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Svjetlost is the leading ophthalmology Clinic in the Southeastern Europe, offering complete ophthalmic services.

7 biggest misconceptions and fears when it comes to laser vision correction

7 biggest misconceptions and fears when it comes to laser vision correction
Do you want to finally break free from your dioptre, but on this road, there are many doubts, questions and fears? These are the answers to some of the most common questions when it comes to laser vision correction. 
Are you fed up with trying to find your glasses or with the ritual of putting and removing lenses in the morning? Do you want to finally get rid of dioptre, but there are a lot of dilemmas, questions, and fears on the way to that decision? These are the answers to some of the most common questions about laser removal of dioptre.

1. Laser dioptre removal is not safe

Laser vision correction has been done for over 30 years around the globe and so far, more than 50 million people have resolved dioptre. Today this is the most commonly performed medicine intervention being performed at the patient's request. According to US FDA studies, over 97% of patients are satisfied with laser removal of dioptres, which is considerably more than all other elective procedures where satisfaction level does not exceed 85% (aesthetic corrections of the breast, nose, lip, liposuction, etc.). The laser is computer controlled and guided, equipped with a microscopic eye tracking system that enables delivery of the beam to the precise position during the operation and the programmed result. The eyelid holder during the procedure prevents eye blinking, and as the procedure taking place in a/under drop anaesthetic lasting a few minutes only, the feeling of discomfort is minimal, and the procedure itself is painless. With the state-of-the-art technology (lasers and diagnostics) and the experience measured at the Eye Clinic Svjetlost in tens of thousands operated patients, the level of safety of such operations is over 98%, which is the world’s highest standard level and there are no complications that can permanently damage the vision. Research has shown that the risk of infections or any other potentially blinding complications in laser surgery is 100,000 times lower than in daily placement of contact lenses in the eye.
 
2. Dioptre retracts

Results of dioptre laser removal are permanent in 98% of cases. In extremely high dioptres, in less than 2% of cases, there were retracts recorded, but significantly fewer dioptres than the ones before laser correction.
However, even with these individuals, if they have done the procedure in past 10 years, with today's technology it is possible to repeat the procedure without additional eye risk. The return of the dioptre is not a result of a poorly performed procedure, but rather of the personal, genetic and environmental factors of each eye (further growth of dioptre, irregular healing processes). In the case of retract, dioptres can be corrected by wearing contact lenses.

3. After laser removal of the dioptre, there is a night-time vision disturbance

Until 10 years ago, night vision problems were a problem for people with large pupils and high minus dioptres. New laser technologies and advanced computer algorithms, followed by the development of automated pupil gauges under any light conditions made night vision disturbances almost completely eliminated. Nowadays, the rule is that a dioptre grinding zone must be at least as broad as the widest pupil. Individuals with a wide pupil examination that is shown significantly reduced visual quality, the dioptre is corrected as a rule with so-called personalized treatments (wavefront technologies) meaning that apart from dioptre all other eye irregularities that can potentially lead to reduced visual quality are corrected. The pouring of light at night today occurs only during first few days or weeks after the procedure healing lasts.

4. Laser cannot be used to remove astigmatism (cylinders)

If you have astigmatism, your eye surface/ area is unevenly curved at some places. With the laser removal of the dioptre, we are remodelling the cornea with dioptre while at the same time, there are removals of all the corneal irregularities, and so your cylinders become the past.

5. Laser removal of dioptre should be done after birth?

Ladies, you do not have to wait! Eye changes during pregnancy are rare, and most dioptre changes during pregnancy are temporary, returning to normal with the normalization of hormonal status. Experience has shown that women who undergo laser dioptre removal during pregnancy have no additional/ increased risk for dioptre retraction or any other related problems. Moreover, the fact that a person undergone laser dioptre removal does not in any way affect the choice of what kind of birth to have.
 
6. The dryness of the eye is permanent after the procedure

After laser surgery, an intensified eye dryness occurs for a minimum of 6 weeks period, and then artificial tears should be used. According to the latest studies, (performed on latest laser technologies - a flap created by femtosecond laser, and the removal of dioptre on new fast excimer lasers) complete eye circulation was completed and 99% of patients had no other symptoms after 6 months. Severe symptoms of dry eye, which can last for longer than 6 weeks, are solely for people who have been wearing contact lenses (especially soft) for many years. The cause of prolonged eye dryness for such people is the primary mucosal disorder of the eye mucosa caused by contact lenses. When one is wearing contact lenses (especially soft), the lens rests on the mucous membrane of the eye, resulting in continuous friction of the cells with lens due to normal eye movement and blinking. For this particular reason, it is of crucial importance that contact lens carriers use artificial tears over the lens to at least partially alleviate the damage of these cells and dry eye (and lenses to maintain a moisture absorbing tears). Excessive dryness of the eye is the main reason for stopping contact lenses usage, and all contact lens carriers have a dry eye after 10 years of wearing the lens. If the symptoms are strongly pronounced, the dry eye must be treated before the laser treatment.

7. Every dioptre removing method is equal

The state-of-the-art, femtosecond method of laser removal of dioptre raised the safety bar level to 99.7%. In contrast to classic LASIK method with a micro chlorate in which the corneal flap on the surface of the cornea is an automated electric knife, and after that the dioptre is removed with the laser, in the femtosecond method, the flap is created by the laser. Since these flaps are significantly more correct and adjusted to the parameters of the cornea, the advantages of this method are especially evident in high dioptres, astigmatism and thinner corneas. Also, these flaps are faster and stronger to heal and, due to the characteristics of the flap and the dry eye symptoms, they are less pronounced. 

The PRK method, by which the dioptre is removed on the surface of the eye with the removal of the corneal epithelium, at the Svjetlost Eye Clinic is performed in an improved variant of T-PRK. Mechanical removal of the epithelium is replaced by a laser, which led to reduction in postoperative discomfort and pain in the patient’s life/body, and faster eye circulation, and thus faster/speed recovery. Recovery of visual acuity in this method awaits epithelial healing, and it is often necessary to complete vision stabilization for several weeks. Today, this method is mainly used for people with lower corneal or certain irregularities of the surface, but it can also be used for all people with minus dioptres and astigmatism of up to 3 dioptres. However, in LASIK and t-PRK patients, LASIK methods are more often accessed for less postoperative discomfort and significantly faster rehabilitation of visual acuity. 

There is no universal method of removing dioptres, but it is adapted to each patient separately. For example, for people with thin corneas, if we consider that the amount of tissues to be 'removed' by the laser is potentially too large and it may be possible to put them at risk in the long run, we suggest the installation of facial lenses. For people whose years begin to occur to see less proximity (the emergence of an old dioptre or presbyopia), the complete solution for dioptre, but also oily, is the installation of multifocal or lens with an extended range of vision. It is therefore essential that you decide on an operation where there is not only the possibility of laser removal of the dioptre, but also the installation of the lens, so that the decision on your operation would not be guided by the available equipment, but only by the medical logic. 

dr. Maja Bohač, spec. ophthalmologist, head of the Department of Refractive Surgery