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Blade LASIK vs. Blade-free LASIK – Which Is Right For You?

LASIK has become a common household term, especially among people who are considering laser eye surgery for vision correction. But iLASIK is not as familiar a name. What is this modern method of laser vision correction? What are the differences between LASIK versus iLASIK?

Just as all technology has advanced significantly in recent years, so has LASIK. As eye surgeons become trained in the latest cutting-edge techniques, they can offer a wider range of safe and efficient procedures. At Eyeworks, our eye surgeons use state-of-the-art technologies to perform various types of laser eye surgeries in our eye care centers in Ft. Worth, Southlake, and Downtown.

Our eye doctor explains the basic differences between LASIK and iLASIK:

LASIK

LASIK Surgery is one type of refractive surgery that works to improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. During this surgery, the surgeon creates a thin flap in the cornea and folds it back, enabling access to the cornea so it can be reshaped to correct the vision problems. To make the flap, a microkeratome blade is used to slice a thin layer of the cornea. Afterwards, an excimer laser is used to remove and sculpt the cornea before the flap is returned to its original position, where it heals.

iLASIK

iLASIK is a customized, bladeless method of refractive surgery, meaning that every procedure considers the unique microscopic differences of each eye and no blades are used.

The first step of iLASIK is to create a 3D map of the eye, which uses wavefront-guided eye-mapping to identify the problems and imperfections. The imaging is painless and enables the surgeon to perform a custom-fit procedure.

In the second part of this procedure, a femtosecond laser (with high frequency pulses of laser light) is used to create the corneal flap. Then, the cornea is reshaped with a guided excimer laser. The flap is then folded back into place to heal.

iLASIK versus LASIK – A Review of the Differences

  • Bladed vs. blade-free: although there are inherent risks involved with both LASIK and iLASIK, the incidence of complications is higher with LASIK. Primarily, this is due to problems with the flap because of the way it was cut with a blade. iLASIK is entirely bladeless.
  • Custom-designed procedure: iLASIK accounts for the fact that every eye is distinct and may need a different corrective approach. The 3D tracking used with iLASIK leads to a more precisely-made corneal flap that matches your eyeball’s characteristics and dimensions.
  • Visual outcome: the wavefront mapping done with iLASIK helps to provide your eye surgeon with highly specific, personalized recommendations that can lead to more accurate visual results.

Which is right for your eyes – iLASIK or LASIK?

Both of these types of laser eye surgery are regarded to be safe and effective. To decide which method is right for you, you need to consult with our eye doctors in Ft. Worth, Southlake, and Downtown. After a comprehensive eye exam and evaluation of your ocular condition, we will explain both procedures to you and made an individualized recommendation.

Ophthalmologists are continually exploring ways to improve laser eye surgery outcomes. Contact our experts at Eyeworks to book an eye exam and learn all about the latest vision correction procedures and which one is a good match for you.

At Eyeworks, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 817-346-7077 or book an appointment online to see one of our Ft. Worth eye doctors.

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Let’s Talk ABout Bladeless LASIK: All-Laser LASIK

We offer all types of laser eye surgery in Ft. Worth, Texas

Now that your eye doctor has decided you’re a good candidate for LASIK, the specific type of procedure that’s best for your vision remains to be decided. At Eyeworks, we’ll discuss a variety of factors to make this decision together with you – such as precision of the corneal flap thickness, your vision quality, pain during and after the surgery, the rate of complications, and cost.

One newer type of LASIK that our eye surgeon performs is Bladeless LASIK. The main difference between this eye surgery and traditional LASIK is that the corneal flap is created entirely with a laser, with no blades involved. What does this mean for you? If you have a thin cornea and were once told it made you unsuitable for LASIK, the enhanced precision of this blade-free procedure may now give you a chance to have refractive surgery.

What happens during the Bladeless LASIK procedure?

The first step of this corrective surgery involves using laser energy (Femtosecond computer technology) to slice a tiny flap in your cornea. Bladeless LASIK creates the corneal flap by inserting a precise pattern of tiny overlapping bubbles under the corneal surface. Your eye surgeon will determine the exact depth and diameter of the corneal flap needed to perform your laser eye surgery.

With computerized guidance, this laser technology works at super-speed, enabling your surgeon to target the tissue with superior accuracy and no damage to any of the surrounding tissues.

What happens right after Bladeless LASIK?

For about the first 15 minutes after the procedure, you’ll need to rest and may experience fuzzy vision. Your eye surgeon will check your eyes to confirm that the flaps are in the right position, and you’ll be instructed about how to take care of your eyes over the next few days or weeks.

After you’re home, it’s recommended to relax, sleep or just stay put for a few hours. Don’t stress your eyes in any way, such as by reading or looking at a computer screen. In a few hours, you’ll need to apply eye drops, and you’ll probably also need to tape clear shields over your eyes while sleeping. By the next morning when you wake, you can expect to see improved vision – although it may still be a bit blurry. Most people find that it takes about a week to see crisp and clear.

The majority of the healing from bladeless LASIK occurs within the first week or two. During this time, you’ll need to have your first follow-up eye exam, with regular exams afterwards according to your eye doctor’s instructions. Your eyes will continue to heal slowly for about 6 weeks to 6 months after the surgery.

Does Bladeless LASIK cause any side effects?

One common side effect, which is typically short-lived, is light sensitivity (photophobia). Although this condition tends to resolve itself quickly, sometimes steroid eye drops are needed. Other side effects that patients report are dry eye and fluctuating vision. Lubricating artificial tears eye drops are usually helpful at relieving this discomfort.

Is All-laser LASIK safe?

Truth be told, all forms of LASIK – bladed and bladeless – are rated among the safest medical procedures available! So if you’re considering laser eye surgery and have concerns about the safety, you can take a deep breath and rest easy.

What are the benefits of Bladeless LASIK?

  • Suitable for a larger group of people
  • Healing is usually faster
  • Rate of complications post-surgery is lower
  • Reduced incidence of postoperative dry eye syndrome
  • Risk of epithelial in-growth is lower (a condition in which cells beneath the corneal flap grow and push the flap upwards, creating an irregularly curved cornea)
  • Less “touch-up” vision enhancements are generally needed in the future

Is Bladeless LASIK right for me?

This is not a decision to be made entirely by you! To figure out which type of laser eye surgery is most appropriate, you need to consult with your eye doctor for a personalized solution. Contact us at Eyeworks to schedule an eye exam and LASIK consultation with our eye surgeon. We perform all types of laser refractive surgery in the comfort of our Ft. Worth, Texas, eye care clinic near you!

At Eyeworks, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 817-346-7077 or book an appointment online to see one of our Ft. Worth eye doctors.

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Sleep Apnea & Glaucoma: Is There a Connection?

Do you think there is a link between how you sleep and your eyesight?

Are you a snorer? If you wake others and yourself with your nightly noise, there’s a good chance you have obstructive sleep apnea. In addition to making you a terrible roommate, this sleep disorder also robs you of your zzz’s – leading to daytime grogginess and putting you at risk for a long list of health problems. While you may be familiar with many of these problems, (such as memory loss, hypertension, and weight gain), are you aware that it can also raise your risk of glaucoma?

A 2019 article published in The Journal of Glaucoma reported the results of a US-based study that involved more than 6,700 people over 40 years old, and a strong link was found between having glaucoma and sleep problems. Want to learn more? Our eye doctor at Eyeworks explains all about glaucoma and the connection to getting enough sleep.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an ocular disease that involves progressive damage to the optic nerve. When your optic nerve is damaged, you suffer vision loss (which can lead to blindness). Generally, glaucoma is accompanied by increased intraocular pressure. That’s why our Ft. Worth, Texas, eye doctor measures the pressure in your eyeball as a part of your comprehensive eye exam; it is an essential part of glaucoma screening. ‘

What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

If you have OSA, the muscles in your airway relax as you sleep, which prevents you from breathing normally. Some people with sleep apnea can stop breathing for as long as two minutes! The classic symptoms include snoring loudly, gasping for air as you sleep, dry mouth/sore throat, unexplained sleepiness during the day, and waking up with a headache.

What’s the connection between glaucoma and sleep?

Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to hypoxia, which is a reduction in the oxygen levels in your blood. Over time, these lower levels of oxygen may disrupt the normal blood flow to the optic nerve.

Also, as our Ft. Worth, Texas, eye doctor explains, obstructive sleep apnea also causes blood pressure to fluctuate, which can change the balance between blood pressure and intraocular pressure.

There’s a lot of research going on to explore this topic, and our Ft. Worth, Texas, stays current with the latest advances and news. At present, some studies are having patients wear specialized contact lenses while sleeping. These contacts have detected significant changes in intraocular pressure as the people dozed. As a result, an insufficient amount of oxygen reaches the eye, depriving it of the much-needed nourishment that healthy vision needs and leading to optic nerve damage.

How can you help reduce your risk of glaucoma if you have sleep apnea?

If you are diagnosed with OSA, your physician may recommend therapy with a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure). This device is worn while you sleep, and once the OSA is treated properly – the risk for glaucoma and other serious eye diseases goes down.

Why are eye exams so important for people with sleep apnea?

Based on recent studies, our Ft. Worth, Texas, eye doctor recommends that every patient with OSA visit for regular, comprehensive eye exams. These studies showed that glaucoma patients with obstructive sleep apnea were found to have higher eye pressure levels, more extensive damage to their field of vision, and more thinning of the nerve layer in the retina – when compared to people who do not suffer from OSA. And the earlier your eye doctor detects a change in your eye health and/or increase in your intraocular pressure, the earlier you can benefit from treatment to safeguard your vision.

Bottom line: if you have sleep apnea, be sure to tell your eye doctor and to visit Eyeworks regularly for eye exams!

At Eyeworks, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 817-346-7077 or book an appointment online to see one of our Ft. Worth eye doctors.

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