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Q. What is myopia?
A. Myopia is nearsightedness. A myopic eye can see near objects clearly. Distant objects are seen clearly only with the help of glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. Light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina.
Q. What is hyperopia?
A. Hyperopia is farsightedness. A farsighted eye can see distant objects more clearly than near objects, however, neither of them is in crisp focus, especially after the age of forty. Farsightedness can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. Light entering the eye focuses behind the retina.
Q. What is astigmatism?
A. Astigmatism is a condition that occurs when the cornea has more than one curvature (like a football as opposed to a basketball). These multiple curvatures bend light differently and blurred vision is the result. Light entering the eye focuses on or in front of the retina, multiple focal points.
Q. What is presbyopia?
A. A presbyopic eye cannot see near objects clearly when distance vision is corrected with glasses or contact lenses. It usually occurs after the age of forty. Presbyopia can be corrected with bifocal glasses or reading glasses. It can also be corrected with refractive surgery.
Q. How do I know if am a candidate for refractive surgery?
A. Candidates for refractive surgery should be 18 years or older, have had stable vision, have healthy eyes and a refractive problem within the range of effective treatment. We will recommend the refractive surgical procedure that is most appropriate to reduce your nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
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Q. Is the surgery safe?
A. There are risks associated with all surgical procedures. Refractive surgery in the hands of the experienced surgeon is associated with minimal risk. Although this risk is small (about the same as the risk associated with extended-wear contact lenses), all patients should be well informed of the risks of surgery and follow their postoperative instructions carefully. That educational process is what the consultation is all about.
Q. What is the success rate of refractive surgery?
A. Patients who qualify by meeting the criteria set by the Vision Medical Associates have a better than 90% chance of becoming independent of corrective lenses for most (or all) of their activities. It depends on the amount of refractive error you have. The lower the amount, the higher the success rate - which may approach 98%.
Q. How many refractive surgeries has Dr. Salz performed?
A. Dr. Salz has performed thousands of procedures over the last 10 years. Dr. Salz is proud to be chosen by his colleagues for training the field of refractive surgery. He is one of the few hospitals in the United States to be chosen to conduct the clinical trials for FDA approvals of the VISX excimer laser. Therefore, he has been doing this longer than many doctors in the greater Los Angeles area.
Q. How many people have had refractive surgery performed?
A. Over two million Americans have had refractive surgery to improve their natural vision Millions more around the world have also had refractive surgery.
Q. Can I talk to a patient who has had refractive surgery performed?
A. We are happy to provide the names of other patients should you wish to talk to more people who have been through the refractive surgery experience.
Q. What age patients are candidates for refractive surgery?
A. The surgery is generally not recommended for anyone under 18 years of age. There is no upper age limit as long as you have "healthy" eyes.
Q. How soon after my consultation can my surgery be scheduled?
A. This varies, but generally we can accommodate patients within one to two weeks after their consultation.
Q. When can I go back to work?
A. Most patients are back to work between one to four days after surgery.
Q. Will I need reading glasses after surgery?
A. Most patients under 40 years of age read well without glasses following surgery. Nearly all patients, as they enter their early 40’s, require reading glasses or bifocals. This is also true for patients who have had refractive surgery (unless you choose the monovision option).
Q. What is monovision?
A. Monovision is a method of correcting your vision so that one eye is corrected for distance and the other for near vision in presbyopic patients (patients over 40 years of age). This can potentially can eliminate the need for reading glasses and distance glasses. You need to discuss this further with your doctor to find out if you are a good candidate.
Q. Does insurance cover refractive surgery?
A. Select insurance companies and some cafeteria plan programs will sometimes cover refractive surgery. You should check with your insurance carrier or employer prior to consultation.
Q. Can I make payments on my surgical fee?
A. Unless other financial arrangements have been made, we require payment in full or a written authorization of insurance coverage prior to surgery. Surgery charges may be paid with credit cards such as MasterCard or Visa. A convenient payment plan is also available for patients with good credit.
Q. What should I expect on the day of surgery?
A. Plan to be at the refractive center for about one hour. Your eye will be anesthetized with topical eye drops so the experience will be painless. You will then walk into the refractive surgery suite. While the actual surgery takes seconds, you will be in the surgery suite for about 15-20 minutes. Your eye will not be patched. You may wear a clear bandage contact lens for three days after surgery if you are having an excimer laser procedure. You can go home immediately following surgery. Please arrange to have someone drive you home after your surgery.
Q. What is LASIK? "Flap & Zap"
A. LASIK is a combination of automated lamellar keratoplasty (ALK) using a microkeratome (FDA approved) to create a “flap” and the excimer laser (FDA approved) to reshape the cornea (“zap”). •LASIK is the most commonly performed procedure world wide. Many surgeons perform LASIK. This procedure will be discussed at length during the doctor’s visit.