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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LASIK vs Contacts

For some people, making the decision to have LASIK is not as straightforward as it is for others. Misunderstandings about the safety and cost of laser eye surgery can sometimes cause patients to hesitate to move forward. It’s important to understand the record of LASIK vs contact lenses, over both the short and long term.

LASIK vs Contacts Safety

A lot of the misperception about LASIK safety comes from the very earliest days of laser eye surgery, when the technology and procedure itself was new. It was hard for people to accept that something so radical could be safe. Time has proven those initial concerns to be without cause. The LASIK safety record has always been high, with complication rates so low as to be considered extremely rare. Now with steady advancements in the technology, the safety record is better than ever.

Most people aren’t aware that long or short term contact lens use can cause serious and permanent vision damage. In severe cases, it can even cause blindness. The reason contact lenses are so damaging is the simple fact that every time you put one in, you are inserting a foreign piece of plastic into your eye. Infections, bacterial irritation, altered corneal thickness, corneal ulcers and micro-cysts are just some of the possible complications. Astoundingly, for those regularly using contact lenses, vision-threatening infections occur at a rate of 1 in 2,000, whereas only 1 in 10,000 LASIK recipients experience complications.

LASIK vs Contacts Cost

Consider how much you spend on contacts. How many years have you worn contacts? How much do you pay for a box of contacts? How many boxes of contacts are purchased per year? How much do you spend on contact lens solution per year?

LASIK is an investment in your vision, and is more cost effective than a lifetime of contact lens wear. The average contact lens wearer will spend tens of thousands of dollars in their lifetime on contacts. Wright Vision Center offers competitive pricing and financing to help make LASIK an affordable option for all prospective patients in Rapid City.

Other LASIK Benefits

If you are currently wearing contacts, you understand that there are additional non-monetary costs. Contacts can affect your lifestyle. Even simple things like waking up in the middle of the night and trying to move about can be difficult. LASIK provides you with freedom and clear vision.  Benefits include:

  • Increasing your quality of life.
  • Saving time during your daily routine
  • Not having to worry about a rip or tear in your contact lens
  • Not having to worry about losing a contact
  • Being able to see anytime, anywhere

Time and research has proven that when it comes to the health of your eyes and vision, LASIK is a clear winner over contact lenses — but the decision to have LASIK vs contact lenses is not one that should be made without first fully understanding the benefits and risks. Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK, and at Wright Vision Center we screen our patients thoroughly so that only those who are truly suitable for LASIK receive it. Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation today.

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Preparing for LASIK

Even though LASIK is a relatively safe procedure, it is normal to experience uneasiness or nervousness prior to surgery. If you are scheduled for LASIK eye surgery in Rapid City, properly preparing for LASIK will help you feel more at ease and increase your chances of a positive outcome.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for LASIK:

  • On the day before surgery, stop using makeup, lotions, perfumes or creams. These substances may cause debris to get into your eyes.
  • Arrange for transportation. You’ll need to have someone drive you to and from your place of surgery. It may take several days to adjust to the change in your vision.
  • On the day of surgery, eat a light meal before leaving for your appointment. Most surgeons will allow you to take any prescription medications as normal.
  • Dress comfortably and casually. Don’t wear bulky clothes or accessories, especially in your hair. Wear something casual so you won’t need to change once you return home to rest.
  • It’s normal to feel some anxiety before having LASIK, but try to remain as calm as possible.
  • If you are concerned about pain, talk to your surgeon. LASIK shouldn’t hurt, but you may feel slight pressure from the laser.
  • Take a few days off. Some LASIK patients go back to work the day after their procedure, but Dr. Wright suggests taking at least a couple of days to rest. Make sure you keep your expectations realistic. This is especially important if you work outdoors because you need to keep your eyes as clean as possible.
  • Stop wearing your contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, you’ll need to switch to glasses full time for at least a few weeks before your surgery. Contact lenses can distort the shape of your cornea, which could lead to inaccurate measurements and a poor surgical outcome. Your doctor will provide specific guidelines depending on your situation and how long you’ve been a contact lens wearer.

Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com for more information on preparing for LASIK.

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Cataract Surgery Options

Cataracts are a cloudiness that forms in the normally clear lens of the eye, leading to decreased vision. Although cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40, cataract surgery options offer easy solutions to clear vision for the millions that suffer from this condition. Depending on your pre-operative vision and desired result, Dr. Wright in Rapid City may choose to remove your cloudy lens and replace it with a clear lens implant called an intraocular lens (IOL). This has been done for routine cataract surgery for years. There are several IOL options that remedy different types of vision problems. Dr. Wright can help you decide which is right for you.

There are numerous cataract surgery options. Below are two categories to consider:

Refractive Cataract Surgery: There are several options for refractive cataract surgery. This category includes surgeries that use special IOL lenses designed to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The goal is to correct the cloudiness from the cataract as well as to improve nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, reducing the need for distance and near vision glasses.

Standard Cataract Surgery: Cataract surgery with a basic, standard, IOL. This type of cataract surgery corrects the cloudy lens but does not provide additional vision correction. With this type of cataract surgery, most patients will see better than before the surgery, but unlike other lens options, will likely require glasses at all distances for the best vision.

At Wright Vision Center, we want you to know that quality vision correction is our specialty. To learn more about your cataract surgery options or to schedule an examination with Dr. Wright, contact us at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com today.

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Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a normal result of the aging process. The crystalline lens within your eyes is composed of proteins. These proteins are soft and flexible when you are younger. As you approach middle age, presbyopia occurs as the protein composition of the crystalline lens changes, making it harder and less flexible. When the crystalline lens loses its ability to flex, it is no longer able to change its shape and effectively bend light rays as sharply, and the ability to focus on near objects is diminished. Symptoms of presbyopia typically begin between age forty and fifty and progressively worsen through age sixty-five. When presbyopia begins, people who already wear glasses may need bifocals or trifocals, and those who have never worn glasses may require reading glasses.

If you are around age 40 and considering LASIK, presbyopia is an important concept to understand. LASIK has absolutely no effect on your eye’s focusing muscles or on the crystalline lens, so it does not correct ordinary presbyopia. So, if you only need eyeglasses for reading, LASIK is not a good vision correction option for you. However, if you need to have your distance vision corrected and need some help with close vision because you are beginning to experience presbyopia, LASIK may be an option if performed as a specialized monovision LASIK.

Currently, monovision LASIK is the most popular vision correction surgery for presbyopia treatment. During monovision LASIK surgery in Rapid City, Dr. Wright corrects one eye for distance vision and leaves the other eye for near vision. After monovision LASIK, a person relies on one eye for driving and other distance vision tasks, and uses the other eye for computer work and reading. Though this may sound a little strange, after a short period of adjustment and adaptation, monovision typically feels natural and most monovision LASIK patients are pleased with their vision and are significantly less dependent on reading glasses.

Depending on your individual lifestyle and vision requirements, LASIK treatment for presbyopia may be an option you’d like to discuss with Dr. Wright. Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule your LASIK consultation today.

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