All posts by Jonna Kieler

LASIK After 40

When a person’s near vision begins to diminish, sometime after age 40, many incorrectly assume that readers, bifocal/progressive glasses are the only options to see up close. Fortunately, this is far from the truth. Today, with the latest LASIK technology, there are several options for LASIK after 40.

Everyone over 40 will eventually suffer from presbyopia  – the inability to see close-up. As your body ages, the natural lens of the eye loses its flexibility. Since this is a natural condition of the lens of the eye and not the cornea, it affects everyone; from normal glasses and contact wearers, to people with perfect vision, and even people who received previous laser vision correction.

Until recently, the only solutions to the loss of reading vision were reading glasses or bifocals and progressive lenses. Thankfully, custom LASIK offers multiple solutions that can help you ditch the readers and even leave you completely glasses and contacts free!

Monovision

Most patients who receive traditional LASIK vision correction will be free from glasses until they hit their mid-forties, when presbyopia sets in. But there exists a custom LASIK procedure that can help correct both distance and reading vision. Called monovision, this procedure adjusts one eye to see things close-up, while the other eye sees things at a distance. Your brain then balances out the images for a full field of clear vision. While this may seem weird or uncomfortable, it’s actually the way our normal sight functions.

Before committing to monovision LASIK, Dr. Wright will have you try the concept using contact lenses to simulate the experience of monovision sight. Many people love it, but for some it may not feel quite right. For patients who decide that monovision is not the right fit for them, they can still get LASIK for their distance vision and just use cheap readers for the times when they need to see up-close.

LASIK has helped millions of patients achieve better vision. For those 40 and over, LASIK may be a great option to improve or even correct vision. If you’re considering LASIK after 40, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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Vision Correction Methods

Correcting refractive vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia has advanced beyond simple eyeglasses and contacts. Today, there are several vision correction methods for patients to consider. In Rapid City, Dr. Wright can help you to understand your options and help to select the best vision correction solution based on your individual needs. The following are common vision correction methods:

Eyeglasses: Wearing eyeglasses is an easy way to correct refractive errors. Improving your vision with eyeglasses offers the opportunity to select from different types of lens options, frame designs and even lens coatings for various lifestyles, occupations and activities.

Contact Lenses: Contact lenses are a popular alternative to eyeglasses. Soft contact lenses offer many convenient options including colored versions, bifocals and daily disposable lenses. Extended wear contact lenses can be worn for up to 30 consecutive days and nights without care.

LASIK: LASIK is the most popular form of refractive surgery, but there are now several other alternatives such as PRK, LASEK and Epi-LASIK. Wright Vision Center uses the latest laser technology and expertise to customize your procedure to your unique vision needs.

Natural Lens Replacement: Also known as refractive lens exchange or clear lens extraction, this procedure involves the removal of the natural lens within your eye and replaces it with an artificial lens, also called an intraocular lens (IOL). This allows Dr. Wright to provide you with a new lens that has improved focusing power, decreasing the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Phakic Lens Implant: In this procedure, the implanted lens is situated on top of the natural lens. It works by adding focusing power to your natural lens without replacing it. This procedure may be beneficial to patients who are extremely nearsighted.

To learn more about the vision correction methods we’ve discussed as well as other options, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

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LASIK

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you might consider surgery to correct your vision. LASIK is a popular vision correction procedure that uses a laser to reshape your cornea — the clear, round dome at the front of your eye — to improve the way your eye focuses light rays onto your retina.

LASIK is short for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. During LASIK in Rapid City, Dr. Wright uses the latest laser technology and equipment, along with years of experience, to customize your LASIK procedure to your unique vision needs.

LASIK surgery begins with an anesthetic drop being used to numb the surface of the eye. Dr. Wright uses a special laser to create a thin flap of corneal tissue that is folded out of the way. The laser is then used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue, correcting the refractive errors of the patient. Once the corneal flap is replaced, it quickly adheres to the eye, and healing begins.

The surgery takes 10 to 15 minutes for each eye. Generally, both eyes are done during the same procedure. LASIK is an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to return home to rest following their surgery.

Before you sign up for LASIK surgery, here are a few things to consider:

  • LASIK is surgery to a very delicate part of your eye and cannot be reversed.
  • As with any surgery, there are risks and possible complications.
  • Millions of people choose LASIK and have great results, but it’s not for everyone.
  • LASIK may not give you perfect vision. Although most LASIK patients experience 20/20 vision following surgery, not everyone will have vision so sharp.
  • Even with LASIK to correct your distance vision, you are likely to need reading glasses in your mid-40s. LASIK surgery cannot correct or prevent presbyopia, the age-related loss of focusing power for seeing near objects.
  • Most insurance plans don’t cover the surgery.

If you’d like to find out if LASIK is a good option for you, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright.

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How Long Does LASIK Last?

In general, LASIK eye surgery is considered to be a permanent way to correct vision. Given that the procedure takes roughly 30 minutes total to complete, this is pretty impressive. Over the last several decades, LASIK results have proven to be very stable. After the initial healing period of 3 to 6 months, your distance visual acuity should remain the same for the rest of your life (provided, of course, that you don’t develop cataracts or some other age-related eye disease).

Rarely, a small percentage of patients will experience regression – a return of some nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. If a regression of this sort occurs and becomes bothersome, a follow-up procedure called a LASIK enhancement usually can be performed to restore clear vision. In many cases, patients who experience minor refractive changes after LASIK aren’t bothered by the change and don’t feel a need for additional vision correction. Others choose to wear prescription eyeglasses only for specific activities (driving at night, for example), while some opt to have enhancement surgery performed.

For the best, long lasting LASIK results, Dr. Wright recommends that all prospective patients have a stable prescription for at least two years before considering the procedure. Usually before the mid-20s a person’s eyes may be still growing and changing. Having a stable prescription for at least two years is an important consideration for anyone, young or old, to be deemed a good LASIK candidate. For patients in their 40s-50s it’s important to understand that at some point in the future, they may experience presbyopia, a normal age-related loss of near focusing ability which causes up-close vision to become blurred. When this happens, most people need to wear reading glasses to read and to see near objects clearly.

For most patients, LASIK is a safe, permanent vision correction method. If you are interested in joining the thousands of satisfied LASIK patients in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule your consultation.

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Choosing a LASIK Surgeon

With so many LASIK surgeons in the Location area, it can be difficult to know how to choose the right one for you and your needs. Choosing a LASIK surgeon can be difficult. Choosing the right LASIK surgeon can make a significant difference in the ultimate quality of your vision. If you are considering LASIK surgery, consider the following:

Experience: Experience is the key to a safe and successful LASIK surgery. Don’t feel shy about asking your potential surgeon how many times they’ve performed LASIK.

Board Certification: When a doctor is board certified, it means they have completed extensive relevant residency programs and passed a series of rigorous examinations set down by the board in question. Board certified doctors also must work to maintain their certification which means they’re up to date on the latest in techniques and technology.

Comfort Level: Your consultation with your prospective LASIK surgeon is important because it’s an excellent chance for you to get to know the doctor a little better. While the doctor’s experience and skill are the crucial factors, it’s also important that you feel comfortable with the LASIK surgeon and their staff.

Personal involvement: Your LASIK surgeon should be involved in your eye care before, during and after your procedure. This means that they should participate in your evaluation and post-operative care, not just the surgery itself.

Price: Cost should not be a factor when it comes to your vision. Beware of doctors offering bargain basement discounts and deals. While expense may be a real concern for you, good financing options are almost always available.

Satisfaction Records: Good LASIK surgeons are proud of their work, and satisfied patients are excited about the impact that improved vision has had on their lives. Ask your prospective surgeon if you can talk to other patients who have undergone LASIK surgery.

Understanding: Your LASIK surgeon should understand your personal goals, be willing to thoroughly answer all your questions, and address all your concerns. A caring surgeon should explain the procedure, what kind of results you can expect and what you must do after surgery to ensure proper healing.

Dr. Wright would be happy to use  personal years of experience as a LASIK surgeon to explain the procedure to you and walk you through what you can expect. If you’re looking for a skilled, experienced LASIK surgeon in Rapid City, please contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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Keep Your Eyes Healthy During The Solar Eclipse

Rapid City and surrounding area residents have an exciting event coming up! On August 21, 2017, a full solar eclipse will occur, causing daylight to turn into twilight.  We will get to experience a partial eclipse lasting approximately 2-3 hours. Halfway through the partial eclipse, certain areas will experience a total eclipse lasting about 2 1/2 minutes. For more information about the eclipse pathway and to view simulations, visit https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/nation/.

 

As incredible as a solar eclipse can be, viewing an eclipse can pose some serious eye health concerns and could even lead to severe, permanent vision loss from a condition called solar retinopathy. Take these steps to properly protect your peepers:

  • DO NOT use ordinary sunglasses or homemade filters for viewing the sun/solar eclipse
  • Only use solar filter or eclipse glasses that meet ISO 12312-2 standards (this should be noted on specialty solar filter glasses)
  • Carefully inspect your solar filter or eclipse glasses to ensure that they are not damaged or scratched
  • Read and follow the instructions that accompany your solar filter or eclipse glasses
  • Put on and remove your solar filter or eclipse glasses while turned away from the eclipse to avoid inadvertent exposure
  • DO NOT view the sun or a partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, binoculars, or telescope, even if you are wearing solar filter or eclipse glasses (the magnified lenses will intensify the rays and can cause serious damage to your eyes)
  • It is safe to view a total eclipse without solar filter or eclipse glasses, but use extreme caution and be prepared to reposition your solar filter or eclipse glasses as soon as the bright sun begins to emerge from the total eclipse.
  • Children should be supervised closely for the duration of the eclipse viewing

For more information about solar filter or eclipse glasses and handheld viewers, visit the American Astronomical Society.

Eclipse safety information provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Astronomical Society

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LASIK Meaning

The name LASIK is an acronym for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. Let’s break down the meaning of this big name. The word laser is also an acronym. It means light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. In situ is a Latin term meaning in its original position or place; kerato is a Greek-derived prefix meaning cornea; and mileusis means to shape.  In order to have clear, crisp vision, the eye’s cornea and lens must refract (bend) light rays properly. This allows images to be focused on the retina. Otherwise, the images will be blurry. This blurriness is referred to as a refractive error and it is caused by a difference between the shape of the cornea (curvature) and the length of the eye. LASIK is used to correct the refractive errors of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The LASIK procedure is performed by an ophthalmologist who uses an excimer laser (an ultraviolet laser) to remove a thin layer of corneal tissue, reshaping the cornea so that light rays are focused clearly on the retina.

LASIK surgery in Rapid City is performed by Dr. Wright, who first creates a corneal flap. The flap is then peeled back so that the excimer laser can reshape the corneal tissue underneath. The hinge of the flap prevents it from being separated from the cornea. Once the reshaping is complete, Dr. Wright replaces and secures the flap and healing begins. The cornea naturally holds the flap in place so that no stitches are needed. Most patients will notice clearer vision right away.

LASIK is an outpatient procedure and usually only takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete each eye. LASIK is sometimes referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction and is currently the most popular form of refractive surgery in the United States. For most patients, LASIK provides a permanent alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.

If you would like more information about the meaning of LASIK, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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Cheap LASIK (Why You Should Be Wary)

The average cost of LASIK eye surgery is more than $2,000 per eye. You may be tempted by cheap LASIK surgery prices that are advertised. These low cost rates may seem appealing until you realize what you are really being offered.

The Top 3 Reason to Avoid Cheap LASIK:

  1. Technology: Most cheap LASIK eye surgery fees do not include the use of cutting-edge technology. When you see cut-rate prices for LASIK, you are often witnessing the charge for LASIK without the newest and most advanced lasers. These procedures often use less precise measuring techniques, too. This means that your surgery will be a one-size-fits-all treatment instead of being more customized for the best results.
  2. Experience: You get what you pay for, and what you want to pay for is a qualified LASIK surgeon who has performed at least thousands of procedures. When the doctor has very little experience and needs to build a patient base, he is likely to offer cheaper prices.
  3. Hidden Fees: Cheap advertised LASIK surgery prices often have hidden fees. There are often fees for consultations, post-operative visits and medications that are not included in the low advertised price. These fees add up fast and can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of additional dollars. Make sure to ask what the LASIK surgery cost covers when checking into laser treatment.

Beware of low-cost LASIK because it often means that you are cutting corners with your vision. You only have one set of eyes. If you’re unable to afford the best and safest procedure then you would be better advised to wait until you can save up for the procedure than to risk your future and your vision to a riskier alternative today. You also may be surprised at, with the new financing programs available today, how truly affordable the best can be. If you’re interested in upfront pricing with the most advanced technology in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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What is Refractive Surgery?

If you have a refractive error, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism or presbyopia, refractive surgery is a method for correcting or improving your vision. There are various surgical procedures for correcting or adjusting your eye’s focusing ability by reshaping the cornea, the clear, round dome at the front of your eye. Other procedures involve implanting a lens inside your eye. The most widely performed type of refractive surgery is LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), where a laser is used to reshape the cornea.

For people who are nearsighted, certain refractive surgery techniques will reduce the curvature of a cornea that is too steep so that the eye’s focusing power is lessened. Images that are focused in front of the retina, due to a longer eye or steep corneal curve, are pushed closer to or directly onto the retina following surgery.

Farsighted people will have refractive surgery procedures that achieve a steeper cornea to increase the eye’s focusing power. Images that are focused beyond the retina, due to a short eye or flat cornea, will be pulled closer to or directly onto the retina after surgery.

Astigmatism can be corrected with refractive surgery techniques that selectively reshape portions of an irregular cornea to make it smooth and symmetrical. The result is that images focus clearly on the retina rather than being distorted due to light scattering through an irregularly shaped cornea.

Refractive surgery might be a good option for you if you:

  • Want to decrease your dependence on glasses or contact lenses
  • Are free of eye disease
  • Accept the inherent risks and potential side effects of the procedure
  • Understand that you could still need glasses or contacts after the procedure to achieve your best vision
  • Have an appropriate refractive error

There is no one size fits all method for correcting refractive errors. The best option for you should be decided after a thorough examination and discussion with your ophthalmologist. If you are considering refractive surgery in Rapid City, you and Dr. Wright can discuss your lifestyle and vision needs to determine the most appropriate procedure for you. Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule your consultation today.

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LASIK in One Eye Only

In the early days of LASIK surgery, the procedure was performed on one eye at a time. Today, most patients have treatment on both eyes during one safe and easy procedure. Although today it is common practice to treat both eyes together, some patients opt to only have LASIK in one eye for various reasons.

LASIK works to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. If you have normal vision in one eye and blurry vision in the other, LASIK treatment would only be performed on the one eye that needs correction.

If both your eyes require correction due to refractive errors, there is typically no reason to separate LASIK treatments. Also, when you add the inconvenience factor (double the number of consults, follow-up appointments, etc.), it’s easy to see why most people opt to treat both eyes simultaneously.

If you are curious about LASIK treatment in one or both eyes, the first step is to schedule a LASIK consultation to see if you are a good candidate. Contact Wright Vision Center today at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

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