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New Year, New Eyes!

New Year, New Eyes!

Over 75% of American adults wear contacts, eyeglasses or both. Keeping up with and paying for each can become a financial stressor. The need to wear them can also be challenging during certain activities, such as swimming and many physical activities. Thankfully, an alternative option is available here in San Angelo: the iLasik procedure.

How Does It Work?

The iLasik procedure is a bladeless laser vision correction procedure. The iDesign Refractive Studio is used to measure the unique characteristics of each eye, providing completely customized visual correction treatments for each patient. iLasik can correct mild to severe nearsightedness and farsightedness, with or without astigmatism, or mixed astigmatism.

"iLasik is the No. 1 procedure in the country for laser vision correction," says Daniel Lui, MD, ophthalmologist at the Shannon Laser Eye Center. "By choosing this technology, you are making a long-term investment both for your eye and financial health. The average 25-year-old will spend roughly $15,000 on contact lenses and glasses, examinations, and supplies by the age of 50. Comparatively, the iLasik procedure costs about $4,000, a highly significant savings."

Based on clinical studies, wavefront guided lasik (iLasik) improves night vision with contrast sensitivity and fewer visual symptoms, such as glare and halos at night. Patients have the option to do both eyes, one eye or monovision. Monovision corrects one eye for near and one eye for distance and requires a trial period in contact lenses.

iLasik is a Three-step Procedure.

Step 1: A 3-D map of the eye is created with the iDesign Refractive Studio, using wavefront eye-mapping technology. It carefully maps every feature of the eye and is 25 times more precise than the typical measurements used for a standard corrective lens prescription.

Step 2: A femtosecond laser creates a thin flap to prepare the cornea for vision correction.

Step 3: The excimer laser gently reshapes the cornea to the desired curvature, based on the digital information from the customized eye map. The reshaping corrects vision imperfections better than the correction glasses can provide.

"Anesthetic drops are administered in the eye to numb it," Dr. Lui says. "Patients lie down in the procedure chair, where we position their head under the laser and place a retainer between each eyelid to gently hold them open during the treatment. The laser then treats the eye, usually for less than one minute. All steps, from beginning to end, are completed in approximately 15 minutes."

While the actual procedure is painless, patients may experience some irritation for the first five to six hours of the postoperative period. It is recommended for individuals to plan a procedure when they can afford to take a couple of days off to relax and let their eyes heal, as they may be light-sensitive for a while. A postoperative visit is required the day immediately after the procedure.

Who's Eligible?

iLasik is possible for patients with a glasses prescription of approximately -10 to +4, with or without an astigmatism. Those who are not candidates for iLasik may be eligible for photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) laser eye surgery, which is a similar procedure. PRK also uses laser treatment, but takes place on top of the eye, without the need of a flap. Patients are encouraged to consult with their doctor on which option is better for them.

Potential candidates can book a free consultation at the Shannon Laser Eye Center.

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call 325.747.2020.