Technology moves at an overwhelmingly high speed. Years before cell phones and Twitter, none of us dreamed we would be where we are now at a technological level. Medicine has evolved and advanced right alongside everything else. This includes optical medicine as well.
What Exactly is Optical Surgery?
Optical surgery, or more commonly eye surgery, “is surgery performed on the eye or its adnexa, typically by an ophthalmologist. The eye is a very fragile organ, and requires extreme care before, during, and after a surgical procedure to minimize or prevent further damage. An expert eye surgeon is responsible for selecting the appropriate surgical procedure for the patient, and for taking the necessary safety precautions.”
There are many types of optical surgeries, these include:
Laser Surgery: Laser eye surgery is typically done to treat non-refractive conditions. This surgery is done by reshaping the eye. It is used often for conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Cataract Surgery: Cataracts are described as a clouding of the eyes due to age, disease or trauma. This cloudiness prevents light from reaching the retina and in turns leads to loss of sight to some extent.
Glaucoma Surgery: Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases that result in vision loss because of the effects on the optical nerve.
Refractive surgery: Refractive surgery refers to surgeries utilized to correct refractive errors within the eyes. This of course also reduces and eliminates the need for glasses or other corrective eyewear.
Advances in Optical Technology
Years ago when you first heard of LASIK surgery, you were probably informed of the procedure and how it was accomplished. To begin, the eyes were numbed with anesthetic eye drops, and a tool called a mechanical microkeratome was used to cut a hinge-like flap into the cornea. Once the incision was made, the surgeon could then use a laser to reshape the eye.
Advances in optical surgery have made it so instead of using the mechanical microkeratome, surgeons can instead use an energy laser known as IntraLase to make the incision. This technology makes the incision more precise and offers people who have thin corneas the opportunity to undergo LASIK surgery.
Even more advanced is a machine called a wavefront-guided laser, this laser makes it so doctors can make measurements in smaller increments. This machine also allows surgeons to exactly see how light travels through a patient’s retina. Now, because of this, much like a fingerprint, the laser has a mapped, individual path to follow.
How to Prepare for Optical Surgery
Many people are nervous when it comes to optical surgery. Not only is fear an overwhelming factor because of previous eyesight issues but even further is the fear of complication. Let’s look at some of the things that can be done for someone preparing for laser eye surgery.
According to the FDA, “If you wear contact lenses, it is a good idea to stop wearing them before your baseline evaluation and switch to wearing your glasses full-time. Contact lenses change the shape of your cornea for up to several weeks after you have stopped using them depending on the type of contact lenses you wear.”
This means that you as a patient could suffer complications because of inaccurate measuring or even a poor surgical plan.
There are other additional things to help prepare a patient for optical surgery. These include:
Talking with your doctor: This includes telling your doctor of any previous eye conditions, current medications you are on, what you can expect the day of surgery and your responsibilities afterwards.
Stop using certain products: Products such as creams, drops, perfumes, and makeup should be ceased the day before surgery. These products can cause debris to enter the eyes and raise the likelihood of infection.
Arrange adequate transportation: Always be sure to have someone to take you home after an eye surgery, as you will not be able to drive.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that optical surgery has advanced quickly since it’s arrival. These advances have made optical surgeries not only easier for the surgeons but also easier on the patient. Making you more comfortable and the surgeons more precise.