The eye is one of our most important sensory organs, requiring extreme precision and care. Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.s) are medical doctors who specialize in eye and vision care. Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine which deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye.

Here are some insights and tips on eye care.

There is a risk of going blind if anything goes wrong in a procedure. How does modern ophthalmology address the patient’s anxieties and make the experience more pleasant?

The speed of surgery has improved, reducing operation time significantly. Previously, a vision correction procedure would take about one minute but with the Allegretto Wave Excimer Laser by Wavelight, it has been reduced to only 13 seconds.

Cataract surgeries which required injections to numb the eye are now replaced with non-invasive eye drops for a more pleasant experience. The surgery time has also been reduced from 30 minutes to 10 minutes. Furthermore, new technologies have enabled doctors to detect complications and infections at an earlier stage, so rectification treatments can be offered sooner.

As medical science advances, more treatment options are available. What sort of ‘homework’ should one do, before going for a particular procedure?

The Internet offers a lot of information and is the best place to begin. However, it is equally important to consult a reliable professional on the options and have an eye doctor examine the eye to ascertain the actual condition. Factors to be considered for various types of procedures include safety, success rates, cost and lifestyle.

When we hear about a new ‘cutting-edge’ treatment, is it wise to go for it or wait to see if there are any long-term side effects?

When we say cutting edge treatment, it means that the treatment has been clinically proven to be an improved version of the existing technology. There is a difference between this compared to a completely new and unorthodox, non-FDA approved treatment. With clinically improved treatments, it is safe for patients. However, if the treatment is considered new and ‘never been tried’ or non-FDA approved, it is advisable for patients wait it out.

What are some of the “Do’s & Don’ts” of any eye patient that can help accelerate the rate of recovery and long-term eye health?

Patients should follow the instructions of a surgeon vigilantly. For example, in the case of Epi-LASIK surgeries, patients need to continue the application of their prescribed eye drops for a certain period. However, some patients may feel like they’re seeing well and think that “everything is ok” and become less vigilant in doing so. This can cause vision to deteriorate down the road due to scarring.

As for long term eye health, patients need to have their annual eye check-ups. Unfortunately, for the eye, there are certain conditions such as glaucoma that can lead to blindness and is incurable. Thus, it is important for patients to have these conditions detected early so that various measures or treatments can be put in place to prevent the eyes from deteriorating further.

Is it true that our eyes change with age and that we cannot avoid wearing glasses eventually?

It is true that as our eyes age, they will degenerate and lose their autofocus ability. This condition is called Presbyopia. Another common condition is when the natural lens in our eye gets cloudy (medically termed a cataract).

In the case of Presbyopia, where the eye loses its ability to focus on close objects, particularly fine print, a non-surgical option such as reading glasses can compensate for that. However, with the advancement of technology these days, patients can also choose to undergo surgical procedures such as lens implant or LASIK to correct the deteriorating vision.

Mount Alvernia Hospital offers Ophthalmology specialists for consultation of refractive surgery, presbyopia

treatment, cataract surgery, corneal transplants, glaucoma, presbyopia, LASIK and more.

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