Laser Surgery Assessments
At Wanganui Eyecare, all of our Optometrists are involved in collaborative care regimes with Ophthalmologists across New Zealand. This means we work with a surgeon to manage your care both pre and post operatively.
Laser refractive surgery involves reshaping the front surface of the eye (the cornea) using a computer controlled laser. The procedure permanently alters a small amount of tissue from the cornea (up to 20%) and reshapes this to correct your focus.
Laser in-situ keratomileusis or LASIK, has become the most popular form of refractive surgery internationally and is available in New Zealand. LASIK is used to treat myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. A thin flap is made on the surface of the cornea, using traditionally a microkeratome and more recently (and accurately) a Femtosecond Laser. A second excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea, after which the flap is replaced. Most experience very little discomfort and rapid recovery.
For those with certain factors such as a thinner cornea or an active lifestyle, a surgeon may recommend:
- PRK or (Photorefractive Keratectomy) or
- LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis)
These procedures use an excimer laser to remodel corneal tissue without a corneal flap. They generally carry a longer recovery period and involve slightly more pain than LASIK, but have very positive visual outcomes.
Can Laser Surgery Help with reading vision as well as in distance?
Yes. For those with an age-related decline in reading vision, blended vision is a very useful approach.
In blended vision laser surgery, the dominant eye is generally corrected for far viewing, while the non-dominant eye remains slightly short-sighted and focused for near vision. Most with blended vision can carry out the majority of tasks successfully. For detailed near tasks such as concentrated near work or driving at night, glasses are often required.
As blended vision is a permanent procedure, most surgeons recommend a trial with contact lenses before going ahead. With contact lenses we can focus one eye for distance and one for near in the same way laser surgery does, just in a more temporary fashion. Those who are successful with the contact lens trial are considered good candidates for blended vision surgery.
Is Laser Surgery suitable for me?
Laser refractive surgery is suitable for the majority of healthy adults. For some age groups, other procedures may carry a stronger recommendation, such as those developing early cataracts or those with trouble in the distance and with reading. Ultimately, it is your eye surgeon who determines whether laser correction is both suitable and safe for you.
As a candidate for laser surgery you generally need to meet the following criteria:
- You are aged 21 years or over
- Have a stable prescription. I.e. have not had moderate to large changes in your prescription over the past 1-2 years
- Be clear of recurring corneal diseases such as herpetic keratitis
You may not be a good candidate for laser surgery if:
- You have an eye condition such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration
- You are pregnant or breast feeding
- You have a very thin level of corneal tissue
- Your prescription is very high
For those who do not meet these requirements you may still be a candidate for a vision enhancement procedure such as Implantable contact lenses or a refractive lens exchange.
For more information you are welcome to contact an Optometrist or book a Laser Surgery Assessment below.