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Laser Eye Procedures Jacksonville Keratotomies

Laser eye procedures Jacksonville, have been performed since the early 1970’s. Refractive surgery procedures improve vision due to nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. With the advent of the laser for refractive surgery (photo-refractive keratotomy or PRK), a new era in eye care is unfolding. In 1983, it was found that the Excimer Laser could be used to reshape the surface of the cornea.

The Excimer laser is a sophisticated computer assisted instrument which generates a highly concentrated ultraviolet light projected as a column of densely compacted rays. This “cool beam” of light has the ability to precisely reshape the cornea of the eye by vaporizing and removing microscopic layers of soft tissue without affecting adjacent or underlying tissues or cells.

laser eye procedures Jacksonville waiting roomIt’s Effective

Approximately one million Excimer laser procedures have been performed around the world. Of the patients receiving PRK, 99% have reported an improvement in vision, with 95% reporting 20/20 to 20/40 vision allowing them to legally drive without glasses or contact lenses. The risk of experiencing serious vision-threatening complications is nearly nonexistent. In fact, no patient has ever lost their sight from the PRK procedure.

As with any procedure, PRK does have its limitations and risks. During a consultation appointment with your doctor, expectations and potential complications will be evaluated and discussed thoroughly.

It’s Simple

PRK is performed at a state-of-the-art center as an out-patient procedure. One eye is treated at a time. The procedure itself is painless, as a topical anesthetic is used to numb the eye prior to surgery. PRK normally takes less than 15 minutes and the patient leaves shortly after the procedure.

An eye patch may be placed on the eye for temporary protection and to keep you from rubbing your eye in your sleep. Medication drops are used for pain relief, to prevent infection and promote healing. After PRK patients usually return to their normal lifestyle quickly with only a few restrictions during the healing period, such as not swimming.

Common Questions about Photo-Refractive Keratotomy

Q: Is PRK for everyone?

A: The eye must be in good health and vision must be stable. However, some people are better candidates than others and consultation with the doctor prior to surgery is important to determine estimated benefits and possible complications.

Q: Before I consider PRK, how bad should my vision be?

A: This is a personal decision, assuming you meet all the other criteria. For many individuals, it is a question of whether or not they want to wear glasses, how wearing glasses affects their lifestyle and whether or not they want to wear contact lenses.

Q: Will I need to wear glasses again?

A: Usually not. More than 92 percent of the 200,000 people who have had the Excimer laser procedure are wearing their glasses less than 10 percent of the time.

Q: Is this a permanent procedure?

A: Yes. The results demonstrate that once it heals and is stable, there is a minimal change in refractive error.

Q: When can I go back to work?

A: Most patients are able to return to work in four to five days.

Q: If I have already had radial keratotomy, but am not happy with the results, can I be treated with the Excimer laser?

A: Yes. There have been a number of cases where the Excimer laser has been used to correct residual myopia after PRK.

Considerations and Realistic Expectations

Before you decide to have PRK, it is important that your decision be based on facts and that you understand what PRK may or may not be able to do for you. While results cannot always be guaranteed, the ultimate goal is that PRK will reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses, however, in some cases following the procedure you may still need some type of corrective lenses to achieve maximum vision correction. PRK is not a treatment for presbyopia, a condition which is a result of the normal aging of the eye and generally occurs over the age of 40. This condition often requires the use of reading glasses.

Following the procedure, some patients experience varying degrees of discomfort for 24 to 48 hours. During the first few days, you can expect some blurriness in the eye on which the procedure was performed, however, each day will bring improvement. Your doctor will discuss all the benefits as well as the possible risks and side effects with you prior to the procedure.

Ultimately the decision whether or not to have PRK is one only you can make. It is important that you evaluate all the information available to your specific circumstances and discuss with your doctor all the facts related to the PRK procedure so that you can make an informed decision.