Using Flex Plans for LASIK

paying-for-lasikAre you ready to trade glasses or contact lenses for the freedom of LASIK vision correction but not sure about your options for paying for it? If your employer offers a Flex Plan or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), consider using it for LASIK surgery.

Flex Plan Specifics

A Flex Plan allows employees to set aside a portion of their earnings to pay for qualified expenses, most commonly for medical or related expenses. Money deducted from an employee’s pay into an FSA is not subject to payroll taxes. With an FSA, you can put part of your pre-tax earnings into this short-term, tax-free health savings account and use it for non-reimbursable medical expenses such as LASIK. Depending on your annual income, using this plan may help you save up to $2,500 on your LASIK procedure while lowering your taxable income. Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?

Most Flex Plans have strict use terms so you will want to check on the specific terms of your plan.  Your employee benefits department should be able to answer any questions you may have regarding your FSA. If you’re considering LASIK surgery, now may be the perfect time to look into it using your Flex Plan funds.

Step-by-Step Savings for Flex Plans

  1. Schedule a free LASIK Consultation at Wright Vision Center to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK.
  1. Determine the deadline for your company’s open enrollment to sign up for a Flexible Spending Account.
  1. After your examination, Dr. Wright will determine the cost of the best LASIK procedure for you, so you’ll know how much to set aside in your account.

The experienced eye surgeons at Wright Vision Center in Rapid City utilize the latest technology and offer the safest, most effective laser vision correction techniques. Placing your satisfaction as our top priority, we work to ensure you are provided with information about all of your options, empowering you to make informed decisions about your vision care.

To schedule your free LASIK consultation and discuss your options for using your Flex Plan for LASIK surgery, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com today.

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PRK vs. LASIK

prk-vs-lasikPRK and LASIK have enabled millions of people to achieve excellent vision.

If you are considering laser eye surgery, there are a number of options to consider. Two of the most well-known procedures are LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). Both procedures have their pros and cons, and your eye doctor can help you determine which type of surgery is best for you based on your specific situation.

When it comes to comparing LASIK vs. PRK, the procedures have both similarities and differences. LASIK and PRK are both refractive eye surgeries that can be used to correct the following vision issues:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism (distorted or blurry vision)

Both procedures use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea so that when light enters the eye it is focusing properly on the retina, resulting in clear vision.

PRK and LASIK Differences

PRK was the first laser eye surgery approved for vision correction, and LASIK came on the scene later. There are a few differences between the two.

With LASIK eye surgery, the surgeon cuts a thin flap on the cornea to get to the treatment area. After the correction has been completed the flap is replaced.

With PRK eye surgery, the surgeon removes the entire outer (epithelial) layer of the cornea to access the treatment area. After the surgery, the eye naturally heals and grows a new epithelial layer.

For patients with thinner corneas, PRK is typically the preferred option vs. LASIK. However, PRK requires a longer healing time than LASIK, which is one of the reasons many patients opt for LASIK.

Along with a faster recovery, LASIK patients typically experience less discomfort than PRK patients. They also have a lower risk for infection and other side effects such as inflammation and hazy vision. In addition, vision typically stabilizes more quickly in LASIK patients.

With PRK, the surgeon does have access to the entire thickness of the stroma vs. what is accessible with the LASIK flap. For patients with thinner corneas or those who have previously undergone a LASIK procedure, this extra access may be necessary to achieve optimal results.

While rare, there can be complications with the corneal flap with a LASIK procedure. Also, with PRK there is less likelihood of removing too much of the cornea with the excimer laser as compared to LASIK.

Both LASIK and PRK treatments provide excellent visual outcomes and freedom from glasses for distance vision for nearly all patients. PRK and LASIK generally provide equivalent visual outcomes. So why would someone choose LASIK versus PRK? Some patients prefer LASIK for its faster healing, and others prefer PRK for its extra safety.

It’s important to note that both PRK and LASIK are highly successful, low-risk surgeries that provide most patients with significant vision correction. Because every patient’s eyes are unique, it’s best to seek out a highly qualified, experienced eye surgeon such as Dr. Wright.

Dr. Wright has performed thousands of corrective vision surgeries in Rapid City, and can recommend the type of surgery and treatment protocol that is best for your individual situation. If you would like to learn more about PRK or LASIK surgery contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a free consultation.

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What Does Refractive Surgery Mean?

what-does-refractive-surgery-meanRefractive surgery is eye surgery that is performed to eliminate or reduce dependency on contact lenses or glasses, although some people still need prescription eye glasses or contacts after the procedure. It is used to improve the refractive state of the eye which improves natural vision.

Refractive surgery can include a variety of methods of surgery that remodel or change the cornea.  Excimer lasers are used most commonly to reshape the curvature of the cornea.  Refractive surgery is a way to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and some types of astigmatism.  The most widely performed type of refractive surgery is LASIK.

Light rays enter the eye through the clear cornea, pupil and lens. These light rays are focused directly onto the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The retina converts light rays into impulses, sent through the optic nerve to your brain where they are recognized as images. About 70% of the eye’s focusing power comes from the cornea and 30% from the lens.

Many forms of refractive surgery improve vision by permanently changing the shape of the cornea, the clear front window of the eye. In Rapid City, Dr. Wright uses LASIK to improve the following conditions:

Refractive Surgery for Myopia:

In an eye with myopia (nearsightedness), the corneal focusing power is too strong for the eye’s overall length. Instead of focusing on the retina, images fall in front of it, and vision is blurry. When treating myopia, certain refractive surgery techniques reduce the curvature of the cornea to lessen the eye’s focusing power. Images that are focused in front of the retina, due to an elongated eye or steep corneal curve, are pushed closer to or directly onto the retina following surgery.

Refractive Surgery for Hyperopia:

In an eye with hyperopia (farsightedness), the corneal focusing power is too weak for the eye’s overall length. Instead of focusing on the retina, images focus beyond the retina, and vision is blurry. When treating hyperopia, certain refractive surgery techniques make the cornea steeper to increase the eye’s focusing power. Images that are focused beyond the retina, due to a short eye or flat cornea, are pulled closer to or directly onto the retina following surgery.

Refractive Surgery for Astigmatism:

Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is more curved in one direction than the other, like the shape of a football. If astigmatism is significant, light passing through the cornea is scattered. Images reaching the retina are distorted and vision is blurred. When treating astigmatism, refractive surgery techniques selectively reshape portions of the cornea to make it symmetrical and smooth, like the shape of a basketball, so that images focus clearly on the retina.

If you are interested in reducing your dependence on contact lenses or eye glasses and would like to investigate refractive surgery as an option, please contact Wright Vision Center in Rapid City at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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Wright Vision Center Unveils New Laser System for Both Cataract & LASIK Surgery

Posted by administration on March 19, 2014

First Practice in Rapid City to Offer Blade-Free Cataract Surgery Using the Bausch + Lomb Victus

 

Rapid City, SD (PRWEB) March 14, 2014: Wright Vision Center announced today that the practice now offers blade-free laser eye surgery for both cataracts and LASIK with an advanced laser system: the Bausch + Lomb VICTUS™ femtosecond laser platform.

Now, for the first time ever in Rapid City, cataract patients can receive customized, blade-free cataract surgery. For cataract surgery, the laser (not a manual blade) is used to make the corneal incision to allow removal of the cataract and insertion of a replacement Intraocular Lens (IOL). For LASIK surgery, the laser (not a manual blade) is used to create a corneal flap, allowing the doctor to reshape the cornea for vision correction.

“We could not be more excited about being the very first practice in Rapid City and all of western South Dakota to employ this technology,” said Dr. Paul Wright.  “Using the VICTUS system, the doctors at Wright Vision Center can offer more precise incisions with a high level of safety and excellent vision outcomes for our cataract and LASIK patients.  Blade-free laser cataract surgery is now in Rapid City!”

The new laser offers real-time, 3D imaging of the eye to plan, perform and monitor the most challenging steps of cataract and LASIK surgery. The system complements the surgeon’s skill with computer-guided accuracy.  

About the VICTUS Femtosecond Laser Platform

The VICTUS Femtosecond Laser Platform, from Bausch + Lomb, the global eye health company, and Technolas™ Perfect Vision GmbH (TPV), a leading ophthalmology laser company, is the first femtosecond laser designed for both cataract and refractive surgery. The VICTUS platform was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2012 for creation of a corneal flap in patients undergoing LASIK surgery or other treatment requiring initial lamellar resection of the cornea and anterior capsulotomy during cataract surgery. 

Wright Vision Center is now offering both Cataract Consultations and LASIK Consultations to determine candidacy for the VICTUS laser. To schedule a Consultation, please call 877-576-0202877-576-0202.

 

 

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World Braille Day

Posted by administration on January 8, 2015

BrailleWorld Braille Day is January 4, 2015. This is a day that celebrates the birthday of Louis Braille, the blind Frenchman responsible for developing a code for reading and writing for the blind…when he was just 15 years old.

This observation is used to raise awareness of issues that concern blind individuals worldwide:

  • Due to international copyright laws, braille books must remain in the country in which they are produced. The 2013 Marrakesh Treaty would allow copyright exceptions.
  • Only 5% of materials are published in accessible formats.
  • Visually impaired individuals of all ages deserve the same reading, learning and living opportunities as those who have sight.

Communication Advances

There is reportedly a braille smart phone being developed in India. Until that technology is finalized, there is a braille phone offered in the United Kingdom that has customizable buttons. Produced by OwnFone in London, the small phone is simply designed and has pre-programmed braille buttons to help the visually impaired connect with emergency services and other important people in their lives.

Protect Your Vision

Even if you have been fortunate enough to have good vision throughout your life – or even if you have had successful blade-free LASIK in Rapid City to enhance your vision – eye disease, eye injuries and medical conditions can rob you of sight at any time. Sometimes there are no outward symptoms of serious eye problems…until it is too late.

At Wright Vision Center, we encourage people to have regular eye exams in Rapid City to stay proactive with their eye health. If a problem is detected, we will work hard to identify the correct treatment options to preserve vision for as long as possible.

To schedule an eye exam, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123. 

 

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Wondering About LASIK Flaps?

Posted by administration on February 1, 2016

LASIK_Flaps.jpgDuring LASIK, a surgeon creates a flap in the cornea in order to reshape the stromal layer of the cornea and correct vision.  After the laser has reshaped the stromal layer, the LASIK flap is carefully repositioned over the treatment area by the surgeon.  The surgeon checks for the presence of air bubbles, debris and proper fit on the eye. The flap remains in position by natural adhesion until healing is completed.

If you have LASIK, you will typically be provided with a course of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to take home.  These are used in the weeks following surgery.  You’ll be instructed to rest and wear dark eyeglasses to protect from bright lights.  It will be important to avoid rubbing your eyes.  The staff at Wright Vision Center in Rapid City will inform you of the proper post-operative care to minimize the risk of complication.

 

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Will Wearing Glasses Make Your Vision Worse?

Posted by administration on May 28, 2015

Glasses or LASIK

If you need corrective lenses…but you don’t wear them…what are your reasons?

  1. You hate the way you look in glasses.
  2. You can’t seem to get the hang of wearing contact lenses.
  3. You simply forget to wear them or misplace/lose them often.
  4. You think that by wearing glasses your vision will actually become worse.

If you fall into the number 4 category of people, consider this: WebMD has flat-out stated that, “Your eyes will not grow weaker as a result of using corrective lenses. Your prescription may change over time due to aging or the presence of disease, but it is not because of your current prescription.”

People who need reading glasses may be especially prone to thinking that wearing readers will make their vision worse. The fact is that wearing glasses does not weaken your eyesight. Close-up vision deterioration happens to most people over the age of 40. It’s a condition called presbyopia that occurs when the eye lens loses flexibility. You can’t prevent it and you won’t worsen it by wearing readers.

Any type of glasses, whether prescription glasses or readers, are simply an aid to improve vision. If your vision isn’t clear, you owe it to yourself to wear the proper lenses to achieve clear vision.

The alternative is to look into a vision correction procedure, such as Rapid City LASIK. Dr. Wright at Wright Vision Center offers free LASIK Consultations to help people determine their candidacy for this popular procedure. Keep in mind that not all eyes are right for LASIK; having a comprehensive evaluation is the only way to know for sure.

To learn more about Rapid City LASIK, contact Wright Vision Center today at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule your free LASIK Consultation. 

 

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Will Sitting Too Close to the TV Ruin Your Vision?

Posted by administration on November 3, 2015

LASIK_Vision_Correction.jpgWas Mom right when she yelled at you for sitting too close to the television?  

Mom is right most of the time…but when it comes to television viewing distance, she’s wrong – at least today. There is no evidence that children or adults will damage their vision if they sit too close to the television.

She may have been partly correct if you were a kid in the 50s or 60s. Televisions manufactured before the 1950s reportedly did emit higher levels of radiation that could increase the risk of eye problems. And in the 60s General Electric recalled television sets that emitted unsafe levels of radiation. But today’s modern televisions must comply with the Federal radiation limit. According to the Food and Drug Administration, “flat panel TVs incorporating Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) or Plasma displays are not capable of emitting x-radiation.”

Viewing shows or video games close-up can produce headaches, fatigue or eyestrain. However, children typically don’t experience eyestrain like adults do. Even so, this shouldn’t be an excuse to allow your child to spend hours in front of a screen every day. Make sure your child – and you – are engaging in other activities, like playing outdoors, to keep their minds and bodies healthy.

If your child routinely holds reading materials close to their eyes, you should schedule an eye exam to ensure that a refractive error is not the culprit. He or she may need corrective lenses to see clearly.

If a refractive error is to blame, you children may not have to live with glasses or contacts forever. When they are adults, blade-free LASIK in Rapid City may help correct the eye shape or corneal curvature so clear vision can be achieved at all distances.

To learn more about Rapid City LASIK, contact Wright Vision Center today at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a free LASIK Consultation

 

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Will School Make You Nearsighted?

Posted by administration on July 31, 2014

Researchers in Germany have uncovered a possible link between spending more years in school and the prevalence and severity of nearsightedness. In the Gutenberg Health Study, they looked at 4,658 Germans ages 35-74 who had myopia (nearsightedness), which causes distant objects to appear blurry while close-up objects are clear. The study did not include participants with cataracts or anyone who had refractive surgery.

The Findings

  • 53% of university graduates had myopia
  • 39% of high school graduates had myopia
  • 24% of participants without a high school education had myopia

The myopia became more severe with each additional year of school.

Don’t Sacrifice Education for Vision

We are not recommending that people drop out of school to possibly protect their vision. Instead, while you are pursuing your education, be aware of your environment and how it is affecting your eyesight. For example, take frequent breaks from your computer and give your eyes a rest.

Another Reason Why Recess is Important

If these findings are valid, it makes sense for students to increase their time outdoors…making recess an important part of the school day (regardless of your level of education).

Already Nearsighted? You Have Options

Of course, people can have myopia regardless of the amount of schooling – you can be born with this condition where your eye is too long or too steep, causing light rays to focus in front of your retina rather than on the surface. If you are already nearsighted, you have options to correct your vision, including LASIK vision correction in Rapid City. This quick and virtually painless procedure uses a laser to microscopically reshape the cornea so light will focus on the retina (the back of the eye) and clear vision can be obtained.

To learn more about your own vision characteristics and find out if LASIK technology in Rapid City may help you see with 20/20 vision, contact Wright Vision Center by scheduling your free LASIK Consultation at wrightvisioncenter.com or by calling 877-576-0202.

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Will Glasses Stand the Test of Time?

Posted by administration on July 9, 2014

Popular Mechanics recently published an online article titled “10 Things That Will Disappear in the Next 110 Years.” We thought we would share that list with you:

  1. Eyeglasses
  2. Video game consoles
  3. Postage stamps
  4. C batteries
  5. Keys
  6. Snow tires
  7. Telephone poles
  8. Band-Aids
  9. Wallets
  10. Flathead screwdrivers

The article didn’t go into any specifics on why the publication’s editors felt these items would no longer be relevant. However, at Wright Vision Center we can take a guess at one reason why the #1 item on the list might phase out: LASIK vision correction. Rapid City LASIK is already helping thousands of people in our area eliminate their need for glasses or contacts. It’s a laser procedure that corrects vision for people who are nearsighted, farsighted or who have astigmatism, but it’s not for everyone. If a patient’s corneas are too thin or if other eye problems exist, an alternative to LASIK may be recommended. The only way to know for sure if LASIK might reduce or eliminate your need for eyeglasses is to schedule a free LASIK Consultation at Wright Vision Center by calling 605-718-5123 or visiting wrightvisioncenter.com.

It’s possible that no one reading this blog will know for sure if all of these 10 things will be gone in 110 years. But it’s going to be interesting to see what the future holds for all types of technology, including vision correction. 

 

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