Are you tired of wearing glasses or contacts? Regarded as one of the fastest-growing and successful medical procedures, LASIK Surgery has eliminated the need for contacts and glasses for millions of Americans since the technique was granted FDA approval in the late 1990s. Thomas Eye Group was one of the first to perform this procedure under FDA protocol, and our experienced physicians have performed more than 25,000 vision correction procedures. In addition, Thomas Eye Group has been voted the "Best LASIK Doctor" in Atlanta by JEZEBEL Magazine for the past 5 years in a row and offers Atlanta's most precise, advanced NASA-approved bladeless LASIK technology. Are You A LASIK Candidate? Click HERE to take our free LASIK Self-Evaluation Test!
Our team takes you on a tour through the LASIK facility where you meet each member of our team and learn what happens during your complimentary LASIK consultation. Join the Thomas Eye Group family by scheduling your free consultation today!
There are three main parts to the human eye:
The retina is like the film in a camera. In normal vision, the cornea refracts (bends) light so it can be directed through the lens and focused onto the retina. Vision problems requiring glasses are usually the result of irregularities of the shape of the cornea. This causes an error in the refraction of the image and results in blurred or distorted vision. Our physicians solve these issues by using a laser to reshape the curvature of the cornea and correct this refractive error so that normal, clear sight is obtained.
Nearsighted people see close objects clearly, but not distant objects. In nearsightedness, the curve of the cornea is too steep or the eye itself is somewhat elongated. This results in images being focused in front of the retina. Our procedures correct this condition by flattening the curvature of the cornea so that images are focused exactly on the retina.
Farsighted people see distant objects better, but objects midway and close up are blurred. In farsightedness, the shape of the cornea is too flat or the eye is too short. This causes light rays to focus behind the retina. Our LASIK procedure corrects this condition by shaping the outer area of the cornea so that it focuses on images correctly.
Astigmatism is the inability to focus clearly at any distance due to an irregular or misshapen cornea. With astigmatism, light rays focus at different points on the retina causing images to overlap and blur vision. Our Atlanta LASIK procedures correct these irregularities and achieve clear vision.
The cost of LASIK surgery is often a factor in the decision-making process. Thomas Eye Group LASIK offers a few different custom LASIK packages along with special financing options for patients to consider. Please call us at 855.ATL.LASIK, email us at [email protected] or visit the LASIK eye surgery cost page for more information regarding LASIK pricing.
Glasses can scratch, break, fog up, fall off, and sometimes interfere with side vision. Contacts may irritate the eyes. LASIK has none of these drawbacks and is the ideal solution for eyes that cannot tolerate glasses or contacts, or for patients who simply want to be free from the burden of wearing and caring for corrective lenses.
After LASIK, most patients can pass their driver's test, swim and participate in other sports without corrective lenses. Myopic patients often find that their night vision improves after laser vision correction. Because they no longer have to depend on lenses, patients even enjoy a broader choice of careers and athletic activities after they have the surgery.
LASIK especially benefits sports enthusiasts, parents and frequent travelers. Athletes enjoy a stronger performance when they can play their sports unencumbered by glasses or contacts. Moms and dads also benefit; they can swim lens-free with their kids or respond to nighttime emergencies without having to grope for glasses or contacts. Frequent travelers can enjoy the convenience and safety (in case of emergency) of life on the road without corrective lenses. Our Atlanta-area surgeons can help you achieve reduced dependence on glasses and contact lenses.
Answers To Help You Make an Informed Decision About LASIK
There are two main reasons people choose to have LASIK:
In numerous clinical studies throughout the world since the late 1980s, excimer laser procedures have not produced any long-term negative effects on the eye’s integrity. Experts are confident that they will not discover any long-term problems, but significant data is not available yet for long-term results. Since the excimer evaporates only a very small amount of the tissue of the cornea, the integrity of the eye remains intact and no stability problems for the future are expected. The procedure is considered permanent, although in some cases the procedure must be repeated to enhance the final outcome.
There are some risks in everything in life - from driving a car to taking a shower. LASIK is regarded as one of the safest of all medical procedures. More than 12,000,000 Americans have already had LASIK, and the number is steadily increasing. Experienced LASIK surgeons report a lower than 1% complication rate, and these complications have always been confined to quality of vision issues, not loss of vision. Many ophthalmologists believe the long-term risk of wearing contact lenses can exceed the one-time risk of LASIK by a factor as high as five times.* The surest guarantee of the best outcome possible is choosing an experienced surgeon.
Sources: Mathers, W.D. Archives of Ophthalmology, October 2006; vol 124: pp 1510-1511. William Mathers, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Oregon Health & Science University Casey Eye Institute, Portland, OR.
By choosing LASIK with the right doctor with the most advanced technology, the typical person, ages 18 to 40, will not need prescription glasses. Between ages 40 and 50, a person will likely begin needing reading glasses whether they have had LASIK or not, due to the reduced flexibility of their eyes’ internal lenses. This condition is called presbyopia and can be effectively handled through a special LASIK technique known as monovision, which has given thousands the ability to see both close-up and far away.
If you are considering LASIK and are using reading glasses, you should ask your LASIK surgeon if monovision is right for you.
Most people over age 18 who suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism can be helped with LASIK, but a thorough eye exam is the only way to determine if LASIK can achieve your expectations. The exam should include full corneal mapping (topography), Wavefront diagnostic technology, corneal thickness measurement, tear film evaluation and measurement of your pupil size to ensure that LASIK is right for you.
Your doctor should discuss your goals and expectations as well as the risks and benefits of the procedure. You should feel comfortable with your doctor’s assessment of your anticipated outcome before proceeding.
No. Procedures such as PRK and LASIK are forms of laser vision correction because they all utilize a laser to reshape the cornea. The primary difference is in how the cornea's surface is prepared for the reshaping procedure. LASIK is the fastest and most comfortable of these procedures when performed by highly skilled surgeons using the most advanced equipment.
Many discount centers want you to believe that all LASIK is the same and that the surgeon's involvement throughout the process, the laser technology, diagnostic technology, and follow-up care don't matter. Laser vision correction will affect the way you see for the rest of your life. You should make your decision to have laser vision correction carefully, based on the surgeon's track record and technology – not who's offering the best "deal."
You may have heard stories in the past about people having difficulty driving at night after refractive surgery. In the early years of laser vision correction, nighttime side-effects sometimes included halos, starbursts, glare around lights and sometimes blurry vision. What you may not have heard was that these effects usually diminished in the first three months as the eye healed.
However, today’s advanced laser systems have dealt very authoritatively with these issues, as they can be programmed to cater to the specific characteristics of each patient's eyes.
Sometimes patients worry that they will affect the surgery by nervous or uncontrollable twitches or jumps of their eyes, called saccadic eye movements. The lasers used by Thomas Eye Group in LASIK are married to a high-speed eye-tracking system with a response time of milliseconds – much faster than your eye can move. This eye tracker completely neutralizes these eye movements to assure quality treatment and increased patient safety.
The decision to have one eye done or both eyes done consecutively is a decision for the doctor and the patient. Initially, it was felt that time should be allowed between eyes. However, the standard of care in the United States, particularly with LASIK, has evolved to be either both eyes are done on the same day or one eye at a time – whatever the doctor and patient decide. How do I compensate for the other eye’s correction in between surgeries? This is only a problem if you have your eyes done on separate days. If you wear contacts, you can continue wearing the contact in the untreated eye until your doctor instructs you to discontinue its use to prepare for surgery on the second eye. If you wear glasses, you can have one lens without any correction put into them until you have the second eye corrected.
A comprehensive eye evaluation is required prior to the procedure. Your doctor will explain all of the procedures to you before and after the procedure. If you wear contacts, you will have to remove them prior to your pre-operative evaluation (3-6 weeks for hard or gas permeable lenses and 7 days for soft lenses) and the procedure. After the procedure, you will need to have someone drive you home. You will need to see the doctor the next day, and you will need a driver for this office visit as well. You will be required to visit your doctor post-operatively at designated intervals for the first year.
This question is usually prompted by concerns about affordability. Unfortunately, the cost of LASIK has been rising since the 90s and is likely to keep on rising. When you buy a new car, is it cheaper than five years ago? How about clothes, restaurants, and cosmetics? With today’s highly advanced technology, LASIK is definitely a hands-on, personalized service provided by highly-trained and qualified medical professionals using millions of dollars' worth of equipment. So although some centers quote attractively (but unbelievably) low prices, the truth is, as with anything in life, quality and assurance come at a price.
The good news is that the one-time cost of LASIK works out cheaper in the long-run than the ongoing expenses of glasses and contacts. With the financing options at Thomas Eye Group Atlanta, many people find their payments can be equivalent to what they are currently spending on glasses and contacts.
This is definitely the most important question of all. Although LASIK is marketed as a commodity, it is a medical procedure, and in the final analysis, the skill and care of the surgeon are the most significant issues. Look for a local surgeon who will personally oversee every step of the procedure and who will take the time to answer all your questions. Remember, the only ‘dumb’ question is the one you don’t ask.
Learn more about LASIK eye surgery with the eye doctors and ophthalmologists at Thomas Eye Group. Contact us, schedule an appointment with our eye care staff, or take the LASIK self-test online today!