All posts by Jonna Kieler

Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis

Laser in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a popular refractive surgery technique used to correct vision in people who have myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (a condition in which the front surface of the cornea of the eye is not spherical).

During LASIK surgery in Rapid City, Dr. Wright uses a laser to create a thin flap in the cornea. The flap is then lifted and a process called photoablation, which uses an excimer laser, removes microscopic amounts of the internal corneal tissue that changes the curvature of the cornea. After the cornea is reshaped so that it can properly focus light into the eye and onto the retina, the corneal flap is put back in place and the surgery is complete.

The surgery is generally performed while the patient is under a local anesthesia and usually takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Benefits of LASIK

LASIK has many benefits, including:

  • It has a high success rate. About 95% of patients are satisfied with the outcome of LASIK.
  • LASIK surgery is associated with very little pain.
  • Vision is corrected nearly immediately or by the next day after LASIK.
  • Recovery is quick. LASIK requires no bandages or stitches.
  • Adjustments can be made years after LASIK to correct vision even further.
  • After having LASIK, most patients no longer need corrective eyewear (glasses, contacts, etc.).

LASIK Disadvantages

  • Changes that are made to the cornea cannot be reversed after LASIK.
  • LASIK is generally not covered by insurance plans so is paid for by the patient.
  • Rarely, complications related to LASIK can cause a reduction in the best vision achievable with or without glasses. Potential side effects include dry eyes, halos and glare.

To learn more about Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis or to schedule a LASIK consultation with Dr. Wright, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or

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Cortical Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. As you age, proteins in your lens begin to break down and the lens becomes cloudy. You may not even realize you have a cataract because it usually grows very slowly and may not impede vision early on. While cataracts are rarely dangerous, after many years they will likely affect vision. By age 65, over 90% of people have a cataract and half of the people between the ages of 75 and 85 have lost some vision due to a cataract.

There are several types of cataracts. Each type of cataract develops in a specific portion of the lens. A cortical cataract forms in the shell layer of the lens, known as the cortex, and gradually extends its “spokes” from the outside of the lens to the center. These spokes block or distort the light passing through the eye. This causes glares to form around lights and a loss of contrast between colors and shades. Both near and distance vision are slowly reduced. If left untreated, cortical cataracts can result in vision loss.

There are several cataract treatment options available, including:

Prescription Glasses: Since cortical cataracts can result in decreased visual acuity, glasses may be prescribed to make up for the vision loss. However, this is only a short-term solution as the cortical cataract continues to develop. Eventually, glasses will cease to be an effective method of treatment. When this happens, it is probably time to consider cataract surgery.

Cataract Surgery: When glasses fail to make up for the vision loss caused by a cortical cataract, cataract surgery may be your best option to restore your sight. Cataract surgery in Rapid City is an outpatient procedure and involves Dr. Wright removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.

If you think that you may be developing cataracts or if you are already considering cataract treatment, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or to schedule an appointment today.

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When is the Best Time to have LASIK?

For many glasses or contact lens wearers, there comes a time when they say enough is enough and decide to have LASIK. So, when is the best time to have LASIK?

When your eyes and prescription are stable: Teenagers and many young adults often experience changes in their contact lens prescription and eyeglass prescription from year to year. It’s important for refractive errors to be stable for at least 12 months before undergoing LASIK or other refractive surgery.

When you want to improve your quality of life: There is no better time to have LASIK than now. The sooner you have the procedure, the more years you have to enjoy the unique benefits it brings. Regardless of age, experiencing the freedom of life after LASIK is worth it.

When you’re just plain done with glasses and contacts: There are many reasons that people state they are just done with glasses and contacts as a viable vision correction solution. These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Contact lens induced infections
  • Broken or misplaced glasses
  • Not being able to see when waking up
  • Activities like scuba diving, swimming, running, exercise, etc. that are hindered by glasses and contacts
  • Tired of spending money year-after-year on glasses and contacts

So, when’s the best time to have LASIK? It’s when you feel totally ready!

Of course, LASIK is not right for every patient and there may be other considerations. If you’re ready to find out if LASIK is right for you, the best thing you can do is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright in Rapid City. Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or today.

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Advancements in LASIK

LASIK surgery is the most popular laser vision correction procedure performed today, and for good reason. Ongoing advancements in laser technology and ophthalmology have made way for successful surgeries and better visual outcomes. At Wright Vision Center in Rapid City, Dr. Wright utilizes the latest advancements in LASIK surgery to offer patients the best possible vision correction experience. The most advanced LASIK techniques include:

Bladeless – LASIK involves reshaping the cornea to correct the refractive error. To access the cornea, a flap must be made. In previous vision correction techniques, the flap was created using a hand-held bladed tool. Modern LASIK techniques utilize a femtosecond laser to create the flap, eliminating the risks associated with the use of a manual blade. Studies have shown that the femtosecond laser allows for more precise corneal flap thickness, improving the accuracy and predictability of this part of the surgery. This also offers a decreased risk of corneal abrasions during the procedure, and a decreased risk of induced astigmatism after LASIK. It also gives more options in terms of flap size, shape and orientation, yielding a more customized procedure as well as a faster healing time thanks to the smoother edges of the flap.

Eye Tracking Technology – Early LASIK procedures required patients to fixate on a light to treat the refractive error. Modern LASIK utilizes advanced eye-tracking systems that keep track of the eye’s continual movements. The eye naturally makes small involuntary movements. Advanced eye tracking systems have an active infrared eye tracker that tracks the center of the pupil to detect and compensate for any involuntary eye movements. The active eye tracker can move 10 times faster than the human eye as well as faster than the laser itself. Eye tracking has markedly increased the accuracy of LASIK and makes patients feel confident that any micro eye movements they make won’t affect the visual outcome of their procedure.

Custom Wavefront Mapping – Wavefront mapping is a highly sophisticated technology that allows Dr. Wright to create a 3D image of your eye. The information gathered by the wavefront map system helps detect the eye’s unique imperfections and it allows the laser to create a smoother and more precise corneal shape. Wavefront technology increases the accuracy of visual outcomes and reduces the likelihood of side effects such as glare and halos.

These advancements have made LASIK more effective and more accessible to potential candidates. Advancements in LASIK technology broadens the number of people eligible for LASIK. Nowadays, patients with thin corneas, who were previously unable to undergo the procedure, can become candidates thanks to the femtosecond laser’s ability to create a thinner flap. Essentially, these LASIK advancements allow each procedure to be tailored to the unique shape of each patient’s eye. As you might expect, this results in excellent outcomes and high patient satisfaction.

Safety and accuracy of vision outcomes are some of the most important criteria in choosing a LASIK surgeon. Dr. Wright in Rapid City understands this and would love to help you reach your goals of clear vision with these advanced techniques. To schedule a LASIK consultation, contact Wright Vision Center today at 605-718-5123 or

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When LASIK May Have to Wait

If you have made the decision to undergo LASIK laser vision correction surgery, you may be anxious to schedule your procedure as soon as possible. Millions of patients have benefited from LASIK, but there are times when LASIK may have to wait.

During Pregnancy – Due to hormone fluctuations that occur during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, a woman’s vision prescription may change. It is believed that the hormone changes cause a swelling of the lens which can alter the patient’s degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The hormone changes that occur start in the preliminary stages of pregnancy and continue until a couple of months after breastfeeding has ceased. To achieve the best possible vision correction results, patients should consider LASIK surgery two to six months after breastfeeding has stopped.

When Your Eyes Are Still Changing – For many, LASIK is a possibility as young as 18 years of age, but for some, their vision may fluctuate into their early twenties as hormonal changes continue until their body is done growing. It is pointless to undergo LASIK if your eyes are still changing because you will most likely require more surgery. If you’re over 18 years of age and your prescription has been stable for about a year, you should be able to consider LASIK.

If You Have an Untreated Eye Disorder or Health Condition – If you have untreated eye conditions such as dry eye or uncontrolled health disorders such as diabetes, LASIK may need to wait until those issues have been dealt with and they are treated and/or under control.

The best way to know if LASIK is a good option is to be seen for a consultation with a reputable LASIK surgeon such as Dr. Wright in Rapid City. Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-715-5123 or to schedule a consultation today.

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What Does LASIK Treat?

LASIK is a popular and advanced treatment for improving vision. LASIK is used to treat refractive errors of the eye. In most cases, these errors happen because the shape of the eye isn’t quite right and, as a result, light doesn’t focus on the retina the way it should. In some cases, refractive errors are corrected with eyeglasses or contacts, but LASIK provides a long-term solution that often results in clearer vision. Common refractive errors include:

  • Hyperopia: Hyperopia is commonly referred to as farsightedness. People with this condition may have trouble clearly focusing on nearby objects while they can see things that are far away quite clearly. In this case, light focuses behind the retina instead of on the retina.
  • Myopia: Myopia is also known as nearsightedness. In this case, people can usually see nearby objects clearly, but far away objects are blurry or hard to focus on. In this situation, light is being focused in front of the retina.
  • Astigmatism: If someone has an astigmatism, the shape of the cornea prevents light from focusing evenly on the retina. Objects at various distances may appear blurry or distorted.

There are multiple types of LASIK available. Some patients will be best suited for traditional LASIK while others may be able to opt for Custom LASIK. Custom LASIK, wavefront-guided LASIK. is one of the most advanced and successful treatments available for refractive errors. This type of treatment provides more detailed information and can be used to treat a wide range of pupil diameters. At Wright Vision Center in Rapid City, Dr. Wright provides custom LASIK treatment that is suited to your vision and your health.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your eyesight and make your day-to-day tasks a bit easier, LASIK may be a good solution. Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or to schedule an appointment and learn more about your options.

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LASIK Recovery Time

Full LASIK recovery takes between three and six months, but most people say they see a difference in as little as 24-hours after surgery. Your individual recovery time will be different because no two people heal exactly the same way. In general, patients can expect the following during their LASIK recovery time:

Day One Following LASIK: Shortly after your LASIK eye surgery, you will be directed to go home and rest. You must refrain from using your eyes as much as possible during the first 24-hours after your procedure. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for your treated eyes and what to avoid during your recovery. You may notice that your eye itches, burns, waters or feels like you have an eyelash stuck in it. This is entirely normal and will go away with time. The main thing to remember is to avoid rubbing the eye at all costs. Rubbing the eye can displace the corneal flap that was created during the procedure. Wearing a protective eye shield at night will help you stop from poking or rubbing your eye at night while you sleep, too.

Week One Following LASIK: By the end of the first week, you should have your first follow-up appointment. During this visit, you will most likely be released to go back to driving and work. You can resume most normal activities minus swimming, hot tubs, saunas and contact sports. You may continue to experience some itching and the sensation that something is in the eye.

Month One Following LASIK: During this point in your LASIK eye surgery recovery, you should be back to your normal routine. You will still need to avoid extreme sports and exercise for a few more weeks. Make sure to continue using moisturizing eye drops even when you feel like you do not need them to maintain the correct moisture level for proper healing.

LASIK surgery results can sometimes take several months. Often, the more drastic your prescription, the longer healing takes. During your initial LASIK consultation in Rapid City, Dr. Wright can give you an estimate of LASIK recovery time for you based on your individual eyes and prescription. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or

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LASIK Candidacy

For the right candidate, LASIK can be an incredibly effective way to address refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. However, if you are not a good candidate, LASIK risks are much higher when you undergo this procedure.

To be considered a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery in Rapid City, you should meet the following requirements:

  • LASIK eye surgery candidates must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Your vision and prescription should be stable (not worsened) for at least one year.
  • Your eyes should have a healthy retina, eye pressure and the cornea must have sufficient thickness.
  • Your prescription for distance vision needs to match a certain minimal strength, and that prescription strength (glasses or contacts) must meet FDA approved guidelines for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
  • Your pupils should not be larger than 8.5mm in the dark due to increased risk of vision glare and halos at night and decreased night vision.
  • You should have no major eye diseases, no evidence of vascular or autoimmune diseases, no recent history of eye infection or inflammation, excessive corneal disease/scarring or severely dry eyes.
  • You should not be pregnant or nursing.
  • You should not have uncontrolled (unmanaged) diabetes or certain rheumatologic conditions (e.g. lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s Disease).

The best candidates for LASIK have realistic expectations about the benefits and limitations of this treatment. You should also be fully aware of potential risks. LASIK is largely considered safe and can help you achieve crystal clear vision, but results vary based on individual factors beyond the control of even the most skilled eye surgeon.

The best way to determine if LASIK is right for you is through a comprehensive examination with Dr. Wright at Wright Vision Center. Contact us at 605-718-5123 or today to schedule your LASIK consultation.

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What to Expect from LASIK

LASIK refractive surgery has helped millions of people around the world achieve better vision. If you are considering laser vision correction, it can be helpful to know what to expect from LASIK before scheduling your procedure.

Before LASIK in Rapid City, patients visit Wright Vision Center to get their eyes thoroughly examined, talk about what procedures they are a candidate for, and then go over their options at length. This comprehensive evaluation is a critical, mandatory step in preparing for LASIK. During your evaluation, you will receive the latest in diagnostic testing to identify the laser platform and procedure best suited to deliver your best vision possible at any age.

Patient education is important to us and critical to your making an informed decision. We will answer all your questions and help you understand (based on your medical condition and history, prescription and diagnostic testing) what results you can expect after your LASIK procedure.

Please plan to arrive as rested and relaxed as possible on the day of your procedure. It is completely natural to feel nervous and excited before surgery.

Wear comfortable clothing and make sure to bring a sweater or light jacket because the surgical area may be cool. Do not use creams, lotions, eye makeup, hair spray, perfume or wear earrings or other jewelry above the neck. This is important since your eye area will be thoroughly cleaned for surgery and drops will be placed in your eyes.

Prior to your procedure, Dr. Wright will spend a few minutes explaining everything that is going to take place, make sure you are comfortable and answer any final questions you may have. During the procedure, Dr. Wright will give you instructions such as, “Look at the flashing red light” and will update you as to what’s occurring during each step of the process.

Immediately after surgery, your eye might itch, burn or be watery. Although you’ll be able to see after surgery, usually without glasses or contacts, your vision won’t be completely clear right away. It takes about two to three months after your surgery before your eye heals and your vision fully stabilizes.

At Wright Vision Center, we want you to be comfortable, informed and prepared for your LASIK experience. Our goal is to help you through the process by guiding you with our extensive knowledge. Our highly trained staff will make sure you are comfortable and relaxed while you are with us. To learn more about what to expect from LASIK or to schedule a consultation, contact us by calling 605-718-5123 or visiting

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Investing in LASIK

LASIK is an investment in your vision. Based on patient experience, it’s also an experience that adds valued benefits and satisfaction to a person’s life. Having LASIK eye surgery is a great solution for many people that have nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism than other visual aids. Using a prescription product in close contact with the eye is a perfectly acceptable solution, but LASIK surgery offers many benefits compared to contacts and eyeglasses.

LASIK surgery benefits you may experience include:

  • No worry of infection from prolonged contact lens use
  • Fewer infections in general
  • No lens cleaning solution fees
  • No contact refills every year
  • Less damaging to the eye over time
  • Fewer trips to the optometrist
  • More freedom
  • Ability to be spontaneous
  • Improved night vision
  • Reduced allergy symptoms
  • Fewer headaches
  • Less eye strain compared to using optical aids

In reality, LASIK is less expensive over time than contacts or glasses. LASIK eye surgery is a fixed, once-and-done cost. Although LASIK surgery is a large one-time expense, it’s often cheaper than the long-term cost of contact lens wear or eyeglasses. Once you have the treatment, there are no more fees. Care Credit monthly financing plans, Health Spending Accounts and other options may help you pay with a monthly payment for the length of time that fits your budget.

If you’re wondering if you can afford LASIK, we offer a full range of monthly payment options; from no interest and extended options to low monthly plans that fit any budget.

If you’re ready to invest in LASIK, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or to schedule your LASIK consultation today!

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