will need to know varying information. The most common age for LASIK surgery in Houston is between the ages of 21 and 40 years old. People who have the procedure then will be warned that other changes can take place in their eyes after the age of 40 and they may find at the time they will once again need glasses, if only for reading purposes. Houston LASIK surgery corrects the problems in the eyes that are present at the time of the procedure, but it cannot stop the natural maturation and aging process of human vision. There are also some conditions that occur after age 40 that can prohibit someone from having LASIK, including diabetes and hypertension. However, a healthy person past 40 can very well be an excellent LASIK candidate.

People in their 60s also consider LASIK surgery and if they do not suffer from cataracts, a common eye ailment in older people, they may be excellent candidates as well. However, they may also find that if they do have cataracts and have surgery performed to remove them, this can cause the need for LASIK to become obsolete.

Please call us today to find out if you are the perfect candidate for Houston LASIK surgery. It can be a life changing experience and open up a whole new world of visual splendor.

Giving Cataract Surgery the Care It Needs

Although cataract removal is the most common surgery performed in the United States and is a relatively simple procedure, the fact that it is a surgery means the utmost care should be taken in the days leading up to it, as well as the day of your surgical appointment. Recovery instructions are important as well. You want the best possible outcome for your precious vision, which will in turn give you a positive look and attitude about life.

Your Houston cataract surgery doctor will give you very specific instructions you must follow. It is important that you disclose to him any prescription medications you are taking as he may ask you to stop taking them for a period of time prior to the surgery. The night before the surgery, you will be told not to eat or drink anything past midnight. You will also be instructed to arrive at the surgery location (which will either be a hospital or ambulatory surgery center) several hours ahead of time to read and sign any necessary paperwork and also be prepped for the procedure. Although you will be awake for your Houston cataract eye surgery, you will have some form of anesthesia so you will also meet with an anesthesiologist to determine what type of sedation will best for your personal needs and wants. Remember that although you are awake, numbing drops will be used on your eyes, so no need to be fearful of feeling the surgery. Also, you must remember to have arrangements made for a ride home after the surgery, as it will not be safe to drive yourself.

Post-operative instructions are imperative as well. Wear the large, dark sunglasses your doctor gives you after the surgery to protect your eyes from sunlight. Also, take the antibiotic eyedrops you have been prescribed to help prevent infection and also promote healing. Make sure to keep all of your follow up doctor appointments to make sure your eyes are recovering right. Catching complications in the beginning can do your eyes a world of good. Avoid makeup, as well as any other cosmetic products by your eyes for several weeks and be sure not to get hot water or soap in them while you shower. Your new lenses are becoming familiar with your eye and adjustments must be made. Any disturbances can halt or slow down the healing process.  You chose to have this surgery so you could see clearly again so you want to do everything possible after the surgery to make sure that indeed happens.