Health Chats
Eye Care: LASIK Surgery
Tuesday Sep 15, 2009, 05:00PM - 06:00PM (EST)
At Lasik<b><i>Plus</b></i> we know your vision changes throughout your life. But the importance of caring for your eyes and maintaining your sight never goes away. With constant advances in technology, more people can now be considered excellent candidates for laser vision correction than ever before. Whether it’s the hassle and expense of glasses or contacts, health issues, or the desire to focus on what’s most important to you, you have your own unique reasons for considering laser vision correction. <br><br> Everyone’s eyes are different, and not every procedure is appropriate for everyone. Having helped a million people nationwide through this process, we at Lasik<b><i>Plus</b></i> have a lot of information to share with you. <br><br> If you are considering LASIK surgery, or just want to learn more about the procedure, join Omar E. Awad, MD as he answers your questions regarding laser eye surgery. You can also call one of our Lasik<b><i>Plus</b></i> specialists anytime at 1-866-921-2179 or visit us on the web at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. We look forward to hearing from you!
Welcome to the Lasik Health Chat which is scheduled to begin in one hour.  Feel free to begin submitting your questions ahead of time.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Hi Everyone!  I look forward to chatting about one of my favorite subjects - LASIK laser vision correction!
Welcome again to MedHelp's Lasik Health Chat with Dr. Awad.  Thank you to all members and to Dr. Awad for joining us here today!
Hi, My 18 year old son just had LASIK done 2 months ago. Yesterday he was diagnosed with cataracts in both of his eyes and a retinal tear in one of the eyes. He was an absolutely perfectly healthy young man before LASIK, never had any suspect of cataract, no family history, no trauma and has never taken any steroids. I know that officially LASIK is not supposed to trigger cataracts, etc, Still, what are we to blame for all these troubles he is having now. If not LASIK, then what???
Omar E. Awad, MD:
That certainly is very unusual!  Cataracts can be a side-effect of steroid use, although it usually takes months of use/abuse of steroids to cause a cataract.  We usually use steroid eye steroid eye drops after LASIK but only for a short time.  Retinal tears could theoretically happen at any time, particularly in a myopic person.  I would want to know he possibly had some of these conditions before the LASIK and they were not detected?  I hope he is in the hands of a good ophthalmologist to care for the conditions he is experiencing.
Hi Dr. Awad.  My question is:  Is Lasik recommended for diabetics?  I am diabetic, and I wear glasses and I know sometimes my eyesight changes from time to time.  Would you recommend I have Lasik work done?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Diabetes itself is not a contraindication to LASIK.  As long as your diabetes is well-controlled and stable, and you don't have active diabetic retinopathy, you should do well with LASIK.
Hi, I have myopia (-6.5) and during a regular eye check up I found out that my right eye has 7-8 retinal holes. Could you please tell me how safe laser is? and is LASIK suitable for me in this condition as I want to get back my normal vision? Just for your information I am 22 yrs old, F and my myopia has only been increasing.  Please guide.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
LASIK is a very safe procedure.  But in your circumstance, I would suggest seeing a retina doctor about the retinal holes as they may need to be sealed with a different type of eye laser treatment.  Retinal laser may help to prevent a retinal detachment, but will not correct your refractive error.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
LASIK can correct your refractive error (glasses correction).  But if your eyes are still changing, you might consider waiting until they are stable.  Some people have myopia that increases even up to age 25, so you may need to wait a couple more years.
Many people complain that they see floaters after the procedure or after a few weeks.  Is this true and if so what is the cause, and does it continue?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Many people have floaters, whether they have had eye surgery or not.  Floaters are condensations of the vitreous gel, which is a gel that fills the back part of the eye.  They are more common and tend to show up at a younger age if you are  nearsighted.  WHen they first appear, they are usually annoying for the first 4-6 weeks, then usually settle outside of your line of vision.  They will still remain in the eye, so there may be times when you wee them and other times when you don't.  But they are not directly due to LASIK.
My eye sight is 4.25/6 in both eyes. I wonder if I do LASIK Surgery how long it will take for recovery ? I'm a UNI student and I have to attend all my classes weekly ! any advice ?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Hi.  People who have LASIK surgery usually recover vision very quickly, and can return to most activities the next day.  If you need glasses or contacts to see clearly, then there is a good chance that this could be treated with LASIK.  I recommend visiting your local LASIK center to see if you are a candidate.
1) How many days after child birth I can go for Lasik?2) I have severe seasonal allergies (eyes itching burning) a) How does Lasik affect my eyes... will it get better or worse??b) Which month is best to get Lasik?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Pregnancy and lactation both affect your hormone levels and can result in changes in your eyes prescription.  We normally prefer to wait about 3 months (or more), to be sure your eyes are stable.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Seasonal allergies will make you want to rub your eye, so it is best to wait until allergy season is over before having LASIK surgery.  The surgery itself should not affect your allergy condition.  You will be on steroid drops for a short period after LASIK surgery, and there will decrease any allergy response that is occurring.  Visit your local LASIK center to find out when is the best time to have LASIK.
Hi Dr. Awad: If a patient's eyes digress after having LASIK, can they get another surgery? Is there a limit to the number of surgeries one person can have?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Hi Molly.  We use the term regression if a person can see great after surgery but over time slowly gets a little bit of the nearsightedness (or farsightedness) back.  If this occurs, it can usually be treated with an enhancement surgery.  The limits for enhancements depend on the thickness and amount of corneal tissue as well as the shape of the cornea.  Most people who need an enhancement only need it one time, but I have seen people get even 4 or more enhancements.
Hi- how long does the surgery last? How long is the recovery time?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
LASIK is a permanent reshaping to the cornea - the front part of the eye.  It lasts forever.  This does not necessarily mean that your eye won't change.  Most people recover from LASIK surgery very quickly, and are able to return to activities by the next day.  I recommend visiting your local LASIK center to see if you are a candidate!
Is Lasik surgery covered by Health Insurance companies? If no-is financing an option?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Most health insurance companies cover seem to limit their coverage to medically necessary procedures.  I have seen some generous companies that pay a large portion of the surgery however.  Financing is a great option, and I would bet that most LASIK centers have excellent financing options.  Lots of people choose that option!
My boyfriend has Keratoconus and contact lenses are very expensive for him so he is forced to wear glasses. Would LASIK be an option for him?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Hi.  Unfortunately LASIK is contraindicated in keratoconus.  Keratoconus causes a progressive thinning of the cornea and warpage of the eye.  LASIK also thins the cornea to reshape the eye.  If he can see well with glasses, that might be the best option.  But LASIK is not an option.  Newer treatments for keratoconus include Intacs corneal rings, which could potentially improve his vision without glasses, and collage cross linking, which is under study by the FDA right now.
Hi Dr.- Is Lasik surgery an option to correct high myopia?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
LASIK is approved for treating up to about -14 diopters of myopia, which is certainly high myopia.  However, you would have to have a really thick cornea to treat that much.  Most doctors don't treat beyond -10 with laser vision correction.  There are lens implants available that give excellent quality of vision and can treat up to -20.  I would recommend a visit to your local LASIK center to find out if you are a candidate.
Hi Doctor...I am strongly considering Lasik so I can get rid of my glasses, but my job is very computer intensive. What is the average recovery time from the procedure, and how long do you recommend before I can go back to something full-time? Ideally, is this something I can do over a weekend?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Most people can return to work the next day after LASIK surgery.  You will have a lot of eye drops to use, particularly lubricating drops, so if you are able to take a few days off I think that would be better.  A weekend would be perfect - perhaps you could have the surgery on a Friday and you' be set to get back to a full working schedule by Monday.  
I have gone through the eye laser treatment for vision correction.  I'm a 24 year old female and I feel a mild headache while watching tv now.  Please advise.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
I hope you are getting regular follow-up examinations after your LASIK eye surgery.  (Many people think that they don't need to see an eye doctor again after LASIK, but you really should have exams at least annually).  It is possible that you have a small refractive correction that could be contributing to the headache.  I'd suggest a follow-up visit with your eye doctor to see if the eyes are a factor.  Most headaches, however, are actually not related to the eyes at all.
Is a person with more severe myopia still a candidate? Also, will this surgery decrease the possible risk of retinal tears, holes and detachments related to myopia?