Laser eye surgery in India has really shot up in popularity among a growing number of Indian men and women. The effectiveness and cost are the major factors responsible for this growth. Let us try to understand what exactly this surgery is all about.
The principal elements within our eyes that allow us to focus visually on everything are the cornea and the lens. For anybody to see things clearly, it is essential that these two structures work together to produce a naturally sharp image on the retina.
This surgical procedure manages to create and repair any defects or damages by reshaping the cornea. Some of the most common problems that patients opting for this procedure have are myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and hyperopia, which is the problem of not being able to see far-away objects.
An important point to note before proceeding is that patients over the age of 40 years would need to continue using spectacles for reading and other similar purposes. This is attributed to the problem of prebyopua, which is the natural aging process of the eye’s internal system that allows it to focus on nearby objects.
For those whose primary requirement is to reduce their need for reading glasses, a monovision correction is without a doubt a viable and effective option. Taking advantage of monovision, you can get your dominant eye corrected for distance vision, and the non-dominant eye is left blurrier to enable you to see closer objects better.
With the current state of technology and advancement, there really couldn’t have been a better time for men and women in India to consider this surgery seriously. Improvements in the procedures have in a matter of few years transformed the effectiveness and convenience for patients drastically.
LASIK is the most popular vision correction laser surgery undertaken worldwide. It is also by far the most preferred procedure by Indians. There are a wide variety of alternatives available today, and it really does depend on the preferences of the surgeons and the patient when finalizing a particular procedure.
Some of these alternatives include IntraLASIK (all-laser LASIK), PRK, LASEK and epi-LASIK. It is advised that you consult your surgeon for more detailed information about these different technologies. They are best equipped to provide essential information given your specific requirements.
There are some preliminary concerns that all patients should be made aware of. Firstly, military and similar armed forces and unarmed personnel should exercise extreme caution when considering such an invasive process. While the success rate is significantly high, it is always impossible for anybody to guarantee any desired results without a tiny margin for error.
The FDA, which is the premier medical standards governing institution in the Unites States, has also listed some conditions that must be viewed as “contraindications to surgery”. Contraindications are basically conditions under which a person should be warned before being operated upon for a specified surgical procedure.
Some the prominent contraindications for laser surgery of the eyes are:
- Immune deficiency like HIV, etc.
- Collagen vascular diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc.
- Pregnancy and nursing.
- Keratoconus, which is a degenerative corneal disease.
- Certain medications such as Accutane, Amiodarone and Triptan which are all common medicines for migraine.
While contraindications are mere warnings and precautionary notes for both the surgeon as well as the patient, the following warnings by the FDA represent strict conditions. If these conditions exist in the person being operated upon, it is deemed extremely unsafe and potentially fatal:
- Herpes Keratitis, which is the infection of the cornea by herpes.
- Severe dry eye disease.
- Presence of moderate to severe allergies.
The following precautions are to be observed by the agency or surgeon(s) performing or considering to perform such an operation:
- Age: The patient must be at least 18-years-old. For some alternatives, the age of 21 is deemed as the minimum for consideration.
- Status: Laser vision corrective surgery should be avoided if the prescription of the patient’s spectacles is still changing.
- Pre-existing conditions: If any of the following conditions or diseases exist, the operation should not be performed – corneal disease, thin corneas, large pupils, Glaucoma, Uveitis (inflammation of the inside of the eye), and Blepharitis ( inflammation of the margins of the eyelids).
While those were some of the precautions that need to be observed by surgeons before performing the procedure, following are some of the common side effects that patients should be made aware about:
- Diffuse lamellar keratitis, which is the inflammation of the skin under the eye’s flap.
- Delayed epithelial healing or slow healing of the eye’s surface, which is quite common after a flapless procedure.
- Dry eyes.
- Glare and halos may be noticed by people around lights at night.
- Over or under correction which in turn makes a second operation necessary.
- Flap striae i.e. wrinkles in the flap.
- Epithelial ingrowth i.e. migration of the surface epithelium located underneath the eye’s flap.
- Haze, which is the superficial corneal opacification, and it is quite common with flapless procedures.
- Sensitivity to light and pain. This side effect is guaranteed for the first 3-5 days following the procedure.
Some of the lesser known and experienced side effects are as follows:
- Decentration of the laser treatment.
- Dislocated flaps.
- Bad flaps, which is caused by the creation of an irregularly shaped flap. This effect must be rectified with another successive surgery.
- Ectasia is another common condition that causes the region of the cornea to become more distorted.
- Loss of one’s best-corrected vision is also a possibility. This means that one’s post-operative vision with the aid of spectacles is not as clear and sharp as their pre-operative vision with spectacles.
That concludes this guide for the procedures, precautions and side effects for Laser eye surgery in India. Do give us your feedback in the comments below.