Saturday, January 28, 2012

Eye Hospitals can routinely treat most eye conditions by Kathryn Dawson

If you find yourself having problems with your eyesight, an appointment should be initially made with an optician to have your eyes tested. It could be that you may now need to start wearing glasses, or for those of you who already do, a change in prescription may be necessary.

Those who have problems such as cataracts and glaucoma will almost certainly require a visit to an eye hospital. Individuals that need to consult prior to having procedures such as laser eye treatment may also visit.

Laser eye treatment is now an everyday procedure; we see adverts for various specialist eye hospitals that carry out this simple surgery. You may find having laser eye treatment much more cost effective than regularly having eye tests, and buying glasses or contact lenses.

The eye doctors can help and advise the best course of action for you depending on the severity of your eye problem.

There are two types of laser eye treatment, LASEK and LASIK vision correction, and depending upon the results of the consultation will decide which one of these two treatments will best suit you.

One of the best advances in laser eye correction, and now used in many eye hospitals is wavefront optimisation. The wavefront analysis the eye doctor will perform will show all the imperfections and irregularities that will need correction. This also ensures that your laser treatment is enhanced to give the best quality vision possible.

The LASEK laser eye treatment is the ideal solution for those whose prescriptions are small, meaning there are only slight imperfections in their eyesight, or who have thin corneas. LASEK, which stands for laser assisted epithelial keratomileusis, works by loosening the fine surface layer of the cornea (known as the epithelium) with some eye drops and folding it back. The laser then reshapes the surface of the cornea and repairs any refractive problem the eye may have.

The epithelium layer is then folded back to its original position and will take a few days to heal. This healing is done without the need for stitching in a natural way. A bandage lens is then used to cover the eye, and stays in place for as long as the eye takes to heal, which could be up to one week after surgery.

LASIK laser eye treatment is used to correct more serious vision problems such as astigmatism (curvature difference of the cornea or lens), myopia (near or short sightedness) and hyperopia (long or far sightedness). LASIK, which stands for laser in situ keratomileusis, works by creating a flap on the cornea using a blade or laser pulse. The laser is then able to reshape the stroma part of the cornea permanently before replacing the flap.

LASIK treatment has several forms, and so this procedure may vary. Some very experienced eye doctors may be able to perform the Advanced Surface Ablation form of LASIK which has no need to create a flap of the epithelium. The recovery period for this type of surgery is much longer than other forms and can take several weeks to heal completely.

After LASIK surgery recovery is normally rapid and often by the following day vision is completely restored. The surgery itself is often performed within seconds as the laser works extremely quickly to correct any eyesight issues.

There are many eye hospital centres operating both in the UK and abroad and all have specialist eye doctors who can advise which treatment (such as laser eye treatment) is required, expected recovery time and length of time of the procedure itself. For those who need correction in both eyes, these are usually done with about a week gap depending on procedure. This is to allow time for one eye to recover and heal before operating on the second.