Q. How safe is laser vision correction?
A. Because only the outer layers of the cornea (the front part of the eye) are affected, there is little risk of serious damage to the eye. Over two million patients worldwide have been treated, and serious problems have been extremely rare.
Q. How effective is laser vision correction?
A. Overall, approximately 99% of patients achieve 20/40 or better vision after the procedure, which is good enough to drive without corrective lenses in most states and approximately 80% achieve 20/20 or better vision. Experience is the key factor in obtaining a good result. For the past 17 years, Maida CustomVision has dedicated its entire practice to laser vision correction. We are proud to have the first practice to use the excimer laser in Florida in 1989.
Q. Will I still need glasses or contacts?
A. You might. Although the vast majority of our patients are thrilled with their outcome and do not use glasses, some still prefer glasses to sharpen their vision. Some patients may wear corrective lenses for certain activities such as reading or driving at night. During your evaluation, we will discuss with you your probable outcome following the procedure.
Q. How much follow-up care is involved?
A. As with any medical procedure, follow-up care is as important as the procedure itself. PRK patients will need to come back each day for three days so the healing of the eye surface can be monitored. LASIK patients will need to come back on the day following the procedure. PRK patients will use eye drops for three months, while LASIK patients will only need drops for one week. Throughout the first year, you will require periodic visits with your regular eye doctor to ensure proper healing of the eye and to measure your visual progress. After the first year, you should continue to have your annual eye exams regardless of how well you are seeing in order to monitor the condition of your eyes and to check for potential eye health problems.
Q. What are the potential complications and side effects?
A. Ten percent of PRK patients will experience discomfort in the days following the procedure, for which eye drops may be prescribed. LASIK patients rarely experience discomfort. The risk of infection is very low and may be reduced through simple precautions such as keeping the area around your eyes clean, avoiding rubbing the eyes, using eyedrops prescribed by the doctor and refraining from activities such as swimming and gardening for only one week. Side effects such as night glare are experienced by a small percentage of patients and are usually temporary. You will be provided complete information regarding the risks of complications and side effects prior to the procedure.
Q. What Is LASIK?
A. LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is a laser eye surgery performed on the cornea. The cornea is the clear window in the front of the eye. The cornea bends light to focus it onto the retina, the film of the eye. By reshaping the cornea, a blurred image can be focused clearly onto the retina, replacing contacts lenses and glasses.
LASIK is performed with an excimer laser. This incredibly precise laser gently reshapes the cornea for the treatment of myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), and astigmatism. The excimer laser has the unique ability to remove microns of tissue (one-millionth of a meter) without damaging to the surrounding corneal tissue. It is often referred to as a”cool” laser as it does not produce any heat or thermal energy which would damage normal tissue.
LASIK surgery requires the creation of a flap. The flap can be created either with a femtosecond laser or with a microkeratome, an automated blade. Once created, the flap is lifted and the excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea. After treatment, the flap is repositioned. Advances in laser technology have made LASIK very safe and precise.
Q. Are There Any Alternatives to LASIK?
A. Yes – the excimer laser can be used to treat the surface of the eye without creating a flap. This is often referred to as surface ablation, PRK, or LASEK. This treatment has been proven to be equally effective as LASIK. The cornea has an outer lining or”skin” called the epithelium. Surface ablation results in disruption of the epithelium. As a result, following the procedure, the eye is more uncomfortable and the vision is more blurred than with LASIK. It takes a few days for the skin to re-organize. Although more uncomfortable, surface ablation is actually less invasive as no flap is required. Also surface ablation is better for patients with thin corneas, certain corneal dystrophies, and dry eyes.
Q: What Laser Vision Correction Procedure Is Best For Me?
A: After examining your eyes, the Doctors at Maida CustomVision, who are fellowship trained in LASIK eye surgery and Cornea Surgery, will discuss what your best treatment plan and options. They evaluate each patient thoroughly and customizes treatment based on the health of the eye and your needs.
Q. Does LASIK Hurt?
A. Because the cornea is numbed with eye drop anesthesia, patients report little to no discomfort during the procedure. Some patients experience some scratchiness or grittiness for a few hours following while others did not experience any discomfort at all. We ask everyone to go home and take a nap immediately after his or her LASIK procedure. For any discomfort that remains after your nap, Advil or Tylenol is usually sufficient.
Q. When Will I Be Able to See?
A. Many patients notice an immediate improvement in their vision and have functional vision the very next day. Full visual results are typically reached within one to three weeks but individual results do vary.
Q. What if My Eye Moves During the Treatment or I Blink?
A. During the procedure a device will gently hold your eyelids open, which will prevent you from blinking. In addition, at Florida Eye Specialists Maida CustomVision, the laser we use involves advanced eye tracking technology. In fact, Florida Eye Specialists uses the only Advanced Control Eye Tracker (ACE) available in Jacksonville, the most comprehensive eye tracker available in the US. This technology offers improved predictability and better visual outcomes, particularly for patients with astigmatism. If, at any time, your eye moves too quickly or out of range, the laser will track even the tiniest movements.
Q. Is laser vision correction approved by the FDA?
Q. How do I find out if I am a candidate for laser vision correction?
A. Maida CustomVision offers examinations and evaluations to determine whether laser vision correction can help you. To schedule your consultation call (904) 268-3937.
Q. Can I finance this procedure?
A. Yes, we have financing options for as low as $80 a month.