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Is Lasik Surgery Right for You?

Sick of cumbersome glasses or contact lenses? Then Lasik could be your answer to attaining 20/20 vision

 

If you’ve been dealing with short-sightedness and detest the inconveniences that come with wearing spectacles or contact lenses, you have an option to regain perfect or close to 20/20 vision again. One of the most popular corrective eye surgeries with a 95 percent success rate, Lasik is minimally invasive, relatively quick, with a brief recovery period, and is permanent. Singapore, with its world-class eye surgeons, has become a premiere destination for the procedure.

 

What is Lasik?

Lasik surgery is a “bladeless” procedure that usually takes a total of 20 to 30 minutes for both eyes. After numbing the eye with drops, the doctor will correct your vision using a laser to reshape your corneal surface.

There are two laser treatment programmes: Standard or Wave-Front Guided. The choice of the software is dependent on your eye condition, occupation requirements, lifestyle needs, and financial considerations. The recovery time is quick, with most patients only experiencing some minor irritation and discomfort for a day or so. Eye drops will be prescribed for one to two weeks. Patients can take up normal activities, with the exception of water sports and contact sports, during the first month. Gym and yoga classes may be resumed in three days.

 

Are you a good candidate?

While you may be ready to get rid of your glasses for good, not everyone is suitable for Lasik surgery. According to Dr Eugene Tay, Consultant, Ophthalmology from The Lasik Surgery Clinic, a Singapore Medical Group (SMG) Clinic, a good candidate must:

  • Be at least 18 years old (to ensure your prescription is stabilised. There is no age limit as long as you are in good health and have no past or current eye conditions.
  • Not be pregnant, as pregnancy hormones can affect eye test results and surgery outcomes. Wait until you have ceased breastfeeding for two months before consulting a surgeon.
  • Have no family history of eye disease.
  • Have a stable prescription for at least one year.

Having met these conditions, the doctor will first assess your overall eye health, shape and corneal thickness to ensure surgery is a good option for you. You may want to assess your lifestyle to see if you’d make a good Lasik candidate. For example, if you regularly play contact sports where you could be more prone to eye injuries, you may not be a good candidate.

 

What are side effects?

If you are found to be a good candidate, rest assured that side effects “are usually temporary and improve with time,” says Dr Tay. He says they may include:

  • Dry eyes (treated with moisturising eye drops)
  • Night vision issues (you may encounter glare, halos, starbursts)
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Corneal infections (rare)
  • Possible Lasik flap-related complications such as folds, striae, epithelial ingrowth and the rare occurrence of corneal ectasia
  • In some cases, a second surgery may be required in order to achieve optimal results.

 

How much does it cost?

Lasik packages start at about $2,888, maintaining competitive prices with overseas clinics. Because it is considered an elective procedure, it is normally not covered by insurance (unless deemed to be medically necessary), and you should always check with your provider for more information.

If you are considering Lasik, it’s important to find a doctor with whom you are comfortable. During your consultation, be sure all your questions are answered, you understand the cost and potential complications, and the doctor’s qualifications and history. Taking this time before the procedure will ensure a smooth and successful surgery.

 

Looking for more information on minor cosmetic surgeries? Try here

By Kathleen Siddell, The Finder, August 2015

Photo: 123rf.com

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