At New Freedom Eye Center in San Diego, Dr. Burns and his team of experienced medical professionals are dedicated to providing you with the best possible vision correction experience and results. They thoroughly explain all proposed treatments and take the time to answer any questions you might have. Please peruse this list of frequently asked questions to learn more about various vision correction procedures offered at New Freedom Eye Center’s San Diego, Temecula and Hemet locations.
- What is the difference between myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia?
- Is 20/20 vision guaranteed?
- Is laser eye surgery painful?
- What are the risks involved with PRK, LASIK and LTK?
- How long will the correction last?
- When can I resume normal activities?
- Will I need glasses after my cataract surgery?
What is the difference between myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia?
MYOPIC patients are nearsighted, meaning they are able to see up close, but distance vision is poor. In myopia, the cornea is too steep relative to the length of the eye.
HYPEROPIC patients have corneas that are too flat relative to the length of the eye and are unable to see close objects clearly.
PRESBYOPIA: In young patients, the eye can change focus so that the patient can naturally see both near and distant objects clearly. With aging, the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible and it can no longer bend to bring close objects into focus. Presbyopia causes patients in the early forties to fifties to lose the ability to see close. Unfortunately, there is not a cure for presbyopia. A patient with myopia can normally see well for near objects when the glasses or contacts are removed. Some myopic patients over 40 years old choose a level of LASIK correction which leaves one eye slightly under-corrected to help with reading. This option is called monovision. Many patients try monovision first with contacts and then decide if they would like their eyes to be treated with laser.
ASTIGMATISM refers to a curvature of the cornea where one axis is steeper than another. Astigmatism causes blurring of both the distance and near vision. We are now able to correct myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia with laser vision correction.
Is 20/20 vision guaranteed?
The results of laser vision are excellent, but 20/20 vision is not always attained. In general, there is an 80 percent chance of the treated eye seeing 20/25 or 20/20. The amount of pre-surgical refractive error is one of the factors that influence the chance of seeing 20/20 or better following laser vision correction.
Is the surgery painful?
With PRK there is little discomfort during surgery, but an aching pain and foreign body sensation is common for the first 24-48 hours following this treatment. During the procedure, LASIK patients occasionally feel a brief pressure sensation during the formation of the corneal flap. The recovery following LASIK is much quicker than with PRK, however. Many patients have no discomfort whatsoever after their LASIK procedure. If there is a mild foreign body sensation after LASIK it usually resolves within three hours following the procedure. LTK involves no discomfort during surgery and a mild foreign body sensation after a few hours.
What are the risks involved with PRK, LASIK and LTK?
It is impossible to list every possible side effect of laser vision correction. Fortunately, complications and side effects are not common. Possible side effects of PRK include pain for the first two days, blurred vision for the first week, haze or scar formation as the cornea heals, reduced night vision (which occurs more frequently in patients with large pupils), temporarily elevated eye pressure when taking post-operative steroid eye drops, and loss of best corrected visual acuity (very rare). LASIK has similar risks as PRK, but with LASIK there is a smaller area to heal, less risk of corneal haze and less discomfort. LTK side effects are similar to LASIK, but many patients also experience some foreign body sensation a little sooner after the procedure is done.
How long will the laser correction results last?
The corneal shape is permanently altered and regression after the procedure is unusual. It is possible that your distance vision may fluctuate slightly over the years, but the eyes are generally quite stable one month after laser vision correction. If both eyes are corrected fully for the distance, then reading glasses are typically needed in the mid 40s because of presbyopia.
When can I resume normal activities?
Many patients drive themselves to the first post-operative visit following LASIK. Typically patients are able to resume work two days following LASIK and are able to resume normal exercise three days after LASIK. With PRK the vision remains blurred during the first week and therefore driving may be difficult the first week, especially if both eyes are treated on the same day. LTK reduces hyperopia immediately. Initially this causes a person to become nearsighted for a few days to a couple of weeks. For patients who receive refractive IOLs in San Diego, recovery usually takes several days.
Will I need glasses after my cataract surgery?
For patients suffering from cataracts, Dr. Burns offers the advanced refractive cataract surgery. During this treatment, he removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial lens implant (IOL). Dr. Burns specializes in implantation of ReStor and Crystalens; however, for certain patients he recommends Toric lenses. After the placement of IOLs, Dr. Burns performs refractive laser surgery on the treated eye(s) to adjust the corneal shape so the eye(s) can refract light rays properly. As a result of this sophisticated combination of procedures, many of Dr. Burns’ cataracts patients do not require glasses and/or hard contacts after their cataract surgery.