Friday, October 15, 2010

Finding the Right LASIK Center

With so many LASIK clinics around, how do you zero in on a good one? Each clinic’s website claims it to be the best, providing cutting edge technologies, etc. So how do you know which of them to go to? Here you should keep one thing in mind – what is best according to them might not always be what is best for you. So a good idea is to go through these sites, do some research on the Internet, make comparative studies (like doing comparative shopping when buying health insurance online) and then take a call on which one suits your requirements best. That has to be the criteria that determines which is the best.

Another way to find out is if you know people who have been to these clinics, or from friends. You can always take an opinion from experienced people. Their opinion can go a long way in taking you to the clinic of your choice. You can also take your optometrist’s advice and choose the one he thinks would be best for you.

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How much does LASIK Cost?

When you do a comparative analysis of the prices of different LASIK procedures, as also the price of LASIK procedures in different clinics, you will notice that LASIK prices vary from one procedure to another. Some of the factors that influence LASIK pricing are:

• State of the patient’s eyesight

• Location of the clinic

The primary reason for variation of the cost of LASIK procedures is the dependence of the procedure on the state of the patient’s vision. For a patient with reasonably good vision, the LASIK procedure cost would be much lower than that for a patient with bad vision. This is because in such a case, the amount of correction or corneal readjustment would be much more.

On the Internet, there are sites that dedicate time and space to providing comparisons between the pricing of different LASIK procedures. Offline, the Review of Ophthalmology states that in 2003 the average LASIK surgery cost was $1,700, but in the Midwest it was lower than that, probably lesser by a couple of hundred dollars. Ever since, prices have been steadily rising and today the average cost of a LASIK procedure is anywhere between $1800 and $2000. This kind of figure has been steadily increasing, as pointed out by different publications and surveys online.

LASIK eye surgery cost also depends on the pricing opted for by different centers. Some centers may make use of upgraded technology, and hence may charge more than other centers that still use conventional LASIK procedures. The cost of LASIK surgery may seem a bit steep, but if you are serious about correcting your eye problems, LASIK is a very viable procedure, more so because of the number of procedural options it provides you with.

LASIK Centers

There are quite a few LASIK centers across the length and breadth of the United States. Some of these are LASIK chains, and are very well-known, have more publicity that keeps them visible, and provide excellent facilities. Some of these LASIK chains are:

• LasikPlus

• The LASIK Vision Institute


• Laser Vision Centers

• LCA Vision

• Lasik Center

• Icon LASIK

• The LASIK Eye Institute

There are many more such national chains of LASIK clinics. To find them, you can again put out a search on the Internet. Most of these have their own websites and provide detailed information about their services, their skill sets, equipment used, fees, and any other information relevant to their business. Besides these chains, there are also individual LASIK doctors in various clinics with high levels of expertise in performing LASIKS procedures. A LASIK doctor is much sought after these days, and a good LASIK doctor can be easily found in any of these facilities.

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Where to Find LASIK Clinics?

Now you may ask the question – where do I find a LASIK clinic? More importantly, how do I determine which is a good LASIK center? The Internet makes your job that much easier. You can log onto the Internet and put out a search for whatever aspect of LASIK you want information on. For basic information about the availability of LASIK centers in different parts of America, just type the location you are looking at and the word LASIK after or before it. This becomes the keyword based on which you search for the information you require.

To look for a LASIK clinic in New York, you would type the following in the Search field of your Internet search engine:

• lasik new york

• lasik nyc

To look for information regarding LASIK in New Jersey, you would type:

• lasik nj

• lasik New Jersey

Some other examples for location-oriented searches for LASIK-related information are:

• lasik dallas

• lasik san diego

• lasik colorado

• lasik denver

• lasik virginia

• lasik niagara

• lasik washington

• bellevue lasik

• lasik milwaukee

• lasik houston

• lasi sacramento

• lasik seattle

• lasik michigan

• lasik austin

• lasik texas

• lasik tampa

• lasik phoenix

• lasik kansas city

• lasik atlanta

• lasik san francisco

• lasik los angeles

• lasik cincinnati

• lasik boston

• manhattan lasik

• lasik washington dc

• lasik md.

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Lasik Cost Not Too Expensive

Lasik surgery has been gaining in popularity over the past years and one of the reasons is that lasik costs have been declining making it more affordable for everyone. Lasik is also popular because it is easy, the recovery period is short and it is safe compared with other vision correction surgery.

Really when you think about all the benefits you receive from lasik surgery the total cost of lasik is quite low. Just think, after your lasik surgery you'll never have to pay for contact lenses, saline solution or glasses ever again.

Just remember that costs can and do vary widely for lasik surgery. The price is determined by many things such as the doctor performing the lasik, the problem being corrected, the facility where the lasik is performed and the lasik technology being used. You'll also find that the area of the country you live in will effect the lasik cost.

No doubt you've seen ads that promise just $500 per eye for laser vision correction surgery. Don't be fooled by these low low prices. Usually they don't include pre-operative and post operative appointments and may also not include testing that can make the surgery safer. A much more realistic lasik cost is between $1000 and $2000 per eye if you include everything.
With all the benefits of lasik it's a shame that the high cost still puts it out of reach for many people. Insurance usually will not cover the cost of lasik surgery since it is considered elective surgery and even if it is covered the insurance often will only pay a small amount of the total cost of lasik.

Lasik financing is another option used to pay for the surgery and this helps many people to afford their lasik procedure. If you can find a way to make lasik surgery a possibility for yourself you'll love the freedom you gain from your contact lenses and glasses. Many people think that this freedom justifies the cost of lasik eye surgery and makes it completely worthwhile.

Even with the high cost of lasik people are choosing to accept the price and have lasik done in increasing numbers. Lasik surgery centers have never been so busy and the competition fortunately is causing the price of lasik surgery to decrease. Adding to this is the number of baby boomers that are beginning to have vision problems due to their increasing age. This is a group that is huge in the U.S. and has the money to indulge themselves with lasik.

Many people find that the benefits of lasik surgery outweigh the cost of lasik and this trend should continue into the future as prices continue to decline. Actually, any lasik cost is very likely to be balanced by the savings you'll get once you no longer need to buy glasses, contacts and saline solutions. Lasik is a very good investment for the future.

How Safe is Lasik?

In the 1990s, in the rush to offer this miraculous new vision correction to the public, some ophthalmologists failed to screen potential patients well enough. LASIK is not safe for everybody. This was quickly realized, and screening became more careful and strict.

If a LASIK surgeon has said you are not a good candidate for LASIK, there could be various reasons for that – related to your eye health, general health, prescription stability, or expectations. But there are also various ways of doing LASIK that have been developed to correct vision for people who are not good candidates for traditional LASIK.

If you have corneas which are too thin or too steep in curvature for LASIK, you can consider Intralase, LASEK, or epi-LASIK, all of which have modified ways of creating the corneal flap. That flap is done to expose the next layer down in the cornea, the stroma, where your LASIK surgeon will direct the laser. Intralase, LASEK and epi-LASIK cut the flap more thinly so as not to weaken the cornea.

Complications vs Side Effects
Keep in mind that complications are different from side effects. A side effect is temporary and minor, although it may be annoying or uncomfortable at the time. LASIK side effects are such things as dry eyes, itching, or a scratchy feeling, which last only a few days, if you have them at all. If you tend to have dry eyes before LASIK is done, that is a disqualifying condition.

Complications are more major conditions which may require a second surgery, or more long-term treatment, and some can even give permanent trouble, but this is very rare.

Wavefront-Guided LASIK
In the early days of LASIK, before wavefront technology was developed, there was a higher rate of complications after LASIK. Wavefront technology is an extremely precise way of diagnosing the eye’s refractive error. It gathers detailed information from which it creates a 3-D map of each eye. Your LASIK doctor then bases your treatment on this information. Most LASIK surgeons now offer LASIK in this form.

Use of wavefront-guided technology gives a more precisely customized treatment for each eye – in fact each treatment is one-of-a-kind. Nobody ever has or ever will receive the same treatment that your right eye will receive. Not even your left eye. By being so exact, it prevents some of the vision distortions that used to be side effects or complications from traditional LASIK. They are things like:

• Poor night vision
• Double vision (also called ghosting)
• Halos
• Starbursts
• Glare around light sources

Potential LASIK Complications
No matter how sophisticated technology becomes, or how many LASIK techniques are developed to expand the pool of safe candidates, LASIK is still a surgery. All surgery brings a certain amount of risk. It is one of the requirements of good candidacy that you accept that fact, and are willing to take a very small risk to obtain a very large and amazing improvement in your vision.

LASIK complications are very rare, less than one percent.
• Infection beneath the corneal flap – usually prevented by antibiotic eyedrops, but sometimes a person doesn’t use them according to the LASIK surgeon’s directions
• Faulty flap healing – can often be corrected by subsequent surgery
• Corneal ectasia – can be an ongoing problem, treated as keratoconus
• Irregularities resulting from faulty flap creation – these can give you those vision distortions listed above

The best way to minimize any chance of LASIK complications is to choose a highly-trained and experienced LASIK surgeon. Choose one who screens patients very thoroughly, answers your questions clearly, has invested in a wavefront-guided LASIK system, and does not pass you off to an assistant.
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The Benefits of Lasik Eye Surgery

First of all, before you get the proper Lasik procedure done to you by a qualified physician, you need to make sure that Lasik surgery is a proper procedure for you.

If you do indeed have a qualified physician then this step in the process is null and void. He or she will be the one to tell you if you fall into the category of people whom Lasik eye surgery will help.

If problems with your eyesight are severe, then Lasik will not help you. The procedure is designed to help those who need minor corrective vision.

In the Lasik surgery operation, a thin flap is cut from the surface of the cornea but is left partially connected to the eye. The cornea is folded back to expose the layer of tissue beneath it. A precision laser is used to remove irregularities on the "stroma" level of the tissue, which improves the eye's vision. The cornea is then replaced and the healing process can begin.

Many people undergo Lasik surgery every year for several reasons. In Los Angeles Lasik surgery is particularly popular, presumably because of the amount of wealth in the area and the focus on aesthetics in the city of Angels.

The healing process after the procedure is typically one to three days, which is very fast. Lasik is not incredibly invasive, so there is not too much wounding that needs to heal. The cornea of your eyes, which is the part of your eye that is opened, is thin and gets lots of blood flow, so it heals very quickly. That's one great thing about the process.

After the procedure, if everything goes right, you will not have to wear glasses or contact lenses anymore. You typically should have better vision than you had before. It is never certain how improved your vision will be after Lasik eye surgery, but it should be improved.

Lasik is one of the more popular vision procedures these days. If you are interested in the procedure, there are many resources online that you can utilize to learn about what it entails.

You should also talk to as many physicians as possible to see if it is the right option for you. There can be complications with the operation, so it is best to find an excellent doctor who can perform the procedure and to be absolutely certain that you want Lasik surgery performed on you.

Again, the more research you do and the more people you talk to, the more informed you will be, and the more prepared you will be to make the right decision that works for you.

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The Truth About LASIK Risks

While LASIK outcomes overwhelmingly are favorable, remember that — as with any surgery — risks of complications still exist. Fewer than 1 percent of patients still experience serious and ongoing vision problems following LASIK, because no surgical procedure is ever risk-free. Even people who have excellent uncorrected visual acuity after LASIK based on eye chart testing still can have bothersome side effects. For example, it is rare but possible that you may see 20/20 or better after LASIK but still have symptoms such as double visions, unresolved dry eyes or difficulty seeing at night because of glare or halos around lights.

When you sign the LASIK consent form provided by your eye surgeon prior to surgery, you should do so with a full understanding that, even in the best of circumstances, a slight chance exists that something unintended could occur.

Thankfully, most cases of undesired outcomes after LASIK can be corrected with additional surgery (called an enhancement) or with medical treatment, such as in the case of dry eyes.

What is LASIK ?

The eye and vision errors

The cornea is a part of the eye that helps focus light to create an image on the retina. It works in much the same way that the lens of a camera focuses light to create an image on film. The bending and focusing of light is also known as refraction. Usually the shape of the cornea and the eye are not perfect and the image on the retina is out-of-focus (blurred) or distorted. These imperfections in the focusing power of the eye are called refractive errors. There are three primary types of refractive errors: myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Persons with myopia, or nearsightedness, have more difficulty seeing distant objects as clearly as near objects. Persons with hyperopia, or farsightedness, have more difficulty seeing near objects as clearly as distant objects. Astigmatism is a distortion of the image on the retina caused by irregularities in the cornea or lens of the eye. Combinations of myopia and astigmatism or hyperopia and astigmatism are common. Glasses or contact lenses are designed to compensate for the eye's imperfections. Surgical procedures aimed at improving the focusing power of the eye are called refractive surgery. In LASIK surgery, precise and controlled removal of corneal tissue by a special laser reshapes the cornea changing its focusing power.

Other types of refractive surgery

Radial Keratotomy or RK and Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK are other refractive surgeries used to reshape the cornea. In RK, a very sharp knife is used to cut slits in the cornea changing its shape. PRK was the first surgical procedure developed to reshape the cornea, by sculpting, using a laser. Later, LASIK was developed. The same type of laser is used for LASIK and PRK. Often the exact same laser is used for the two types of surgery. The major difference between the two surgeries is the way that the stroma, the middle layer of the cornea, is exposed before it is vaporized with the laser. In PRK, the top layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is scraped away to expose the stromal layer underneath. In LASIK, a flap is cut in the stromal layer and the flap is folded back.

Another type of refractive surgery is thermokeratoplasty in which heat is used to reshape the cornea. The source of the heat can be a laser, but it is a different kind of laser than is used for LASIK and PRK. Other refractive devices include corneal ring segments that are inserted into the stroma and special contact lenses that temporarily reshape the cornea (orthokeratology).