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The purpose of this blog is to inform, update, and at times to entertain you about your eyesight and the happenings around Pacific Eye Specialists.

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What Can LASIK Correct?

Posted by administration on September 19, 2016

What_can_LASIK_Correct.jpgLASIK is a surgical procedure that uses a laser to change the shape of the cornea to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. In San Francisco, one of the surgeons at Pacific Eye Specialists creates a thin flap in the cornea, folds back the flap, then removes some corneal tissue underneath using an excimer laser. The flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.

Astigmatism

 Astigmatism is the inability to focus clearly at any distance due to an irregular or misshapen cornea. With astigmatism the cornea is shaped more like a football than a basketball and light rays focus at differing points on the retina, causing images to overlap and causing blurred vision. LASIK corrects this oval shape, making the cornea rounder and achieving clear vision. 

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Nearsighted people see close objects clearly – but not distant objects. In nearsightedness the curve of the cornea is too steep, or the eye itself is somewhat elongated, resulting in images being focused in front of the retina. LASIK corrects this condition by flattening the curvature of the cornea which allows the cornea to focus images exactly on the retina thus achieving clear vision.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

 Farsighted people see distant objects better than up close ones, however objects at all distances are blurred. In farsightedness the shape of the cornea is too flat, causing light rays to focus behind the retina. LASIK corrects this condition by shaping the outer area of the cornea so that it focuses images correctly.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a condition that tends to occur to most people after age 40. As we age, our once supple lenses begin to stiffen, making it difficult to focus on objects close-up. This starts slowly but can gradually become worse over time. Traditional LASIK cannot correct presbyopia; however, a technique called monovision LASIK may help. In this technique, one eye is corrected for close-up vision and the other eye is left for distance vision.

Contact Pacific Eye Specialists today at (415) 921-7555 or pacificeyespecialists.com to schedule your LASIK Evaluation and see if LASIK is an option for you.

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Cataracts Types

Posted by administration on September 12, 2016

Types_of_Cataracts.jpgA 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 San Francisco, your surgeon 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 Pacific Eye Specialists at (415) 921-7555 or pacificeyespecialists.com

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How Does LASIK Work?

Posted by administration on September 07, 2016

How_Does_LASIK_Work.jpgLASIK surgery is the most common laser vision correction procedure, and has helped millions of people around the world see better every day. The procedure can be broken down in just a few easy steps.

1.  Numbing Drops: In San Francisco, your surgeon administers numbing drops that take effect in seconds and last throughout the procedure.

2.  Flap: Next your surgeon will create a thin, hinged flap in your cornea. When the flap is created and then lifted, it is normal for your vision to dim and blur.

3.  Laser Reshaping: While monitoring and tracking your eyes with a computer, your surgeon uses an excimer laser to precisely reshape the stroma layer of your cornea. The laser removes cells according to your unique prescription with incredible precision. If you’re getting custom LASIK eye surgery, your surgeon will correct for more nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as needed.

4.  Flap Replacement: After the laser has completed its work, your surgeon replaces the flap on your cornea – without stitches – and you’ll begin to notice the difference almost immediately.

5.  Aftercare: After your procedure you will wear sunglasses and will need a ride home. Rest your eyes for about 24 hours. your surgeon will schedule some follow-up evaluations. While you’ll want to be careful with your eyes, avoiding strenuous activities for a few weeks, most people are able to go right back to work the following day.                

In order to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK, we invite you to visit us for a free consultation. You will meet with your surgeon to discuss what procedure will best suit your needs. Contact Pacific Eye Specialists at (415) 921-7555 or pacificeyespecialists.com for more information. 

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What is Laser Eye Surgery?

Posted by administration on August 29, 2016

Laser_Eye_Surgery.jpgLaser eye surgery is an umbrella term for several eye surgeries used to correct refractive errors. The most common types of laser eye surgery include LASIK, PRK, LASEK and EpiLASIK.

Each of the four laser eye surgery procedures below use the same special laser, called an excimer laser, to reshape the cornea. This is what corrects vision. But laser eye surgery can vary in the specifics of the procedure, the recovery time, which surgical instruments are used and your patient candidacy. You might be a better candidate for PRK, for instance, than for LASIK.

The Right Laser Eye Surgery

In San Francisco, your LASIK surgeon is able to determine from a comprehensive, laser-eye-surgery-specific eye exam which procedure is best for you. The doctor’s recommendation will follow which procedure they think will give you the best possible outcome. Most patients achieve 20/20 or better vision after laser eye surgery.

1. LASIK: Laser in Situ Keratomileusis

LASIK is the most common laser eye surgery. LASIK starts with the creation of a thin flap in the cornea. Once the flap is created, the excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea which corrects the refractive error.

2. PRK: Photorefractive Keratectomy

PRK is the second most common type of laser eye surgery. PRK starts with the removal of a portion of the surface of the cornea or epithelial tissue. There is, therefore, no need for flap creation and the removed tissue grows back. Some patients prefer PRK because they don’t want a corneal flap, and some patients are better candidates for PRK eye surgery than for LASIK (for instance, people with thin corneas). Once the epithelium is removed, a laser is used to reshape the cornea. The PRK recovery period is a bit longer than that of LASIK.

3. LASEK: Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis

LASEK is similar to LASIK and PRK, but it starts with the application of alcohol to the corneal epithelium. This loosens the outermost corneal cells and allows the surgeon to move them out of the way, without removing them, for the laser procedure. After reshaping the stroma with the excimer laser, the surgeon can replace the sheet of epithelial cells and put a contact lens in to let it heal. LASEK can be a good option for patients with thin corneas.

4. Epi-LASIK: Epithelial Laser in Situ Keratomileusis

Epi-LASIK starts the way LASIK does, except the flap is thinner and made only of epithelial tissue. Once the flap is created it is moved aside just enough so that the surgeon can reshape the stroma underneath with the excimer laser. The flap of epithelium is then replaced and covered with a contact-lens bandage to heal. Some consider Epi-LASIK a hybrid of LASIK and LASEK. Some surgeons believe Epi-LASIK is a good option because the flap exists only in the epithelium layer and because there’s no alcohol used during the procedure.

Only a trained professional can determine your candidacy for laser eye surgery and recommend the best procedure for you. For more information about laser eye surgery, contact Pacific Eye Specialists at (415) 921-7555 or pacificeyespecialists.com today. 

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LASIK and Pregnancy

Posted by administration on August 22, 2016

LASIK__Pregnancy.jpgLASIK vision correction is not recommended during or shortly after pregnancy. It is recommended that you postpone LASIK due to the following concerns:

Hormone fluctuations: Fluctuations in hormone levels and fluid retention can cause changes in your vision and eye anatomy. It is common to experience small changes in nearsightedness or astigmatism during pregnancy. Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect the shape and thickness of the cornea, the part of the eye that is manipulated during LASIK. These changes may not only affect the success of the procedure, but also may affect how your eye heals.

Dry Eyes: Normal patients who have LASIK often complain of dry eyes for a few months after LASIK. When LASIK is performed, the nerves that run through the cornea are severed. These nerves regenerate but it takes about 3-6 months for that to occur. During that time, the normal feedback mechanism that controls tear production is interrupted and dry eyes may occur. Hormone changes can lead to dry eyes during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Dry eyes may make your eyes uncomfortable and could delay healing after LASIK. As a result, it is best not to add complicating factors to the healing process.

Radiation: An often-overlooked reason for waiting on LASIK is the issue of radiation from the laser. This is considered an extremely small risk, but still should be considered, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is of low concern but any risk of exposure to potentially hazardous material during pregnancy should be avoided if possible.

Medications: To undergo LASIK, your eyes must be dilated. The medications administered for dilation, as well as antibiotic and steroid eye drops prescribed after LASIK surgery, could be absorbed through mucous membranes, which could be harmful to the fetus.

After pregnancy and during breastfeeding, hormones levels are still fluctuating. In San Francisco, your LASIK surgeon recommends waiting at least six months after discontinuing breastfeeding before scheduling LASIK surgery. Although having LASIK can be a very exciting time for a highly nearsighted individual, LASIK is still considered an elective procedure that is not medically necessary.  Waiting a few more months is usually the best approach. What is important is the state of your vision -- LASIK should not be performed until your prescription is completely stable.

To learn more about LASIK surgery or to schedule a consultation, contact Pacific Eye Specialists at (415) 921-7555 or pacificeyespecialists.com

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