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Laser surgery facts

MagazineOctober 1998 (Vol. 9 Issue 7)Laser surgery facts

It can correct near sightedness and astigmatism, not far sightedness

What can it do?

It can correct near sightedness and astigmatism, not far sightedness.

Who can have it?

Not advisable for anyone under 18 as his myopia is still developing. At least two years should have passed without a one half dioptre or greater change in your vision.

People with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and lupus should avoid laser surgery as it will involve the post surgical use of steroids and antibiotics.

A woman's hormonal status will affect eye tests and the outcome of surgery. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may experience temporary changes in vision. Those taking HRT tend to have a significantly poorer response to laser eye surgery (Aust NZ J Opthalmol, 1996; 24: 215-22).

People who form keloid scars will be prone to irreparable scarring.

How well does it work?

The results depend on the amount of correction needed. Individuals with mild to moderate myopia (no more than 6 dioptres) may see significant improvement. However, laser surgery cannot guarantee perfect vision.

Any other cautions?

Post operative steroids used to control healing may actually cause damage to the eyes. If used improperly or for too long they can lead to cataracts or glaucoma.

It is best not to have both eyes operated on at once. There is no way of telling how successful the operation will be and what your response to it will be.

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