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Thu 04 Tommy Smythe tours architectural historic preservation projects
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The 411 on Laser Eye Surgery


• Laser eye surgery is the most commonly practiced procedure to correct vision problems caused by refractive errors, including myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness) and astigmatism (distorted vision when looking at objects at any distance).

• All of these conditions are caused by problems with the way the eye focuses an image on the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye. A large part of the eye's ability to focus depends on the shape of the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye.

• During laser eye surgery, a surgeon uses a laser device to make permanent changes to the shape of the cornea. The laser used most often is the Excimer laser, which produces a beam of ultraviolet light to vaporize tissue. Surgically altering the shape of the cornea can correct mild to moderate refractive errors in most people.

• The two types of Excimer laser surgery performed commonly in Canada are PRK (Photo-Refractive Keractectomy), first introduced in the early nineties, and LASIK (Laser Assisted in situ Keratomileusis), introduced in the mid-nineties.

With PRK, the risks include:
• pain, ranging from moderate to severe, for the first few days;
• hazy vision during the healing process, which usually clears up within the first week after surgery; and
• regression, which in some cases can cause the eye to regress to its previous refractive error within about six months. If this happens, the patient may need a second operation (called an "enhancement") or may need to start wearing glasses or contacts again.

With LASIK, there is less post-operative pain. However, since this procedure involves cutting into the cornea, there is a greater risk of complications, including the following:
• dry eyes, which can range from mild to significant and can affect vision;
• poor quality of night vision due to halos and glare, which could affect your ability to drive at night; and
• a serious condition called corneal ectasia, which is a weakening and bulging of the cornea. Severe cases may need to be treated with a corneal transplant or implant.

Health Canada advises you are more likely to have a successful outcome with laser eye surgery if you:

Choose your eye surgeon carefully. The traditional approach is to get a referral from your own eye care professional.

Discuss the risks, benefits and your expectations with the surgeon. Read the "informed consent" form thoroughly. Ask questions. Make sure you are a suitable candidate for surgery before you decide to go ahead.

• Also, ask your surgeon for a copy of your pre-operative report, which should include information about your pre-operative vision, refraction readings and the shape of your cornea. Keep the report in a safe place for future reference.

• After surgery, you can reduce your risk of complications by participating fully in the follow-up care recommended by your eye surgeon
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Coming Up

Thu 04 Tommy Smythe tours architectural historic preservation projects
Fri 28 Peter Papapetrou reveals how to incorporate stripes into your wardrobe
SEE THE FULL SCHEDULE
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