Questions and Answers About Laser Vision Correction for Nearsightedness, Farsightedness and Astigmatism


What is nearsightedness?
If you are nearsighted, you cannot see things clearly in the distance. This condition occurs when the cornea, which is located on the front part of the eye, is too steeply curved or the eyeball is too long. Because of this curvature, light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina instead of on it. This causes blurry vision.

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What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism occurs when the eyeball is oblong (football shaped). Light will focus in two or more focal points causing blurry vision. Astigmatism is often present along with nearsightedness.

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What is farsightedness?
If you are farsighted, you cannot see things clearly up close and many times distance vision is blurry too. This condition occurs when the cornea, which is located on the front part of the eye, is too flat or the length of the eye is too short. Because of this curvature, light entering the eye focuses behind the retina instead of on it. This causes blurry vision.

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I can see pretty well in the distance but have to rely on glasses for reading, is there a laser procedure for me?
If you are over 40 and wear glasses for reading and are mildly farsighted a new procedure called SUNRISE LTK may be of benefit to you. Please see our LTK page for more information.

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How does laser vision correction (LASIK and PRK) improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism?
Laser vision correction uses cool pulses of ultraviolet light to cleanly, precisely and smoothly remove a very small amount of tissue at the front of the eye. This corrects the problem curve of the cornea and allows light to properly focus on the retina. The result is clearer distance vision. The outpatient treatment typically takes about one half, with the ophthalmologist using the laser for typically less than 60 seconds.

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What is LASIK?
LASIK is a modification of laser vision correction. In LASIK, a thin flap of cornea is lifted in a single sheet to permit laser treatment of the exposed inner surface of the eye. Following the procedure, the corneal flap is repositioned. The corneal tissue has extraordinary bonding qualities that allow effective healing with out the use of stitches.

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Who can receive laser vision correction?
Laser vision correction is currently available in the U.S. to treat people who are nearsighted and/or have astigmatism and people who are farsighted.. Patients must be at least 18 years old. In addition, a doctor must determine that a patient has stable vision and no medical problems that would interfere with a successful outcome.

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Who performs laser vision correction?
The lasers are computer-controlled and operated by ophthalmologists specially trained and credentialed to perform the procedure.

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Will I be able to see right away?
You will have better, but not perfect, vision immediately after treatment. In fact, many patients return to work the next day. Your vision continues to improve as your eye heals and adjusts to its new shape.

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How long does the improved vision last?
Doctors have been performing laser vision correction since 1987. Studies to date show excellent vision stability for more than 11 years following treatment.

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Is laser vision correction safe?
As with all medical procedures, there are challenges and risks involved with laser vision correction. The procedure passed extensive scrutiny from public health agencies and medical professionals. After nearly a decade of research, complications seriously affecting vision are reported at a rate of much less than one percent.

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When did laser vision correction receive government approval?
The VISX excimer laser used At Kansas Eye was first approved for patients with myopia (nearsightedness) in October 1995. More recently, the government, in April 1997 approved the laser to correct astigmatism, in November 1998, the laser was approved to correct hyperopia (farsightedness) and in October2000, hyperopia with astigmatism was approved. In December of 2000 our practice upgraded to the VISX Star S3 ActivTrak system, the first in the Albany, NY region.

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What do studies say about laser vision correction?
Clinical studies show that the result of laser vision correction is improved, clearer vision. 97% of patients achieve 20/40 vision or better. This means they can legally obtain a driver's license without the need for corrective lenses.

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What about risks and side effects?
As with any medical procedure, some risk is involved. However, a very small percentage (by normal surgical standards) of laser vision correction patients experience complications or side effects. Among the documented side effects have been infection; post-operative discomfort; a corneal haze which occurs only during healing; glare or halos; or unintended over or under-correction. All of these side effects or complications typically correct themselves naturally over time or can be corrected in a simple follow-up procedure.

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Does laser vision correction hurt?
Anesthetic eye drops make the procedure itself painless. Some patients may experience discomfort similar to the feeling of sand in the eye for several days after the treatment.

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How much does laser vision correction cost?
The cost of laser vision correction is quite reasonable when compared to the ongoing expenses usually associated with glasses or contacts. Over a 20-year time frame, a contact lens wearer could spend double the one-time expense of laser vision correction. To obtain specific information about fees and financing options, please call us at 518-462-5001.

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How can I find out if I'm a candidate for Laser Vision Correction?
Call Kansas Eye Surgery Associates at 518-462-5000 to obtain additional information, schedule a complimentary screening, or a refractive surgery evaluation with the Doctor ($110 charge which is applied to your surgery fee).

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Kansas Eye Surgery Associates, P.C.
Dr. Peter Kansas
24 Century Hill Drive - Suite #001, Latham, NY 12110
(518) 690-2015
info@drkansas.com