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Vision Rehabilitation

Refractive surgery, while popular and quite often beneficial, has its limitations. Reports of complications related to procedures such as LASIK (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis), LASEK (Laser Assisted Epithelial Keratomileusis), PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), AK (Astigmatic Keratotomy). and RK (Radial Keratotomy) range from mild annoyances to serious vision loss and are not uncommon. For those who do experience complications, vision rehabilitation can often help to improve their sight.

If you have experienced discomfort or vision loss after refractive surgery, a therapeutic vision rehabilitation process specialized to address the particular cause of your symptoms can greatly improve your visual abilities. Dr. Kyle Jones at the Georgia Eye Center, an experienced Atlanta eye doctor, can assess your unique visual needs and create a personalized plan to enhance your vision.

 

 Possible Complications Resulting From Refractive Surgery

Visual Anomalies

Refractive surgery patients may experience persistent visual irregularities for an extended period following the surgery. such as blurred vision, ghost images, halos and starbursts surrounding lights, and a notable decline in the ability to perceive details.

Ocular Infections

Studies have shown that eye infections are more common and more severe after refractive surgery. This is due to the creation of a permanent opening in the eye that can make it more vulnerable to bacteria and other potential sources of infection.

Failure to Produce Tears

Damage to the corneal nerves during refractive surgery poses a threat to tear ducts, resulting in the inability to form tears, causing further harm to the eye due to the lack of proper moisture and lubrication. This type of damage is indeed permanent.

Harm to the Cornea

Refractive surgery patients may experience a significant decrease in the number of keratocyte cells in their cornea. These cells play an important role in maintaining eye health. Without them, the cornea may become weakened or damaged over time.

Cataract Surgery Difficulties

For patients who have undergone refractive surgery and are now considering cataract surgery, it is important to know that the shape of the eye has been permanently altered and this can make the cataract surgery more challenging. In many cases, patients will experience a reduced visual acuity after cataract surgery.

Challenges Diagnosing Glaucoma

Changes in ocular pressure after refractive surgery can make it more difficult to diagnose glaucoma properly. Patients who undergo refractive surgery should be regularly monitored for signs of glaucoma. This will help prevent any vision loss that could have been caused by undiagnosed glaucoma.

Cornea Transplant or Keratoplasty

Corneal transplant surgery is a popular solution for vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. However, this type of surgery can potentially thin and weaken the cornea, which can increase the risks of future complications. This can occur even if the initial surgery is successful.

Displacement of the Corneal Flap

During refractive surgery, adjustments made to the corneal flap to enable reshaping of the underlying cornea which, in certain circumstances may result in a displaced corneal flap. Specialized contact lenses, such as scleral buffer lenses, can provide extra protection for the weakened cornea.

Post Refractive Surgery Vision Rehabilitation at The Georgia Eye Center

Customized Therapies

Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses have become a game-changer in the world of vision rehabilitation, especially for those who struggle with post-refractive surgery problems. These lenses are specially designed to fit onto the entire sclera, or white of the eye, encasing it in a dome-shaped structure that creates a fluid-filled gap between the lens and the cornea. This gap allows for optimal vision correction for a variety of eye conditions, including irregular astigmatism, keratoconus, and corneal ectasia. For those who have undergone refractive surgeries such as LASIK, scleral lenses provide a unique solution to correct vision problems that may have been exacerbated by the surgery. While they may require a bit more effort to insert and remove compared to traditional contact lenses, the vision improvement and comfort that scleral lenses offer make them a worthy choice for those seeking post-surgery vision rehabilitation.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common side effects of refractive surgery?

Common side effects of refractive eye surgery include temporary blurred vision or halos around lights, dry eyes, and inflammation. These symptoms should resolve on their own over time. However, if you experience any pain or discomfort that persists for more than a few days, you should contact your doctor for assistance.

What are the risks of refractive surgery?

Although refractive surgery is generally very safe, it’s important to understand the potential risks associated with any surgical procedure. Common risks include infection, scarring, and glare or halos around lights. Additionally, some patients may experience an over or under correction of their vision, which could require an additional procedure to correct.

What are scleral contact lenses?

Scleral contact lenses are thick, gas-permeable lenses that rest on the whites of the eye and act as a shield for sensitive corneas affected by post-refractive surgery. These lenses are custom fitted to the eyes of each patient for maximum comfort and best vision.

How can scleral contact lenses help with vision rehabilitation after refractive surgery?

Scleral contacts provide a number of benefits that aid in the recovery process from refractive surgery, such as providing corneal protection, greater stability, and improved visual acuity. They also help to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes, glare and halos that can be caused by refractive surgery.

How long does it take to adjust to wearing scleral contact lenses?

Most people will start feeling comfortable with their scleral contact lenses within a few days or weeks; however, every person’s experience is different. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and attend all follow up visits in order to make sure that you are adjusting well.

How often do I need to change my scleral contacts?

Your eye care professional will advise you on how often you should replace your lenses, however the general recommendation is to replace them every one to two years.

Are scleral contact lenses safe for people with dry eyes?

Yes, scleral contacts are a great option for those who suffer from dry eyes as they provide more coverage than standard contact lenses and create a protective layer over the eye to help prevent irritation and discomfort. It is important to speak to your eye care professional as they will be able to recommend the best type of lens for your particular needs.

What should I expect when I go in for a fitting for scleral contact lenses?

Your eye doctor will perform a thorough exam to determine if you are an ideal candidate for sclerals, as well as take measurements that will be used to customize the lenses to fit your eyes. After the fitting, your doctor will provide instructions on how to use and care for your lenses.

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