Below is an email I recently received from a Lasik patient with “side effects.” The letter is representative of the kind of emails that I receive. Below that is my reply, which talks about the importance of a well-fit scleral lens in eliminating or minimizing these “side-effects.” Notice that the patient mentions seeing eye doctors who recommended another Lasik, which means another round of unnecessary risk, since the patient’s symptoms can be treated with a scleral lens.
EMAIL ASKING FOR HELP:
I underwent LASIK refractive surgery 5 years ago. Shortly afterwards my vision became increasingly worse, much worse
than it was before I had the LASIK surgery. In addition, both of my eyes are very dry and feel scratchy every time that I
blink. Because of this I have to use different eye drops every waking hour and often wake up during sleep to instill eye drops
and a variety of ointments. Also, I am experiencing vision disorders such as halos, starbursts, glare and double vision, especially
indoors and at night. My vision at night is so bad that I have not been able to drive at night for the last 5 years. I have visited a number
of eye doctors who suggested that I have an enhancement or a retreatment which means another LASIK surgery. I don’t want to do
this because I am just afraid that things will get worse. I have been treated with blood serum drops, IPL, Lipiflow eyelid gland treatments,
and Alphagan eye drops to make my pupils smaller. My condition is so bad that I cannot work on the computer or do prolonged close
works for more than 10 minutes. My family thinks that what I have been complaining about is all in my mind. I am very depressed about
this and feel that I have no options left. Can you help me?
Yes, I can help you. In my opinion, most eye doctors and patients don’t have a “handle” on this life altering LASIK induced complication as far as vision loss, eye pain and depression are concerned. All of the treatments that were given to you are temporary. Patient response from these therapies will vary from patient to patient as LASIK induced complications can affect every patient differently. Most of the patients who I have seen exhibiting symptoms such as yours have either very large pupils and/or a small or decentered treatment zone. LASIK induced dryness is the most common LASIK induced complication. The cause of this is due to the corneal nerves that have been severed during the LASIK surgery. There is no surgical fix for what you have been experiencing.
The most effective treatment to resolve all of most of your LASIK induced complications is a well designed and fit scleral lens. A scleral lens will eliminate or greatly minimize your dry eye issues. This is because the scleral lens does not rest on the cornea, Instead, this lens vaults over the cornea and rests on the white portion of the eye (the sclera). The space between the back surface of the scleral lens and the front surface of the surgically altered cornea is filled with sterile saline solution. In other words, the front surface of the eye is always in a moist environment.
For those patients who cannot sleep through the night due to ocular dryness, we can design the scleral lens with a very highly oxygen permeable material the will provide the cornea with adequate oxygen while the eyes are closed. In addition, the scleral lens is designed to provide the post LASIK patient with greatly improved vision while at the same time promote healing. The vision symptoms that you have been experiencing (glare, halos, doube vision and starbursts) are known as higher order aberrations (HOA’s). The scleral lens will eliminate all or almost all of these HOA’s.
Occasionally, a few of these vision disorders may remain. In cases like this we have the technology, to measure each of these HOA’s and quantify them and have this information embedded into what is known as a “wavefront” designed scleral lens.
We have treated thousands of post-LASIK patients who have suffered significant vision loss with scleral lens technology. All are doing well. If you have any questions or concerns about what I have written and suggested to you please don’t hesitate to contact me. There is definitely hope. Do not get discouraged and do not give up.