How to Find the Best LASIK Surgeon

If you are thinking about correcting your vision with LASIK eye surgery, perhaps the most important decision you will make is your choice of surgeon. With so many LASIK surgeons in the Rapid City area, it can be difficult to know how to choose the best one for you and your needs. 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. Most low cost LASIK will come with many hidden fees and end up costing you much more than you realize anyway. 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. They 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 his 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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Can You Be Too Old for LASIK?

If you have considered vision correction surgery, you may have wondered how old you have to be to have LASIK. LASIK has been FDA approved for patients 18 or older. You may also wonder if you can be too old for LASIK surgery. There is no ideal age to have the procedure, but it is important to have a stable prescription and, of course, healthy eyes.

One benefit of having LASIK performed when you are younger is that there are more years to enjoy the benefit of improved vision, the eyes tend to heal quicker and stabilize faster, and there are fewer side effects with things such as dry eyes. There are also fewer problems with reading vision than in older patients.

At first LASIK seemed to be most popular with an older demographic of average age around late 30s or early 40s but now we are seeing many more patients in their 20s who have discovered the benefits of laser vision correction.

For patients in their 30s or 40s, LASIK is a wonderful procedure, but special consideration must be given to the management of presbyopia (need for reading glasses after 40).

For patients in their 50s and 60s, LASIK is still safe and effective, but other factors, such as possible cataracts, that start appearing at this age, must be evaluated. If you suffer from a cataract, LASIK will not improve vision and cataract surgery should be considered.

It is not uncommon for patients to undergo LASIK in their 70s and 80s as an enhancement for premium cataract surgery.

If you would like more information about LASIK, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com. Dr. Wright has helped thousands of patients in Rapid City achieve optimal vision and freedom from glasses and contacts and would love to help you also.

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What is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a refractive error that causes blurry vision. Having a refractive error means that the shape of your eye does not bend light correctly, resulting in seeing a blurred image. Hyperopia, also called hypermetropia, farsightedness or long-sightedness, is a vision problem that causes blurry vision when focusing on nearby places and objects, but clear vision when focusing at a greater distance.

What Causes Hyperopia?

Hyperopia occurs when the image formed by the focusing mechanism of the eye is behind the retina. The condition is caused by an eye that is shorter than normal or a cornea that’s not as curved as it should be. Eyes that are slightly misshapen won’t be able to focus light accurately onto the retina, which results in blurred vision.

Farsightedness is largely hereditary but can develop in anyone. It’s possible to experience symptoms even during childhood but is much more common later in life. 

Hyperopia Symptoms

Symptoms of farsightedness include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing objects up close
  • Crossing of the eyes in children

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s recommended than you make an appointment with an eye care professional. A comprehensive eye exam will help determine what kind of issue you’re having and what steps can be taken to correct it.

Treatment Options

Hyperopia is commonly treated with corrective lenses such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. For some forms of hyperopia, refractive surgery such as LASIK may be able to correct it. Each treatment option has its own advantages and disadvantages, though, and lifestyle, work environment and personal preference all play a role in deciding which is best for each patient.

It’s vitally important for patients to get their eyes checked regularly because vision problems tend to slowly change over time. For those diagnosed with farsightedness, this will enable your eye doctor to monitor your condition and adjust your corrective lens prescription as appropriate.

To learn more about hyperopia, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wright.

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Are You Awake During LASIK?

A common concern among potential LASIK patients is whether they will be awake during the procedure. Yes—patients are awake during LASIK. However, there is no need to worry if you accidentally blink or move your eyes during the surgery. Thanks to advanced LASIK technologies in Rapid City, your eyes will remain comfortably steady as Dr. Wright provides the vision correction results you need to see as clearly as possible.

Before the procedure begins, you will be given anesthetic eye drops that numb the eyes. This will help reduce discomfort during the operation. Then, they’ll use an instrument that will keep your eyes open, so you do not have to worry about blinking throughout the procedure.

Many patients fear that being awake means that they will feel everything that is happening and that makes them squeamish when they think about eye surgery. Rest assured that you will feel nothing more than a light pressure on your eye if you feel anything at all. In addition to the numbing eye drops, you will be given a mild oral sedation so although awake, you will feel relaxed.

On average, LASIK will take less than 10 minutes for each eye. The actual time the lasers are in contact with each eye is merely seconds. Still, the idea of being awake while something is touching the most sensitive part of your body is unnerving for many. So much so, in fact, that many people avoid LASIK surgery for this very reason.

The good news is that with advanced LASIK technologies and lasers, patients can expect to experience a quick and easy procedure and outstanding vision correction results, even when they are awake during LASIK.

To learn more about the LASIK procedure and how we can help you see as clearly as possible, schedule a free LASIK consultation with Dr. Wright by contacting Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

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Am I a Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK eye surgery can correct such eye problems as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. To find out if you are a candidate for LASIK, you will need a comprehensive vision exam and consultation by an experienced eye doctor to determine if LASIK is a good fit for you.

Before your LASIK consultation in Rapid City, there are some general criteria that can guide you in deciding if this is the right procedure for you. To have laser eye surgery you should be in good eye health, good overall health and have realistic expectations of the LASIK procedure:

LASIK Candidates Should Have Good Eye Health:

  • Your eye prescription should fall within certain prescription limits.
  • You should have no eye disease, including keratoconus, uncontrolled glaucoma, severe cataracts, corneal disease and certain retinal and optic nerve diseases.
  • You should have no residual or active eye conditions including optic neuritis, ocular herpes, some cases of amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (muscle imbalance).
  • You should have no current or recurring infections.

LASIK Candidates Should Have Overall Good Health:

  • To be a candidate for LASIK eye surgery, you should not have any autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis.
  • If you have diabetes, it must be well managed and under good control.
  • Certain health conditions may require medications that can slow or prevent healing.  You should tell your surgeon about all the medications you are taking and have taken in the last year.
  • You cannot be pregnant or nursing, or plan to become pregnant in the next 6 months following surgery. If nursing and considering LASIK laser eye surgery, you should wait at least 3 months after you’ve stopped. Hormonal fluctuations can affect visual stability.

Considerations and Expectations:

In preparation for a LASIK procedure you will not be able to wear contact lenses for an extended period of time before the surgery due to contacts temporarily altering the shape of your corneas. This amount of time will be determined by your doctor. This is a very important LASIK surgery requirement. 

It’s important that you are committed to following the LASIK post-operative instructions from Dr. Wright, including:

  • Resting your eyes immediately following surgery.
  • Using prescribed and non-prescribed eye drops to continue the lubrication of your eyes after surgery.
  • Follow-up visits to check on progression of your eye healing and health.
  • Restriction on some activities that could impair the healing processes (such as swimming).

You must be comfortable knowing that while in many cases LASIK surgery eliminates the need for contacts and glasses, results can vary depending on the individual.

Contact Wright Vision Center today by calling 605-718-5123 or visiting wrightvisioncenter.com to find out if you are a candidate for LASIK eye surgery.

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Can You Prevent Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that occurs naturally with age. Cataracts affect nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older and by age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts. While there is no scientific proof that you can prevent cataracts, there are certainly steps you can take to help reduce your risk factors.

Tips for Preventing Cataracts

Maintain Regular Vision Care – Even if your vision is clear and healthy, make it a priority to schedule yearly eye exams. Routine visits allow your doctor to look for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and other vision disorders. Early detection can be key in saving your vision.

Eat a Healthy Diet – A healthy diet should be a priority for all of us. Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, selenium and vitamins C and E, may help ward off cataract development.

Quit Smoking – Research suggests that smoking doubles your chances of developing cataracts and the risk continues to grow based on how much you smoke.

Limit Alcohol Consumption – Like cigarettes, excess alcohol consumption can pose a number of health risks including an increased chance of developing cataracts. So enjoy your wine, beer or cocktails in moderation.

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun – Research has shown that years of chronic sunlight exposure could increase your risk of cataracts. Make sure you wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection when outside for extended periods.

Control Diabetes – Studies suggest that those with diabetes are at greater risk for developing cataracts. That is why maintaining healthy blood sugar is so important—for both your overall health and the health of your vision.

No matter your age, there are steps you can take to help prevent cataracts or slow their development. Don’t wait until your vision becomes affected to start thinking about cataracts. While these tips may help for a while, if you develop a cataract and start to experience vision loss, contact your eye doctor right away. Cataract surgery is a simple procedure to treat the condition and restore vision.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com today.

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What is the Difference Between Nearsighted and Farsighted?

For vision to work properly, both your distance and near vision should be clear. Both nearsightedness and farsightedness are refractive conditions, referring to how light is focused in relation to the eye. Below, learn what farsightedness and nearsightedness mean, as well as the differences between the two.

Farsightedness

The technical term for farsightedness is hyperopia. If you are farsighted, you can see distant objects well, but reading or looking at items close up is blurry for you. With hyperopia, the eyeball is either too short or there is not enough curvature of the lens for objects to focus properly. Light will focus at a point beyond the retina instead of in front of the retina or directly on its surface. This causes blurry vision up close.

Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is the opposite of farsightedness. It means that with your uncorrected natural vision, you have difficulty seeing at a distance. This happens when the eyeball is too long. Because it is longer than normal, light cannot focus properly through the lens and cornea. When you view an object, the light rays that hit your eye will end up focusing at a point in front of the retina instead of focusing directly at the retina. This is why objects farther away become blurrier compared to objects up close – the focusing distance is further. Nearsightedness can also be caused by the curvature of the lens of the eye. If the lens is too curved, this will throw off your focusing point as well.

Differences Between Nearsightedness & Farsightedness

Being farsighted or nearsighted both affect your ability to see clearly. The difference between farsighted and nearsighted is whether you have difficulty seeing up close or at a distance. Farsightedness makes it hard to see things that are close, and nearsightedness makes it difficult to see things that are far away. Both conditions can be improved with corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts as well as LASIK surgery.

To learn more about nearsightedness or farsightedness or if you are interested in LASIK vision correction, contact Wright Vision Center by calling 605-718-5123 or visiting wrightvisioncenter.com.

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How Long Does It Take for the Eye to Heal After Cataract Surgery? – Part Two

The First Few Weeks After Surgery:

  • You can bath or shower but avoid getting water in or near your eye.
  • Typically, you will have a follow-up visit with Dr. Wright the day after surgery. Have someone drive you to your follow-up visit. Avoid driving until the doctor has verified that it is safe for you to do so.
  • Wear dark, ultraviolet (UV) protective sunglasses when outdoors.
  • Your eye may still feel a little gritty and/or sensitive to touch for a few days after surgery.
  • It is not unusual to experience glare and halos around lights during the first few weeks after surgery.
  • Continue to use your eye drop medications according to the schedule Dr. Wright gave you. He may recommend frequent use of artificial tears if your eyes are dry. Keeping your eye moist will help it heal faster.
  • You should be able to drive, return to work and resume your normal activities within a week.

Further Recovery:

Within 2 – 3 months after cataract surgery, your eye should be comfortable and your vision should be clear. If you have residual nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, you may need prescription eyeglasses. To reduce your need for glasses, a laser vision correction procedure such as LASIK or PRK often can be performed to sharpen your eyesight.

Be aware that a common complication of cataract surgery — called a secondary cataract — can develop 2- 4 months (or longer) after surgery.

It’s important to be patient and not expect perfect vision immediately after cataract surgery. It takes some time for your eye to heal completely. It is not unusual to experience fluctuations in your vision for several days or even a few weeks after surgery.

During your follow-up visits, Dr. Wright will advise you about how your eye is healing and when your vision has stabilized.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright in Rapid City or to find out more information about recovering from cataract surgery, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

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How Long Does It Take for the Eye to Heal After Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure of the eye that removes and replaces a lens that has become cloudy. The vast majority of patients achieve improved, sharper vision, but this change is not necessarily immediate.

Although some patients see well just a few days after cataract surgery, full healing can take up to three months. Cataract surgery recovery time tends to be minimal and mild, but there are various factors that can impact the speed of recovery. Read on to learn about the recovery process as your eye heals from cataract surgery:

Immediately After Cataract Surgery:

  • At the completion of your cataract surgery, a lightweight protective shield will be placed over your eye, held in place with surgical tape. This shield will decrease the risk of injury from inadvertently rubbing or accidentally bumping your eye.
  • You will be given dark sunglasses to wear in order to reduce light sensitivity during your trip home.
  • You might feel a little groggy immediately after surgery, especially if you were given a medication to help you relax during the procedure.
  • You may spend some time in a recovery area, where Dr. Wright or an assistant will answer any questions and review post-surgical instructions. Your follow-up appointments may be scheduled at this time as well.
  • Typically, you will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours, so someone will need to drive you home.
  • If you have not already done so prior to surgery, you should fill the prescriptions for post-operative medications Dr. Wright gave you.
  • When arriving home, you may be allowed to remove your eye shield, but you should wear it when sleeping for at least a week to prevent eye injury.
  • Apply your eye drop medications as instructed to control inflammation and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Some burning, stinging and/or a gritty feeling to the eye is normal.
  • Do not rub or put any pressure on your eye.
  • It usually is okay to engage in light activity — such as reading, watching television and walking — immediately after cataract surgery, but you may want to simply rest comfortably or nap in bed when you return home

How Long Does It Take for the Eye to Heal After Cataract Surgery Part Two to be continued.

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What is Myopia?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a very common vision problem, affecting nearly one-third of the population. As the name implies, people who are nearsighted can easily see objects that are near to them, but struggle with objects that are far away.

Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. People who suffer from myopia often have headaches or eyestrain and might squint or feel fatigued when driving or playing sports.

Nearsightedness commonly runs in families and usually appears in childhood. This vision problem may stabilize at a certain point, although sometimes it worsens with age.

Nearsightedness may be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. If you’re nearsighted, your prescription is a negative number. The higher the numeral, the stronger your lenses will be. Depending on the severity of your myopia, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only when you need distance vision, like driving or watching a movie.

Refractive surgery can reduce or even eliminate your need for glasses or contacts. The most common procedures are performed with an excimer laser. In laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) — the most common refractive procedure — a flap is created in the cornea, then a laser reshapes the underlying corneal tissue, and then the flap is put back into place.

An alternative option to correcting myopia is orthokeratology, a non-surgical procedure that involves wearing special contact lenses that slowly reshape the cornea over time to reshape the eye, allowing light rays to focus closer or on the retina, creating clearer vision.

If you are experiencing symptoms of myopia or struggling with other vision problems, contact Wright Vision Center today at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wright.

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