LASIK Flap

lasik-flapLASIK, which stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis, is a popular surgery used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism.  One aspect of LASIK surgery that has made it such an innovative and effective procedure is the LASIK flap.

Creating the LASIK Flap

The first step of LASIK eye surgery is to partially detach a very thin layer of tissue from the cornea. This layer of tissue remains attached to the cornea on one side, creating a flap. Dr. Wright then uses a cool laser to alter the shape of the cornea beneath the flap. Changing the shape of the cornea corrects the vision problem that is being treated.

After the shape of the corneal tissue beneath the flap has been properly altered, the flap of tissue is set back into place. This flap serves as a protective covering for the area of the eye that has been operated on, and thus facilitates rapid healing. In fact, with the use of a LASIK flap, the corneal tissue can be as much as 90% healed within 24 hours!

Advantages of the LASIK Flap

Before LASIK surgery techniques were developed, doctors used photorefractive keratectomy, PRK, to correct vision. Known as an ablative procedure, PRK removes small pieces of tissue from the surface of the cornea. Though this procedure provides effective vision correction, and is still used in some cases when the cornea is too thin or misshapen to work well with a LASIK procedure, it takes longer to heal. The LASIK flap offers a faster, less painful recovery than the earlier methods of refractive surgery.

In order to determine if LASIK will work well to correct your vision, you should consult with a LASIK surgeon. Dr. Wright, who specializes in LASIK surgery in Rapid City, will evaluate your vision, the shape of your cornea, your overall health and other factors. Dr. Wright will then provide a suggested course of treatment and help you decide if LASIK is right for you.

If you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, LASIK might be an excellent option to improve your eyesight. For more information about how LASIK can help you, please contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a LASIK consultation.

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Questions to Ask a LASIK Surgeon

questions-to-ask-a-lasik-surgeonIf you are considering LASIK, it is important to discuss the benefits and risks that could result from correcting vision with surgery rather than eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Each LASIK candidate has a unique set of general and eye health circumstances and lifestyle goals that need to be carefully assessed with their surgeon before electing to go ahead with the surgery. Although LASIK benefits many people, for others it may not be the best choice.

Choosing to undergo LASIK surgery is an important, potentially life-changing decision. Prior to your LASIK surgery, you will get the chance to ask your surgeon all the questions you want to ask. To help you make an informed decision, Dr. Wright at Wright Vision Center in Rapid City recommends the following list of questions to ask during your consultation.

Get to Know Your LASIK Surgeon

  • What is your professional training?
  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • How many LASIK procedures have you performed?
  • Do you perform any other types of vision treatment?
  • How many of your patients achieve vision results of 20/20 or better?
  • How do you handle complications?
  • Do you have testimonials from previous patients I can read?

Familiarize Yourself with the Procedure

  • Am I a candidate for LASIK?
  • If I’m not eligible for LASIK, do you offer other laser vision correction surgeries?
  • How should I prepare for the procedure?
  • Do you use the latest LASIK technology?
  • Do you perform bladeless LASIK surgery?
  • What kind of laser will you be using to perform my procedure?
  • How long does the procedure take?
  • Is LASIK painful?
  • What results can I reasonably expect?
  • Is LASIK permanent?
  • Will I need laser vision correction again?
  • What are possible side effects and complications associated with LASIK?
  • What financing options do you offer?

Learn What to Expect During the Recovery

  • Will I be able to drive myself home after surgery?
  • Will I be given pain medication for discomfort?
  • How long is the recovery?
  • Should I take time off from work? If so, how much?
  • When can I exercise?
  • When will I see my final vision results?
  • What type of long-term follow-up care do you offer?
  • How can I maintain clear vision after LASIK?

Dr. Wright at Wright Vision Center has years of experience performing LASIK and other laser vision correction surgeries in Rapid City. To find out if you’re a candidate, schedule a FREE consultation with us. Contact us at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com today.

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Cataract Causes

cataract-causesA cataract occurs when the lens inside your eye becomes cloudy. Things linked to clouding include:

  • Aging (age-related cataracts)
  • Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as from sunlight, tanning booths, or sunlamps
  • Diabetes: especially when the blood sugar levels are above the safe range, diabetes causes changes in the eye that can result in cataracts
  • Disease inside the eye such as glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment or long-term uveitis
  • Long-term use of steroid medicines
  • Frequent X-rays or radiation treatments to the head
  • Family history (genetics) may cause the tendency to inherit and develop cataracts
  • Vitrectomy: people who have had the vitreous gel removed from their eye (vitrectomy) have an increased risk of cataracts
  • Eye injury, though injury-related cataracts are rare, injury is a leading cause of cataracts in children
  • Being born with cataracts (congenital): some children are born with the condition

Possible cataract causes include:

  • A genetic fault inherited from the child’s parents that caused the lens to develop abnormally
  • Certain genetic conditions – including Down’s syndrome
  • Certain infections picked up by the mother during pregnancy – including rubella and chickenpox
  • An injury to the eye after birth

At first, the cloudiness in your vision caused by a cataract may affect only a small part of the eye’s lens and you may be unaware of any vision loss. As the cataract grows larger, it clouds more of your lens and distorts the light passing through the lens. This may lead to more noticeable symptoms. Cataracts generally develop in both eyes, but not evenly. The cataract in one eye may be more advanced than the other, causing a difference in vision between eyes.

When to see a doctor:

Make an appointment for an eye exam if you notice any changes in your vision. If you develop sudden vision changes, such as double vision or flashes of light, sudden eye pain, or sudden headache, see Dr. Wright in Rapid City right away. Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule an eye exam.

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LASIK Consultation

lasik-consultationThe first step in having LASIK in Rapid City is scheduling a consultation, during which Dr. Wright will evaluate your candidacy for laser eye surgery. After a thorough discussion and a non-invasive eye exam, Dr. Wright will be able to determine if LASIK is right for you. Your doctor can then recommend the best approach for the procedure based on your eye exam results.

Preparing for your LASIK consultation:

Dr. Wright will likely recommend that you stop wearing contact lenses in the days or weeks prior to your consultation. Contact lenses distort the shape of the cornea, and Dr. Wright will want your cornea to have returned to its natural shape by the day of your LASIK consultation.

What to expect at your LASIK consultation:

On the day of your consultation, you and the doctor will go to a private room to discuss your use of eye glasses and contacts, the reasons you want LASIK, and your expectations after the procedure is performed. Some patients hope laser eye surgery will leave them totally independent from eye glasses and contacts, but this isn’t realistic. Most adults will need reading glasses by a certain age, for instance.

Good laser eye surgery candidates have realistic goals for laser eye surgery, such as reducing the need for eye glasses and contact lenses or enjoying a more active lifestyle. Patients with unrealistic expectations are not good candidates.

Dr. Wright will also want to know about your health history. General health conditions, such as diabetes or an autoimmune disease, and ocular health conditions, such as dry eyes or ocular herpes, can affect whether or not you are a candidate for LASIK and how you will recover after the procedure.

Some medications can affect healing. This and other lifestyle factors—including playing contact sports or consuming alcohol and drugs—can also influence candidacy. You may be asked about any of these things to better understand your candidacy for the LASIK procedure.

A typical LASIK consultation continues with a very comprehensive eye exam. This exam will include tests you might recognize, such as pupil dilation and prescription measurement. But the doctor will also use some tests that are specific to the world of laser vision correction. Your cornea will be measured in detail, including its thickness, curvature and topography. A tear-film test may be performed to check for dry eyes. Each test will be explained before it is performed, and all of them are painless.

If you would like to schedule a LASIK consultation, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com today.

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Cataracts Types

types-of-cataractsA cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which can make it harder for you to see.

Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. Cataracts develop when protein builds up in the lens of your eye, making it cloudy. This prevents light from passing clearly through the lens, causing some loss of vision. New lens cells form on the outside of the lens and the older cells are compacted into the center of the lens, forming the cataract.

Types of cataracts include:

  • Nuclear: A nuclear cataract forms deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens and is the most common type of cataract. Because opacity develops in the center of the lens, known as the central nucleus, nuclear cataracts interfere with a person’s ability to see objects in the distance. Usually the result of advancing age, nuclear cataracts can take years to develop and often give the nucleus a yellow tint.
  • Subcapsular: A subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens. People with diabetes or those taking high doses of steroid medications have a greater risk of developing a subcapsular cataract. These cataracts progress the most rapidly. While nuclear cataracts take years to develop, subcapsular cataracts reach an advanced stage within a matter of months.
  • Cortical: A cortical cataract begins at the outer rim of the lens and gradually works toward the central core. This type of cataract resembles spokes on a wheel. This type of cataract occurs in the lens cortex, which is the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus. Patients with cortical cataracts often notice problems with glare or a “halo” effect around lights. They may also experience a disruption of both near and distance vision.

Currently, the only cure for cataracts is surgery. In Rapid City, Dr. Wright removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens, or IOL). Fortunately, cataract surgery is a low-risk procedure with an excellent record of safety and success. The procedure typically is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility.

If you would like more information about cataracts or cataract surgery, please contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

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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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