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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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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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Is LASIK Surgery Safe?

Posted by administration on August 16, 2016

Is_LASIK_Safe.jpgAlthough LASIK eye surgery results have continued to improve since the early days of the procedure, some potential LASIK candidates still wonder if LASIK surgery is safe.

LASIK eye surgery is one of the most popular elective procedures performed today, and it offers many benefits that can improve your overall quality of life. Due to the latest technology and the skills of experienced LASIK surgeons such as our doctors at Pacific Eye Specialists, millions of Americans are less dependent on their contact lenses and glasses.

The surgery has an excellent safety record, but as with any surgery post-operative complications can occur. A very small percentage of patients may require an enhancement or touch up procedure to improve their vision to the desired level. Additionally, due to presbyopia, some LASIK eye surgery patients may still need reading glasses once they reach middle-age (40 to 50) due to a normal age related loss of near vision.  Overall, LASIK eye surgery is safe and has a significantly high success rate, but it is important to discuss and consider all the risks with your surgeon prior to undergoing the LASIK procedure.

LASIK involves using an excimer laser to reshape the cornea in order to decrease or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. Normally, your cornea (front part of the eye) focuses light onto the retina (back part of the eye) to create an image. If the cornea is imperfectly shaped or if the eyeball is longer or shorter than normal, a distorted image is projected onto the retina resulting in blurry vision.

During LASIK surgery in San Francisco, your LASIK surgeon creates a tiny flap on the surface of the eye and uses the excimer laser to gently reshape the exposed cornea. The laser allows your surgeon to achieve remarkable accuracy while maintaining excellent control throughout the LASIK procedure. The flap is then replaced, adhering naturally and securely to the eye, and you are on your way to better vision.

For decades, the only solution to nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism was corrective eyewear; however, now LASIK eye surgery offers an alternative option for those who wish to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts.

To schedule your LASIK consultation, contact Pacific Eye Specialists at (415) 921-7555 or pacificeyespecialists.com today.

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Cataracts After LASIK

Posted by administration on August 09, 2016

Cataracts_After_LASIK.pngCataracts will eventually develop in most people, including those who have had LASIK. Patients with signs of cataracts before LASIK should consider not having LASIK because vision may be better corrected with the intraocular lens used for cataract surgery.

How are Cataracts Developed?

Cataracts are a natural clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye. Since the eye works much like a camera, a cataract, much like a clouded lens, causes blurring or dimming of vision. The development of cataracts in the eye is a very common occurrence in patients who are 60+ years of age.

Most often cataracts are an inevitable consequence of aging and cannot be prevented. Less common causes of cataracts are trauma, medications, extensive exposure to sunlight and other eye diseases as well as heredity.

Many cataract patients complain of poor distance vision, especially while driving. Glare can be especially troublesome while driving at night. Cataracts can also be responsible for double vision or altered color vision. Cataracts do not cause pain, tearing, redness or floaters.

Understanding How it Works

To understand why cataract surgery is possible after you have had LASIK surgery, it is helpful to know some basics about the eye. LASIK surgery is performed on the cornea — the dome-shaped transparent tissue at the front of the eye. Think of the cornea as your eye's front window. During LASIK surgery in San Francisco, Dr. Kutzscher uses a laser to reshape the cornea so it will bend, or refract, light rays to focus more precisely on your retina — the light-sensitive membrane on the back inside wall of your eyeball — rather than at some point beyond or in front of your retina. The result is clearer vision.

Cataract surgery, on the other hand, is performed on the natural lens inside your eye. The lens, where a cataract forms, is positioned just behind the colored part of your eye, called the iris. The lens focuses light that passes into your eye, producing clear, sharp images on the retina. Normally, the eye's lens is transparent and clear. When the lens becomes cloudy, it is called a cataract. Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a plastic lens implant. The replacement lens sits in the same place as your natural lens and becomes part of your eye.

The artificial lens placed during cataract surgery is designed to provide vision correction to replace eyeglasses as well as the removed cataract. For people who have not had LASIK or other types of corneal refractive surgery, vision correction with cataract surgery is usually straightforward, and the outcome is quite predictable. In San Francisco, Dr. Kutzscher takes measurements of the eye before surgery to help determine the correct lens power to implant. After cataract surgery, many people have clear distance vision without glasses, although most still need glasses for close-up work or reading.

For people who have had LASIK surgery, providing the appropriate lens implant for cataract surgery takes additional calculations to determine the correct lens power. In addition to taking measurements of the eye, Dr. Kutzscher also needs an accurate record of your prescription before and after LASIK surgery, as well as an accurate measurement of the curvature of your cornea before LASIK. The records from your LASIK surgery should contain this information.

To schedule an eye examination, contact Pacific Eye Specialists at (415) 921-7555 or pacificeyespecialists.com, and discuss your options for optimal vision. 

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