LASIK for Astigmatism

LASIK for AstigmatismAstigmatism is a common condition in which the cornea of the eye has a shape similar to that of a football, rather than a normal corneal shape resembling a baseball. Because the cornea is oddly shaped, light bends unequally as it enters the eye, causing vision distortion or blurriness.

Many who suffer from astigmatism do not know that it can often be corrected with LASIK eye surgery. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a popular form of laser eye surgery that reshapes the inner layer of the cornea to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. LASIK eye surgery has proven to be an effective treatment for many patients with mild or moderate astigmatism. LASIK is also a convenient option for many other people, even if they don’t have astigmatism.

LASIK for astigmatism is accomplished by smoothing out the irregularities of the cornea at the precise points of the astigmatism, therefore allowing light to focus correctly on the retina. During the LASIK procedure in Rapid City, pulses of cool, ultra-violet light are emitted from a computer-guided laser to remove corneal cells according to your unique prescription.

There may be some patients with severe astigmatism that do not qualify for LASIK surgery. Many people suffering from astigmatism are children and it is recommended that LASIK patients be over the age of 18 years old to ensure that their refractive error has stabilized.

Depending on the type and severity of astigmatism, as well as other factors, Dr. Wright may be able to treat your eyes with LASIK. To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation.

Read More

Why is Some LASIK Cheap?

Why is some LASIK CheapIf you are considering LASIK, you’ve probably noticed advertisements for low-cost, discount LASIK. While discount LASIK eye surgery may sound enticing, there are numerous reasons to be wary of these so-called “deals.” Let’s review why some LASIK is cheap:

Discount LASIK advertisements usually contain fine print regarding the actual cost of the LASIK procedure. Typically, this either means hidden fees are involved and the patient doesn’t actually save money or only a small number of people qualify to receive LASIK eye surgery at that low price. Many times these ads look great on the surface but it is only after you have gone into the eye doctor’s office that you find out the true costs. Be especially wary of such bold offers; many people who choose to undergo LASIK in this way are hit with additional fees after their surgery is over.

While LASIK is generally an extremely safe procedure, a low cost can be an indicator that corners are being cut. Discounts and group deals on LASIK pose the risk of poor surgical outcomes and poor patient care due to outdated technology. It is important to find a LASIK surgeon that has sufficient experience and uses the latest blade-free technology such as Dr. Wright in Rapid City.

Prices for LASIK can vary widely depending on your particular prescription and other factors. The average price for LASIK surgery is around $2,000 per eye.

The important issue concerning the cost of LASIK is whether the fee advertised is all inclusive. Before you schedule a LASIK procedure, confirm with your surgeon everything that is and is not included in the fee you have been quoted and request the information in writing.

Even where price may be a significant concern, many patients are able to take advantage of financing options with affordable monthly payment plans. To learn more about the cost of LASIK in Rapid City or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightivisioncenter.com today.

Read More

LASIK Healing Time

LASIK Healing TimeAs soon as your LASIK surgery is complete, your eyes will have already begun the healing process. The initial healing period after LASIK occurs rather quickly. Long-term LASIK healing can last from several weeks to several months. It’s normal to experience some fluctuations in your vision and other side effects during your LASIK healing time.

The First Few Days of Healing:

You will need someone to drive you home following your LASIK procedure in Rapid City. During the first few days following LASIK, you may feel some eye pain, along with irritation and watering. Some patients experience a gritty feeling as if they have sand in their eye. Dr. Wright may instruct you to wear a patch or shield over your eye for the first few days, especially while sleeping, so that you avoid rubbing your eye and eyelid. Your eyes may also be sensitive to light and your vision may be fuzzy for the first few days. You may be given medicated eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation. You will have a check-up appointment within 24-48 hours after your surgery. During this examination, Dr. Wright will check your eyes and test your vision.

The Weeks and Months of Healing Following LASIK:

The complete LASIK healing time is normally about six months. Regular follow-up visits will be scheduled during this time or longer to continue to monitor your vision and eye health. Your follow-up appointments are critical to your full recovery and must not be neglected. In most cases, vision should be stable and clear at the six-month post-op visit. If you experience dry eyes, halos, glare or other visual disturbances after your LASIK surgery, most of these symptoms should be gone or significantly reduced by your six-month visit.

To ensure proper healing, it is very important that you carefully follow all post-operative instructions. Remember that during the LASIK healing you may experience several vision fluctuations and symptoms. For more information about LASIK in Rapid  City or to find out if you are a candidate for the procedure, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

Is LASIK Covered by Insurance?

Smashed Piggy BankMany health insurance companies consider LASIK an elective procedure. Elective procedures are typically procedures that are optional, nice to have done, but not medically necessary.

While LASIK is often considered an elective procedure, there are times when it may be medically necessary. These include:

  • Surgery to correct vision problems caused by an injury.
  • LASIK for patients that can’t wear glasses or contacts.
  • LASIK to correct vision problems caused by surgery.
  • LASIK to correct very severe vision problems (the definition of very severe varies from insurance company to insurance company).

It’s important to talk with your doctor to determine if your LASIK surgery will be considered cosmetic or medically necessary.

Affordable Options for LASIK

There are many ways to afford LASIK. Many people finance their procedures, making monthly payments over time until the procedure is paid in full. In addition, some choose to put the balance on a rewards-bearing credit card for points, miles or other incentives.

Many U.S. employees have an FSA, HSA or HRA to cover health expenses with income-tax-free accounts. The cost of laser eye surgery is an eligible expense for all these accounts.  In addition, some people may deduct the cost of major medical expenses. Check with your tax preparer to see if you qualify. If you know you want LASIK but are concerned about up-front cost, assess your contributions during your employer’s open-enrollment window and consider increasing your savings so you can afford the procedure next year.

If you have any type of health insurance policy, contact your benefits coordinator to find out exactly what is and is not covered. You can ask your company questions regarding the amount of coverage offered, what procedures may be covered and how much you will have to pay whether you use an in-network or out-of-network healthcare provider.

The value or LASIK is life changing for some. The money saved on costs associated with reducing the need for glasses and contacts reflects only part of the surgery’s value though. Many find that after LASIK they can do many things that they could not have done before, improving their quality of life. It’s important to weigh not just the cost of LASIK, but the overall gains you may experience.

For more information about how to afford the LASIK procedure in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

Age for LASIK

Age for LASIKLASIK is a great option for many people who suffer from poor eyesight. But one question many people have before considering this procedure is when is the best time to get LASIK? There is a right and wrong age for LASIK.

The Right Age For LASIK

Generally, the perfect candidate for LASIK is someone between the ages of 20 and 40. This is because a major determining factor in LASIK candidacy is a stable eye prescription for at least two years. Just as your body grows and matures through adolescence, so do your eyes. Research shows that your eyes begin to stabilize and your prescription is more likely to remain steady after the age of 20.

LASIK for Teens

Although LASIK is a safe and effective way to improve vision, the FDA has not approved the procedure for people under the age of 18 because their eyes are not fully developed. In some cases, a person’s eyes may not fully develop until the age of 21. A teenager who undergoes LASIK surgery when their eyes are not fully developed will find the results to be temporary and may need corrective surgery in the future.

Older LASIK Patients

Older patients typically suffer from age-related conditions that cannot be treated with LASIK surgery, such as cataracts, and therefore may not be good candidates for the LASIK procedure. Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy, resulting in blurred vision. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss among older people. Patients with cataracts should consider undergoing cataract surgery in which the eye’s natural lens is replaced by an artificial lens.

The benefits of LASIK have convinced millions of people to undergo this procedure. To determine whether you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright in Rapid City by contacting Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

LASIK Pros and Cons

LASIK Pros and ConsLASIK is a refractive surgery that uses a laser on one or both eyes to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK corrects your vision by reshaping your cornea to improve how your eye focuses. As with any surgical procedure, it is important to consider the potential benefits and risks. Carefully weigh the LASIK pros and cons listed below.

LASIK Pros

  • No more glasses or contacts. The idea of no longer needing to wear glasses or contacts may seem too good to be true. Although some LASIK patients will still need glasses for reading or up-close tasks, most patients can say goodbye to the hassle of corrective lenses.
  • Improved vision right away. Roughly 80% of the people who choose LASIK surgery will notice an immediate improvement in their vision.
  • Quick and easy procedure. LASIK is an outpatient procedure that can be done right in the doctor’s office as opposed to a more intensive/invasive surgery in a hospital. The treatment can take as little as 20 minutes to complete, and results might be noticed before you ever leave the office.

LASIK Cons

  • LASIK is permanent. Unfortunately, after electing to have laser eye surgery, there is no going back. Any improvement or damage to the eye is irreversible.
  • Although LASIK eye surgery has become a common procedure, it is still expensive. In addition, because it is generally an elective operation, medical insurance may not cover the expense.
  • Possible complications. Some LASIK patients experience negative vision challenges that interfere with their daily functions. These potential impairments include: light sensitivity, blurry vision, double vision, severe astigmatism, halo vision, starburst vision.
  • Reading glasses needed as you age. As people age their eyes change shape and corrective lenses are usually needed.

For many Rapid City patients, the benefits of LASIK eye surgery far outweigh the risks. To learn more about LASIK pros and cons, schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright by contacting Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

 

Read More

Types of Laser Eye Surgery

Types of Laser Eye SurgeryLaser eye surgery, sometimes called vision correction surgery or refractive surgery, is any surgical procedure used to correct vision problems. In recent years, tremendous advancements have been made in this field. Many people have experienced better vision and a more enjoyable lifestyle after having laser eye surgery.

Most types of laser eye surgery work by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. Other types involve replacing the eye’s natural lens. There are several different types of laser eye surgery, including:

LASIK: Short for laser in-situ keratomileusis, this type of laser eye surgery is used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted and/or have astigmatism. During LASIK surgery, vision is corrected by reshaping underlying corneal tissue so that it can properly focus light into the eye and onto the retina. LASIK eye surgery differs from others in that a flap is made in the outer layer of the cornea so that the underlying tissue can be accessed. LASIK may also be done with the addition of computer imaging called wavefront technology. This creates a detailed image of the cornea and serves as a guide for treatment.

PRK: Short for photorefractive keratectomy, this laser eye surgery is used to correct mild to moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. During PRK surgery in Rapid City, Dr. Wright uses a laser to reshape the cornea. This laser, which delivers a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light, is used on the surface of the cornea, not underneath a flap of the cornea like in LASIK eye surgery. PRK may also be done with computer imaging of the cornea.

LASEK: Short for laser epithelial keratomileusis, this is a similar procedure to PRK. An epithelial flap is created and then epithelial cells are loosened using an alcohol solution. A laser is used to reshape the cornea, then the flap is replaced and secured with a soft contact lens while it heals. LASEK surgery is used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism.

EpiLASIK: In this procedure, a very thin cell layer is separated from the cornea and then the internal cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser. Depending on the procedure chosen, the thin layer may be left off or replaced. The area is protected with a soft contact lens while it heals.

Not everyone is a candidate for laser eye surgery. Though it is considered safe, serious risks can be involved and it is important to meet with an experienced LASIK surgeon to see if you are a good candidate for the procedure. For more information about laser eye surgery, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

Cataracts Under 40

Cataracts Under 40A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. As a lens becomes cloudy, vision is impaired. Although most cataracts develop from the natural aging process, cataracts can affect younger people, including those under the age of 40. Even children and young people can develop cataracts.

Several factors can cause or contribute to cataracts in people under 40:

Disease: Diabetes is a known risk factor for early cataracts. There are many other metabolic conditions that can cause cataracts.

Medications: Steroids among other drugs can cause early cataracts.

Environment: Excessive UV exposure can lead to cataracts.

Trauma: Trauma to the eye can cause cataracts. Trauma may break the lens capsule making the  lens suffer from a protein leak and causing clouding.

Lifestyle: Smokers and those who heavily use alcohol are at an increased risk of developing cataracts.

Cataracts may also be caused by defects in the eye, detachment of the retina or high dosages of radiation.

If you are young, it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun and injuries and maintain regular vision exams. Cataracts are typically easy to treat with cataract surgery. For more information about cataracts under 40, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

LASIK Recovery Tips

LASIK RecoveryLASIK is one of the most popular forms of vision correction in the world today. The ability to experience the world around you without the daily dependence on glasses or contacts to perform functions such as driving and working leads to a deeper enjoyment of your day. One of the many benefits of LASIK is a fast healing and recovery time. Most LASIK patients have clear vision within days of surgery, without the assistance of glasses. Here are several tips that can speed up the recovery process even further and help you avoid any complications:

  • Take Adequate Time to Heal: Immediately following your LASIK procedure, you won’t be able to operate a vehicle, so a means of transportation to and from the doctor is a must. Give you and your eyes time to rest before you go about your daily activities normally. Ease your way back into the flow of things and make sure you take a couple of days off school or work to allow for proper healing and recovery.
  • Consider Taking Baths Instead of Showers: A bath may enable you to protect your eyes better than you would in a shower. Shampoo and soap can contaminate or irritate your eyes, so any contact with these products should be avoided. Water from the shower that hits you directly in the face can also cause complications when the droplets hit your eyes. When drying yourself, make sure you avoid rubbing your eyes at all costs.
  • Follow Through with Scheduled Doctor Visits: There will be several scheduled appointments with your LASIK surgeon in the days, weeks and months following your procedure. It is important that you go to each of these appointments so that your doctor can monitor your recovery progress.
  • Use all Prescribed Medication as Directed: You will be prescribed medicated and lubricated eye drops to assist with the LASIK recovery process. These eye drops are essential for proper healing and can help prevent dryness and discomfort.
  • Avoid Playing Sports: You’ll want to avoid any sports, whether they are contact sports or not, for up to a month. Although it may be possible for you to participate in non-contact sports much sooner, your vision and depth perception may not have fully adjusted. This puts you at risk of having a person or object inadvertently hit you in the eyes which can create complications for your LASIK recovery. Watersports or any other water activities should be avoided until one month after treatment.
  • Use Eye Protection: After your LASIK surgery in Rapid City, Dr. Wright will provide you with an eye shield to protect your eyes. You’ll want to wear some type of eye protection for up to two weeks after your procedure to prevent damage that may occur while you sleep or an inadvertent blow to the eye from a person or object.
  • Avoid Facial Applications: Creams, lotions and makeup should be avoided to prevent infection. Eye liner, eye shadow and mascara are especially dangerous because small particles from the makeup can enter or irritate your eye.
  • Protect Your Eyes from The Sun: You’ll find that your eyes are extra sensitive to bright light, especially sunlight, post-surgery. Wearing sunglasses with full UV protection is important for helping your cornea heal.
  • Do Not Touch Your Eyes: No matter how bad they burn or itch, do not touch your eyes after LASIK surgery. Rubbing or scratching your eyes is a natural tendency that everyone is born with, and refraining from doing this will be the most challenging thing you face during the recovery process. No matter how irritated they feel, don’t rub your eyes. It can damage the corneal flap, and may require your doctor to readjust it.

Dr. Wright is committed to helping all patients achieve clear vision through LASIK. To schedule a LASIK consultation in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center at 615-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

How Long Does Cataract Surgery Take?

How Long Does Cataract Surgery TakeCataract surgery is a procedure used to treat cataracts where changes in the lens of the eye cause cloudy, blurry or misty vision. The lens is the crystalline structure that sits just behind your pupil, which is the black circle in the center of your eye. Cataracts occur when changes in the lens of the eye cause it to become less transparent, making it difficult to see clearly.

Cataracts sometimes start to develop in a person’s eye lens as they get older (age-related cataracts), stopping some of the light from reaching the retina. Although cataracts are often associated with age, in rare cases babies are born with cataracts or young children can develop them (childhood cataracts).

Once cataracts have developed and vision is compromised, surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an intraocular lens is the only way to restore vision.

Cataract surgery is a relatively straightforward outpatient procedure performed under local anesthetic, which means you’ll be awake during the procedure and can go home on the same day. During cataract surgery in Rapid City, Dr. Wright will make a tiny incision in your eye so that the cloudy lens can be removed. After it’s been removed, it is replaced with a small plastic lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).

If you have cataracts in both eyes, you will need two separate surgeries performed a few weeks apart. This gives the first eye time to heal and time for your vision to be restored.

There are two main types of cataract surgery and the timeframe of the procedure depends on which surgery you have.

Phaco Surgery: With phacoemulsification, the most common type of cataract surgery performed in the U.S., the procedure can take as little as 10 minutes.

ECCE Surgery: The extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) can take longer than phacoemulsification; ECCE usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

Recovery Time: If there were no complications with the surgery, the patient will remain in recovery for a short amount of time, often 20 to 30 minutes, and then are able to go home.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed procedures and has helped restore clear vision to thousands of patients. If you would like to discuss cataract surgery with Dr. Wright, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule an appointment.

Read More