As ophthalmologists, we are constantly looking for ways to improve patient outcomes and treatment experiences. In recent years, lasers have become a standard in ophthalmology, offering greater precision, faster treatments and minimal post-procedural complications. Currently, lasers are useful in the treatment of multiple ocular conditions, such as eye tumors, retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and retinal tears. One of the most well-known uses of lasers in ophthalmology is for corneal sculpting and refractive surgery – also known as LASIK. This surgery makes it possible for patients to achieve near perfect vision without the need for vision aids.
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Although ophthalmologic technology is constantly changing to adapt to patient needs, there are currently four lasers used to treat patients. Together, they give ophthalmologists the power to sculpt the surface of the cornea and other tissues, as well as create retinal bonds, stop abnormal blood vessels from growing, and seal vessels that are leaking. Sometimes, lasers are used simply to create more accurate and precise incisions than are possible using traditional methods.
It is highly likely that a laser will be used at some point during the course of your surgical treatment. Lasers make your ophthalmologist more precise, leading to better outcomes for you. Talk to your ophthalmologist if you have questions or concerns about laser eye treatments.
Usually, lasers used in ophthalmologic treatments are used in place of a scalpel. Your exact experience will vary according to the type of laser eye treatment you are having, but you can be confident that your comfort will be the priority for the duration of your procedure. Numbing medications applied to the eyes prevent you from feeling pain during your treatment, which is likely to last less than an hour.
Yes, but the exact guidelines for your recovery will depend on the type of procedure you undergo. In many cases, laser eye procedures require patients to wear an eye shield for at least a few hours following surgery, as well as when sleeping. You may also be instructed to avoid certain activities or eye strain in the days following a laser eye procedure. Keep in mind that overall, lasers make recovery times shorter and have a lower risk of complication. If you have questions or concerns about the type of instructions you’ll need to follow after laser eye treatment, contact your ophthalmologist.