Laser vision surgery is an eye vision correction technique that employs the use of excimer laser to reshape the cornea and rectify a broad range of eye defects such as near and farsightedness as well as astigmatism. Before a medical doctor considers a candidate for laser eye surgery there are a number of preoperative conditions to be met.
The clinical examination prior to the surgery ensures that the patient is suited for this type of procedure. It is important to note that laser eye surgery does not work for everyone and thus the need for preoperative analysis before a final recommendation is made. At Optilase, and I’m sure many other clinics, you are given a free consultation to find out if you are eligible for the procedure.
So in what instances will a laser surgery not be recommended to a person suffering from an eye defect? Here are a few scenarios.
Laser eye surgery is not advisable for patients with Keratoconus
This is a genetic condition whereby a patient has an inherent feebleness within the stromal layer of the cornea. The stroma makes up a large proportion of the cornea and it is only logical that if you are using laser surgery to make the cornea thinner in order to reshape it, then you will end up doing more damage than treatment.
After the surgery the patient may still end up using glasses and sometimes even with a greater prescription in the span of a year. Laser eye surgery is therefore not recommended for people with this type of condition as it will not work.
People with active eye diseases are also not candidates for laser eye surgery
There are those with conditions that affect how their eyes react to surgery or how they heal. Anyone with constant dry eyes is advised against undergoing laser eye surgery. This is because tears perform a very fundamental function of keeping the eyes lubricated and of good health. Unless this condition is treated, anyone with an eye defect that should be rectified but is suffering from it cannot undergo this type of surgery since it may aggravate the condition.
An eye infection can also prevent a patient from undergoing laser treatment since it may interfere with the healing process after surgery. Patients suffering from autoimmune diseases are also not candidates for laser surgery because of the inability to heal faster and also the possibility of additional infections.
Overly large pupils
Patients with extremely large pupils may experience aggravated side effects such as glares and halos more so during night time driving. Because of these potential side effects that may worsen the eye defect, laser eye surgery may not work for people with overly large pupils.
High prescription limits
People with very high prescriptions as a result of eye defects are advised against this type of surgery. Corrective laser eye surgery for patients with very high refractive errors is usually very risky. This is because it involves extreme thinning of the cornea which may result into complications with the patient’s vision. Such patients are usually advised to seek other forms of treatment or corrective surgery procedures.
Absence of stable vision
For laser eye surgery to successfully work for a patient, the refractive errors should remain stable for at least a year. The reason is that erratic prescription makes it difficult to come up with a proper diagnosis and undergoing laser eye surgery prematurely may worsen the eye defect. For any patient to be conclusively diagnosed therefore, there must be a stable vision for a minimum of 12 months.
Because of hormonal changes that sometimes alter the cornea shape and affect eye vision, laser eye surgery is not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers. The hormonal changes, even though temporary, can interfere with the eye vision. These changes are usually temporary and therefore performing a laser eye surgery may result into a permanent eye defect.
It is important to consult a medical doctor in good time before deciding on the surgery as the appropriate treatment for your eye defect. Even though it is the doctor’s obligation to recommend what type of treatment a patient should undergo, being in the know may assist one in seeking an alternative treatment method or procedure before the condition worsens. As we have seen from the many scenarios, laser eye surgery does not work for everyone with an eye defect.