WHAT DO MYOPIA, HYPEROPIA, AND ASTIGMATISM MEAN?
There are some refractive errors or eye issues that could impair your vision, such as:
- Myopia (short-sightedness) : inability to see distant objects clearly.
- Hyperopia (long-sightedness) : inability to see close objects clearly.
- Astigmatism : blurry vision due to an irregular eye shape.
Myopia and hyperopia are the most common refractive eye errors. They are caused by eye abnormalities that affect the ability to focus light on the back part of the eye called the retina.
Light is bent (refracted) by the cornea, the clear surface at the front of your eye, and the crystalline lens inside it. Then, it ends up back at the retina, a fine layer of light-sensitive cells.
When the light doesn’t focus correctly or hit the retina properly, our brain interprets a blurred image.
Myopia is the most common refractive eye problem worldwide.
If you suffer from short sight, you will have difficulty seeing distant objects clearly but will be able to perform close-up tasks, such as reading and using the computer.
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long. It causes light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on the surface.
Short sight can also be caused by the cornea being too curved for the length of the eyeball.
Conversely, hyperopia is better known as far-sightedness and is the opposite of myopia. The eyeball is too short, causing light rays to be refracted behind it.
If you’re shortsighted, the first number on your eyeglasses prescription is preceded by a minus sign (–). The opposite applies to hyperopia.
Both refractive errors can be corrected using eyeglasses, contact lenses, or having refractive surgery. The latter includes laser eye surgery and lens surgery.
PATIENTS WITH HIGH MYOPIA
In the case of patients with high myopia, LASIK surgery is contraindicated.
If the patient is young and has high myopia, they should also avoid cataract surgery. The idea is to preserve the crystalline lens, which is still young.
In patients under 50 years old with high myopia (between -10 and -20 dioptres), high hyperopia, or thinner-than-normal corneas, the best solution would be an ICL surgery (Implantable Collamer Lens).
A phakic intra-ocular lens (IOL) is implanted behind the pupil, in the space between your natural lens and your iris. The ICL lens is inserted through a microincision that doesn’t need stitches.
Instead of reshaping the corneal surface, as in laser vision correction (LVC), this procedure involves implanting an additional lens inside the eye to help refract light on the retina, producing clearer vision.
Unlike IOLs used in cataract surgery, the crystalline lens of the patient remains intact. Phakic IOLs work exactly like contact lenses, except they are surgically placed and are permanent.
This procedure is done as outpatient surgery and under local anaesthetic.
LASER EYE SURGERY CONSIDERATIONS
Preparation for the surgery
Once your surgery is scheduled, you should go a few days before to the facilities of Barraquer Eye Hospital to have an eye exam and a series of preoperative tests. This will help decide the exact method of treatment for patients with myopia or hyperopia.
It is important to stop using contact lenses at least three or four weeks before as they can alter the results. Also, to prevent the growth of bacteria around the eyes, you should avoid wearing make-up for a few days.
Fasting is not strictly necessary before surgery. And you can take medication if you normally do so, although you should tell the nurse about it.
During the procedure
Your eye doctor will apply topical anaesthetic, meaning eye drops.
It is advisable to keep your eyes closed as much as possible before the intervention to avoid possible drying of the eyes.
Depending on the need, a mild oral/intravenous sedative may be administered.
Laser application only lasts a few seconds. During this time, you should try and keep your eyes fixed on a single point/light.
The only thing you will notice of the laser is the sound, as it is invisible and doesn’t cause a heating effect. With LASIK, you may feel a slight pressure as the surgeon cuts the corneal flap.
How long does laser eye surgery last?
The surgery lasts only a few minutes (from 10 to 15 minutes per eye).
It is important to remain calm and relaxed.
After 30 minutes, including a brief rest and the first postoperative examination, the patient can leave the clinic.
Is laser surgery painful?
The surgical procedure is brief and painless. It is an outpatient surgery without the need for a stay in the hospital.
You will immediately return home after surgery.
HOW IS THE RECOVERY AFTER LASER EYE SURGERY?
During the first 6 hours, you should keep both eyes closed as much as possible. This reduces the discomfort and helps the patient’s recovery.
Before leaving Barraquer Hospital, specialists will give you the necessary instructions and aftercare medication.
You must protect the eyes with protective glasses even when at home to avoid rubbing them or involuntary knocks.
Also, after the surgery, you may note a burning or itching sensation or the feeling that there is something in your eye. In most cases, this feeling doesn’t last more than 6 hours.
The doctor may prescribe medication for mild pain and a sedative to ease any discomfort.
Vision is generally blurred or cloudy the same day of the operation, but this blurriness will improve the following days.
Although visual recovery is quick, it is recommended to have a few days of rest and off work. However, this process is longer with LASEK surgery, and the first 24 hours can be slightly painful.
HOW MUCH DOES LASER EYE SURGERY COST?
Laser eye surgery cost depends on the technique performed.
Please, fill in the contact form. If you have any medical reports or examination results from other centers, we would appreciate it if you could send these tests to us by email.
You can be sure that this information will always be treated with maximum confidentiality, and we will offer you the solution that best suits your needs.
FAQ ABOUT LASER EYE SURGERY:
I am a foreign patient. Will the medical personnel speak my language?
Qualified personnel is placed at your disposal, and they will advise you in your language and accompany you during the hospital process.
Is the postoperative period very complicated?
The procedures require very little postoperative medication: some eye drops and artificial tears that have to be used briefly.
How long will it take me to resume my normal activity?
After an intervention with laser, the patient’s visual recovery is very fast. In most cases, normal activities can be resumed the day after the surgery. The final result is usually achieved after a week.
If I am not a candidate for laser eye surgery, what alternative is there to remove my vision problem?
Suppose specialists decide that a patient cannot be treated with laser refractive surgery because of high myopia or special eye conditions. In that case, the alternative could be the implantation of an intraocular lens.
Is laser eye surgery permanent?
Surgery is permanent, but it won’t prevent aging of the eyes. Hence, a very small percentage of patients might need additional minor adjustments, aka follow-up surgery.
What happens if I move my eye during the intervention?
It is necessary to understand that the patient must not move the head or body as it is a microsurgical operation. However, during the laser application, the system has a device that can correct small eye movements.
What happens if I have any postoperative problems?
The emergency department at Barraquer Eye Hospital is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
I am pregnant; can I have laser surgery?
No. It is necessary to wait until after childbirth and the breastfeeding period. During pregnancy, there could be slight changes in eye strength. Also, there is a risk that the postoperative medication could get into the breast milk during the breastfeeding period.
BEST LASER EYE SURGERY SPECIALISTS AT BARRAQUER HOSPITAL
External links – Bibliography
Phakic intraocular lenses: Recent advances and innovations. Martínez-Plaza E, López-Miguel A, Holgueras A,Barraquer RI, Alió JL, Maldonado MJ.Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol. 2020 Apr;
Safety and visual outcomes following posterior chamber phakic intraocular lens bilensectomy. Vargas V, Alió JL,Barraquer RI, D’ Antin JC, García C, Duch F, Balgos J, Alió Del Barrio JL.Eye Vis (Lond). 2020 Jul 1
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