Ocular Health & Lasik Surgery: A Surprise Success

LASIK surgeryResearch has shown that inflammation is one of the primary underlying causes for dry eye. Currently, there is only one FDA-approved pharmaceutical for treating the inflammation found in people with dry eye. However, many patients with moderate to severe symptoms often find that these treatments are just not enough.  Some experts have estimated that as many as 8 out of 10 LASIK patients deal with some dry eye symptoms in the weeks following their procedures.  But, that is not to say that LASIK surgery doesn’t have its benefits.

LASIK surgery is an experiential offering, especially amongst a burgeoning customer market.  Millennials (defined by the Pew Research Center as being between the ages of 18 to 34 in 2015) are projected to number 75.3 million, surpassing the projected 74.9 million Boomers (ages 51 to 69).  Laser vision correction is transformative.  This means a patient can enter your office one day with a visual acuity of 20/400 and return the following day 20/15. Millennials’ young age suggests an enduring lifespan to look forward to.  As specialists in refractive and implant vision correction, eye care specialists are taking advantage of this opportunity to help them see and, ultimately, experience life as it happens.

Additionally, millennials are not the only group that LASIK surgery has attracted in recent years.  In July 2015, the New York Times shared an article recounting the exceptional story of “Banner”, a five year old female Falcon that underwent a second round of laser eye surgery which helped her to fly again.  The falcon previously had cataracts.

Ocular Health

“Banner”, the five year old female Falcon stares at the camera lens which she is now able to see after three separate eye surgeries. Her handler, Nancy Cowan is in the background.
 
 
(Image Source: Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)
 

The doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Andre A. D’Hemecourt said he needed to get approval before actually operating on a nonhuman patient.

Nevertheless, recent integration of state-of-the-art medical technology can be credited for an increased demand in eye care services and ocular health experts among nontraditional patients.  In April 2015, The Huffington Post published a blog article about a woman who sought an ophthalmologist after losing her entire eyesight in one eye.  The woman describes her experience as a point in time that gave her “an appreciation for something else, something I had never given a moment’s thought, as so often happens with watershed moments in our lives.”

Stories like these remind us not to take our eyes for granted.  WebMD suggests following these simple six steps for maintaining good eye health:

1. Eat for Good Vision. Regularly eating these foods can lead to good eye health:

  • Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices

2. Quit Smoking. Smoking actually makes you more likely to get cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration.

3. Wear Sunglasses. Protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

4. Use Safety Eyewear. Especially if you work with hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home.

5. Look Away From the Computer Screen. Or, try to at least! Staring at the computer screen for too long can cause eyestrain, blurry vision, trouble focusing at a distance, dry eyes, headaches and neck/back/shoulder pain.

6. Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly. Everyone, even young children, should get their eyes examined regularly.  It helps protect your sight and see your best.

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