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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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Types of Cataract Surgery

Posted by administration on August 01, 2016

Types_of_Cataract_Surgery.pngAs people age, cataracts often develop.  Cataract surgery is the only treatment suited for resolving cataracts. 

During cataract surgery, your surgeon will make a small incision in the surface of the eye, in or near the cornea.  An ultrasound breaks up the lens.  A laser may be used to help with the procedure.  The clouded lens pieces are removed and an artificial lens is placed into the thin capsular bag the cataract occupied.  This lens is what helps your eye focus after surgery.

The three primary techniques for cataract surgery are:

  • Phacoemulsification.  This is the procedure described above.  The procedure usually lasts less than 30 minutes and requires only numbing eye drops with no stitches needed.  Most procedures involve this technique.
  • Extracapsular cataract surgery is used for advanced cataracts where the lens cannot be dissolved.  It requires a larger incision with stitches and recovery is usually slower.  An injection of numbing medication is required around the eye area.
  • Intracapsular cataract surgery requires an even larger incision.  Here the surgeon removes the entire lens and the surrounding capsule.  A new intraocular lens is placed in front of the iris instead.  This technique is rarely used.

For more information about cataract surgery, please call Pacific Eye Specialists in San Francisco to schedule a consultation.

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LASIK Recovery

Posted by administration on July 26, 2016

LASIK_Recovery.pngLASIK surgery is one of the most popular forms of vision correction. Recovery from LASIK can vary from person to person, however most people see 20/20 the next morning after their LASIK procedure. Although the patient’s vision is usually very good, that does not mean that healing is complete. It is common for healing to go on for weeks to months after the procedure. During this healing period, most patients can go about their usual work and recreational activities. After a LASIK procedure there is customarily 3-4 follow-up visits over the first year. Immediately after LASIK surgery, patients should expect to experience discomfort, tearing and blurry vision. Additionally, there will be some restrictions on the patient's activities for a period of time after the procedure. Understanding the recovery process will help a patient avoid making mistakes which can be detrimental to the recovery process or otherwise put the patient and their vision at risk.

Post-Operative Care

After surgery, you should lie down, relax and close your eyes. Watching television, reading or operating a computer should be avoided for the first 24 hours. The surgery recovery process requires your eyes to remain relaxed. To help with any pain or discomfort, medications may be prescribed following treatment; alternatively, you may be able to use over-the-counter pain medications to help alleviate irritation.

Do not rub your eyes. Some patients report a mild burning sensation two to four hours into recovery as the anesthetic wears off. The sensation resembles wearing an itchy or dirty contact lens.

To Ensure a Quick Healing Process:

  • Wear sunglasses after surgery, rain or shine.
  • Take baths instead of showers for the first 24 hours after surgery and be careful not to allow the shower to spray directly into your face for the first week.
  • Use a face cloth and be careful not to rub your eyes.
  • Avoid eye makeup and smoky or dusty environments for a week.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption for 48 hours after surgery.

Your surgeon or ophthalmologist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your results and potential problems such as epithelial growth. Contact your physician immediately if you experience any complications.

It’s important that you follow your doctor’s advice and instructions on protecting your eyes after LASIK – even though your eyes may feel fine the first couple days after surgery.

Long-Term Healing

If a patient experiences any side effects from LASIK (such as dry eyes or halos at night) for several weeks after surgery as the eyes are healing, those symptoms usually go away once healing is complete. During this time period, patients will have several check-ups with their LASIK surgeon to ensure that the recovery is proceeding smoothly.

If you are considering LASIK in San Francisco, contact your local LASIK experts at Pacific Eye Specialists. They offer a free LASIK Consultation to help you learn more about this amazing procedure and learn about your own unique vision. LASIK might just be the right procedure for you. 

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LASIK History

Posted by administration on July 17, 2016

LASIK_History.pngLASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), commonly referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, is a type of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.

While LASIK is now a household term and a common form of surgery, just a couple of decades ago it was a brand new procedure that intrigued many people who were inconvenienced daily by their contacts and eyeglasses. Further back, researchers experimented with rudimentary techniques of surgical vision correction that involved freezing the cornea before removing connective tissue – a far cry from today’s advanced and precise methods.

The Early Years of LASIK

In 1978, doctors in the United States began performing a procedure called radial keratotomy or RK. This technique entailed several corneal incisions to shape and correct refractive errors. It helped individuals with conditions like nearsightedness and astigmatism to become less dependent on their glasses.

As time progressed, surgeons eventually stopped using sutures to re-attach the cornea and in the late 1980s began using the hinged corneal flap technique that is still practiced today. With this method, the cornea isn’t completely detached from the eye but left on as a flap, which carries a lower risk of complications and less healing time. The development of an automated microkeratome was instrumental in furthering the procedure, as it allowed for even more precise incisions.

Additionally, the 1980s saw the development of the excimer laser, which was originally intended for use in making computer chips but was found to be especially helpful in precisely removing tissue as part of refractive surgery techniques. This method was found to be considerably safer and more effective than RK.

In 1995, the Food and Drug Administration approved a procedure called photorefractive keratectomy, known commonly as PRK, after a successful three-year trial on 1,600 eyes. This flattened the cornea with a laser to treat nearsightedness and has been used in the U.S. and Canada since 1987.

Modern-day LASIK

The LASIK we know today consists of a combination of excimer laser technology and surgical incisions using a microkeratome (hand-held blade). During this process, a surgeon uses the microkeratome to cut a corneal flap, and then corrects the shape of the tissue underneath with the laser. The flap is then put back in place and acts as a natural bandage while the eye heals. This method has become a popular method of refractive surgery, as it provides effective results and a short healing time.

Blade-free LASIK

Blade-free LASIK has also grown in popularity. This method replaces the microkeratome with a laser to create the corneal flap. Practices like Pacific Eye Specialists offer advanced blade-free LASIK in San Francisco.

Custom LASIK

LASIK doctors are also able to customize treatment for each patient, taking into account the patient’s degree and type of vision impairment as well as the topography of their eyes.

While LASIK surgery has become relatively common and a popular option for vision correction, not all people who wear glasses or contacts should have the procedure. The success of this form of vision correction relies heavily on whether a patient is a good candidate. Continued education on the doctor’s part is key to determining eye health and vision characteristics.

As LASIK technologies develop further, it is important for both healthcare providers and prospective patients to stay informed on the benefits of laser vision correction.

If you are considering LASIK in San Francisco, make sure you choose an experienced LASIK doctor who has an excellent success rate for patients. You can learn more about the advances in LASIK technology by scheduling a free LASIK Consultation at Pacific Eye Specialists today. You’ll also learn if your eyes are right for the procedure. 

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Benefits of LASIK

Posted by administration on July 13, 2016

Benefits_of_LASIK.pngLASIK surgery offers a wealth of benefits for the average eyeglass wearer. If you’ve been wearing eyeglasses for a long time, consider a few of the benefits of LASIK listed below.

Improved Vision: The primary LASIK benefit is that 95%of patients who undergo the procedure achieve 20/40 vision, the vast majority of those achieving 20/20 vision or better.  Although each patient is different, the statistics show that a significant number of those who undergo LASIK surgery significantly improve their vision. 

Long-lasting Results: Following a stabilization period of about 3 months for the eye to adjust, LASIK results are expected to be permanent. Some patients will need reading glasses as they age due to normal vision changes that occur in the aging process, as LASIK surgery does not correct those types of issues. 

Quick Recovery: Another LASIK benefit is the quick recovery after the procedure.  Patients cannot drive immediately after LASIK surgery, but most patients return to their normal schedules as soon as the day after the procedure.

Safe and Quick Procedure: LASIK surgery is performed quickly, and because the skilled surgeons at Pacific Eye Specalists use blade-free methods, which they have found to be more accurate, the procedure is considered by many to be one of the safest surgeries performed today.  The entire procedure takes just a matter of minutes, making this another LASIK benefit.

Money Saving: One LASIK benefit that is often not considered is that the procedure saves money in the long run.  Contacts and glasses usually need to be replaced annually. The total spent for corrective lenses can reach into the tens of thousands during a patient’s lifetime.  LASIK has become more affordable over the last decade, as new technologies are developed, making it more economical to invest in LASIK surgery than to continue to expend money for new glasses or contacts each year.

Life Changing: Many Pacific Eye Specialists patients say that the best LASIK benefit is the life change it creates for them.  Patients often say they gain confidence and many indicate they are able to participate in many recreational activities they were unable to do before because of their need for glasses or contacts.

If you have questions about LASIK eye surgery contact Pacific Eye Specialists at (415) 921-7555 or for more information and to determine if you’re a good candidate for eye surgery.

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LASIK Eye Treatment

Posted by administration on July 04, 2016

LASIK_Eye_Treatments.pngLASIK, otherwise known as laser in-situ keratomileusis, is a very popular procedure for correcting vision problems and is performed across the United States and around the globe.

Laser vision correction works by reshaping the cornea to produce better vision results.  By reshaping the cornea, light traveling through it is properly focused on the retina. Across the world, millions of people undergo laser eye correction each year.

With the use of numbing drops, very little or no pain is experienced by the patient.  According to most LASIK professionals, approximately 96% of LASIK patients achieve improved vision through LASIK. 

Possible side effects, including dry eye, glare and halos, are addressed during pre-surgical LASIK consultations.  Although not everyone is a candidate for LASIK, most people needing vision correction are good candidates for this procedure.

If you would like to learn more about LASIK eye treatments, please call Pacific Eye Specialists in San Francisco to schedule a consultation. 

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