Happy Birthday PRK!

By | Laser Eye Surgery, Laser vision correction, LASIK, PRK, Refractive Surgery, Uncategorized | No Comments

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is the original laser vision correction surgery that was first performed in the US in the 1980’s and on June 12, 1990 at the Gimbel Eye Centre in Calgary Alberta Canada.  In the 25 years that followed PRK first gained in popularity over radial keratotomy (RK) in which incisions were made in the cornea to flatten the surface of the eye for treatment of nearsightedness.  PRK has the advantage of precision laser modification of the corneal curvature using the excimer laser.  The excimer laser was originally intended for industry and manufacturing but when a curious researchedr took some leftover Thanksgiving turkey back to to lab laser vision correction was born.

PRK quickly replaced RK as a more stable and precise way to eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.  As the search for improvements continued into the 1990’s the older technology of cutting a corneal flap was combined with the excimer laser reshaping in a treatment that was first called “FLAP & ZAP” and later laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK).  LASIK quickly overtook PRK as the most popular laser vision correction method into the early years of this century due to the faster healing the flap allows.  Throughout this time PRK remained a trusted method and was considered safer than LASIK for thinner corneas and for athletes and people with occupations that might risk eye injury due to the risk of a LASIK flap shirt.

As the early 2000’s progressed a new and difficult to treat complication became recognized – corneal ectasia. Ectasia after LASIK is uncommon but can result in an unstable corneal surface that is analgous to a weak spot in a tire, which makes the surface of the eye bulge out and become irregular over time.  There has been a lot of debate about ectasia after LASIK, but many eye surgeons believe that PRK may be a lower risk for this specific problem due to the fact that the cornea is not disrupted as deeply as compared to LASIK.  The LASIK flap does not leave the eye but once it is cut it may no longer contribute as strongly to the corneal structure.  This weakening in addition to a number of other risk factors appears to play a role in post LASIK ectasia.  All the while PRK has continued to be offered as an option for laser vision correction in particular for people who might not qualify for LASIK.

In the past few years many surgeons around the world have moved “back to the surface” and choose not to cut corneal flaps in order to affect the smallest amount of corneal tissue needed to improve uncorrected vision.  Advances over the last quarter of a century since PRK was first done include significant advances in excimer laser technology including iris recognition, cyclotorsion adjustments, and the ability to do individually customized treatments using wavefront technology.  In addition, improved bandage contact lenses and medications have been developed to reduce post-operative discomfort and risk for haze following PRK.

PRK turns 25 this year in Canada and is still going strong!

If you have questions about laser vision correction or wish to book a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Anderson Penno, contact Western Laser Eye Associates.

Vision & Vitamins: Ginkgo Biloba, Glaucoma, and Macular Degeneration

By | Epi-lasik, Epilasik, Eye health, FDA, Food for thought, Ginkgo Biloba, glaucoma, Health Canada, Laser Eye Surgery, Laser vision correction, macular degeneration, Mayo Clinic, Ophthalmologist, Ophthalmology, Opthamologist, Optometry, Pubmed, Refractive Surgery, science, Uncategorized, Vision & Vitamins | No Comments

Vitamins and natural herbs have become more and more popular for alternative treatment as additional treatments for medical conditions.  Ginkgo Biloba has been used for centuries as a traditional treatment which may help blood flow to the brain and aid in treatment of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  It might help treat leg pain that results from blood vessel disease, and there is some suggestion that ginkgo biloba might also help PMS symptoms, depression, multiple sclerosis, and ADHD.  Ginkgo Biloba is extracted from the leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree.  As far as vision and eye health are concerned, it is possible that Gingko Biloba might be helpful to eye health but as with many natural products the scientific studies show some favorable and some unfavorable results.

There are some scientific studies that have been reported in the peer reviewed literature which is a data base of articles that have been reviewed by scientists with expertise in the particular field of study before the article is allowed to be published.  Peer review helps to make sure that studies are done in a way that will provide strong statistical evidence for or against a specific area of study.  The most powerful studies are randomized and double-blinded which means the researcher and the subject who is taking the supplement do not know if it is the actual supplement or a placebo being taken.  The “placebo” effect has been well studied and up to 30% of people taking a fake pill who are told it will have beneficial effects will report that it helps whether or not there is any measurable effects.  By double-blinding and using large and randomized numbers of subjects the results will show with more confidence that a particular supplement is helpful or not for a specific condition.  Because there are a lot of different conditions that are being studied, so far there are only a few published peer reviewed scientific studies that have been done to find out if Ginkgo Biloba is good for your eyes.

According to the Mayo Clinic there is some scientific evidence suggesting that Ginkgo Biloba may be helpful in preventing worsening in age related macular degeneration which can lead to central vision loss, but there is little evidence to suggest it might be helpful for treatment of glaucoma.  In the peer reviewed literature there are a few studies including this 2012 study by Cybulska-Heinrich, Mozafferieh and Flammer that suggests supplementation with Ginkgo Biloba might be helpful in addition to traditional medical treatment in cases that are not responding as well as needed to these traditional treatments.  They suggest that antioxidant effects along with a variety of other effects on blood flow might be responsible for the beneficial effects of supplementation with Ginkgo Biloba.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology reported there was a single small randomized trial that showed promise for using Gingko Biloba to slow macular degeneration.

A commonly reported dose of Ginkgo Biloba is a standardized extract, standardized to 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones starting at 40 milligrams of that extract three times daily, but there does not seem to be enough evidence in the scientific studies to prove the most effective doses for a specific condition.  Risks and side effects of Ginkgo Biloba supplements include headaches and dizziness, bleeding, and other side effects.  If you are on a blood thinner or aspirin, or are on other medications you should talk to your pharmacist and/or doctor to make sure that there won’t be dangerous interactions.  There is also some question about the quality of the products in some cases and as with all supplements it is important to be sure you are getting a high quality product.  In Canada a DIN or NPH number can be found on products that have been reviewed by Health Canada.  In the US the FDA does not require approval of supplements before the product is marketed but does collect information on adverse events.  The other thing to consider is the cost of a product like Ginkgo Biloba versus the proof that it will be helpful for your health.

Whether you already had LASIK, Intralasik, EpiLasik, PRK, wear glasses or contacts, reading glasses or no glasses at all you should be sure to get regular checks with your eye care specialist (optometrist or ophthalmologist) in order to optimize your vision for the rest of your life.  If you have questions about laser vision correction or wish to book a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Anderson Penno, contact Western Laser Eye Associates.

 

 

Bionic Lens: can everyone have perfect vision?

By | Food for thought, Keratectomy, Laser Eye Surgery, Laser vision correction, LASIK, Optometry, Photorefractive, PRK, Refractive Surgery, Surgeon | No Comments

There has been a lot of talk recently about the “Bionic Lens” which has been invented by an optometrist from British Columbia.  CBC news recently ran a story about the new lens implant.  According to this news story, “Pending clinical trials on animals and then blind human eyes, the Bionic Lens could be available in Canada and elsewhere in about two years, depending on regulatory processes in various countries.”  If there are problems in the back of the eye involving the retina, such as macular degeneration, this lens would not be able to correct the poor vision.  So vision improvement using this lens would be helpful to people who can correct their vision with glasses or contact lenses.  At this time vision correction surgeries are able to allow people to see as well without glasses or contact lenses as they do with their eyewear – for most people they would not be expected to see better than their best corrected vision.

The photographs of the lens looks similar to some of the designs currently available for intraocular lens implants used most frequently in cataract surgery.  It is not clear from the news reports what makes this lens design so revolutionary.  There do not appear to be reports yet in the peer reviewed literature which would fit with the reports that animal and blind human eye trials have not been done yet.  These steps are needed to prove that the lens is safe before proceeding to sighted human eye studies.  In people younger than 45 years old, lens replacement surgery is not usually recommended due to the fact that reading glasses may be required unless a multifocal lens is used or unless one eye is left near-sighted for reading (monovision).

The most common treatment for reducing dependence on glasses in this age range is laser vision correction.  The original photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) techniques were developed in the 1980’s and have been refined over the following decades.  This is still a reliable way to improve uncorrected vision in people who meet the safety criteria including thick enough corneas, prescriptions that are within the range of correction, healthy eyes, and no health problems that might cause problems in healing or risk of infection (such as immunosuppression).  For people younger than 45 but with high corrections outside the range of laser vision correction the implantable contact lens is usually the next option.

Will the Ocumetrics Bionic Lens replace laser vision correction and standard lens implants used for cataract surgery?  The reports are optimistic according to the news stories, but the proof will be coming in the next few years as preliminary studies and then sighted human eye studies are done.  There is a lot of excitement about this new lens implant and if it lives up to expectations it is possible that it may become a common option for vision correction in the future.  For now though, laser vision correction is the first option to consider as a way to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses.

If you have questions about laser vision correction or wish to book a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Anderson Penno, contact Western Laser Eye Associates.

Vision & Vitamins: eat your carrots!

By | Eye health, Food for thought, Laser Eye Surgery, Laser vision correction, Ophthalmologist, Refractive Surgery, Uncategorized, Vision & Vitamins | No Comments

Is the old wives’ tales about eating carrots fact or fiction?  Carrots are high in beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A.   Carrots also provide vitamin C, iron, calcium and fiber.  Carrots and other foods rich in vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA benefit eye health and general health, as hown by the the Age-Related Eye Diseases Study (AREDS), funded by the National Eye Institute. These nutrients are linked to lower risk for age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

The myth that eating carrots can improve your vision seems to have been made popular during World War II when a propaganda campaign was run to convince the Germans that Royal Air Force pilots had superior night vision due to eating carrots.  This campaign was started to cover up the fact that the pilots were using a secret new radar technology that allowed them to strike under cover of darkness.  According to the Smithsonian Magazine and the World Carrot Museum (a virtual museum about all things carrot) RAF fighter pilots told newspaper reporters that carrots improved their night vision and it was picked up in the popular press of the time.

In reality carrots and other deeply colored fruits and vegetables do contain vitamins that are important for healthy eyes, but in most developed countries vitamin A deficiency is rare so eating carrots is not likely to result in a noticeable improvement in vision.  It is possible that in ancient societies there may have been improvements in vision from eating carrots in areas where vitamin A deficiency may have been common due to seasonal changes in diet.

Eating too many carrots will turn your skin orange but is not likely to harm you.  According to the USDA 1 cup of chopped carrots contains 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 88mg sodium, 12gm carbohydrate (4gm dietary fiber, 6 gm sugar), 1 gm protein, 428% daily recommended Vitamin A, 13% daily recommended Vitamin C, 4% daily recommended calcium, and 2% daily recommended iron.  There are some reports that pesticides can build up in the skin so peeling carrots may be a healthier option.

In general it is good advice to –  eat a little bit of everything and not too much of any one thing.  As it turns out the stories about carrots are both fact and fiction!

 

If you have questions about laser vision correction or wish to book a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Anderson Penno, contact Western Laser Eye Associates.

 

Vision & Vitamins: What is really in your vision supplement?

By | Laser vision correction, Ophthalmologist, PRK, Refractive Surgery, Vision & Vitamins | No Comments

Do you know what is in that herbal pill or vitamin you are swallowing or if it will really help?  The American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO) recently published a study that compared ingredients in top selling brands of supplements marketed for macular degeneration.  The Age-Related Eye Disease Study did show evidence that a formula called the AREDS and now the AREDS2 did lower the risk of vision loss from macular degeneration for some people.  The 11 top selling brands of ocular nutritional supplements in the United States were studied were reviewed for ingredients and manufacturers claims.  All of these vitamins contained some of the ingredients from the AREDS or AREDS2 formulas, but none of them contained all the ingredients.  According to the study all of the ocular supplement marketing included claims that the products support, protect, help, or promote vision and eye health even though there is no proven benefit in using supplements for primary prevention of eye diseases (the Age-Related Eye Disease Study was done in patients with macular degeneration and the formulas studied were intended to prevent further vision loss rather than prevent macular degeneration from starting).

Health Canada has a license program that provides consumers with some assurance that vitamins and supplements are manufactured correctly and contain the ingredients that are listed on the product.  These Licensed Natural Health Products will have an eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label. Products with a NPN or DIN-HM marking on their label have been reviewed by Health Canada and found to be safe, effective and of high quality according to their recommended conditions of use.

Should you take vitamins or supplements to prevent eye diseases?  There are some scientific studies that show some vitamins and supplements might be helpful and other studies that show that these products do not help prevent eye diseases – and in some cases scientific studies have linked supplements like beta-carotene to an increased risk of cancer.  There are also numerous reports in the scientific journals of harmful contaminants in unregulated supplements from arsenic to steroids. The bottom line is that vitamins and supplements may not prevent eye disease so you may be wasting your money and products without an NPN or DIN-HM in Canada have not been assessed by Health Canada.  If you take other medications be sure to talk to your pharmacists to be sure that supplements will not interfere or create dangerous interactions.  So if you choose to take nutritional supplements do your homework to be sure you aren’t putting yourself at risk by taking certain products.

There are other ways to prevent eye disease and vision loss that don’t involve buying ocular nutritional supplements.  Keep in mind that anything that is good for your heart is good for your eyes.

1. Don’t Smoke

2. Exercise

3. See your family doctor for regular check ups including blood sugar and blood pressure checks.

4. Eat your carrots – and other deeply colored fruits like blueberries and citrus and veggies like leafy greens, as well as nuts like almonds, eggs, and fish

5. Get your eyes checked regularly and follow up as recommended by your ophthalmologist or optometrist

 

If you have questions about laser vision correction or wish to book a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Anderson Penno, contact Western Laser Eye Associates.

 

Should you have laser eye surgery (PRK or LASIK)? Answer these three questions.

By | Laser vision correction, LASIK, Ophthalmologist, PRK, Refractive Surgery, Uncategorized | No Comments

1. Do the benefits outweigh the risks (low but not zero)?

The vast majority of people who have laser vision correction (PRK or LASIK) are satisfied with the outcome, and in a large FDA study of LASIK (PROWL 1&2) <1% of people experienced “a lot of” difficulties following surgery.  The most common side effects at 3 months in that study were dry eye and some increase in halo at night; these side effects may improve in some people beyond 3 months.  If this sounds like a reasonable risk versus benefit then read on; if you need a 100% guarantee of the outcome of PRK or LASIK then laser eye surgery may not be a good choice for you.  If you would like to have laser vision correction and are looking for the lowest risk then PRK may be your best choice.  This no-flap treatment avoids cutting into the cornea to create a LASIK flap.  Eliminating the need for a LASIK flap will avoid any complications that could happen when cutting the flap and also will eliminate the risk of a LASIK flap shift in the future if you suffer an eye injury even months or years after surgery.  For some people with high risk occupations PRK is a better choice.  Surface PRK also does not disturb the cornea as deeply and may be a better alternative in thinner corneas.  Surface PRK does involve a longer recovery (7-10 days) before returning to usual activities, but provides equally good results without the need to cut a corneal flap.

2. Do you have the right expectations?

The goal of laser vision correction is for you to function as well without glasses or contact lenses as you do now with your corrective lenses.  PRK or LASIK will not be expected to make your vision better than it is with your glasses or contacts.  If you already need reading glasses over contact lenses or a bifocal in your glasses, then laser eye surgery can correct for distance but you will still need reading glasses.  For people that have PRK or LASIK at a younger age, they will need reading glasses in their mid-forties as the focusing declines naturally with age.  This is called presbyopia and there is no treatment available for this natural age change that has been shown to be effective at this time.  In most people their night vision will be similar to what it was with glasses or contact lenses before surgery, but it does take longer (up to 6 months or longer for some people) to improve than vision during the day or in bright light.  For most people if they have dry eye with glasses and contact lenses this means their eyes will be dry after surgery.  Dry eye can also be worse for the first three to six months and generally returns to baseline – PRK and LASIK do not cure dry eye (some people think that if they can get rid of the contact lenses then the dry eye will be solved, but this is usually not the case).  There are a number of treatments for dry eye, so if this is a problem then working with your eye care provider to improve your comfort is recommended before considering PRK or LASIK.

3. How do you find out if you qualify for laser eye surgery?

There are some eye conditions and also systemic conditions that may disqualify you from PRK or LASIK.  An assessment with specialized corneal mapping and other testing is the next step if you answered yes to the first two questions.  During the assessment a medical history is also taken.  If your testing shows that you are a good candidate then there will be an opportunity to discuss any questions and to learn more about laser eye surgery.  At Western Laser Eye Associates Dr. Anderson Penno will examine your eyes at the assessment and answer any questions that you may have about laser eye surgery.  Once you have all the information you can make the choice that is right for you.

If you have questions about laser vision correction or wish to book a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Anderson Penno, contact Western Laser Eye Associates.

 

What is up with that White&Gold (or is it Blue&Black) Dress?

By | Fashion, Food for thought, Ophthalmologist, Uncategorized | No Comments

Most people who spend even a little time on the internet will have seen this photograph of the striped dress that has created a firestorm of debate about the true colors.  This explanation from an article on the New York Times site is probably the most concise, however it is not completely understood even by eye specialists why there is such a difference in perceptions between different people viewing the same picture.  Interestingly there is still a difference when the picture is printed which means that the viewing angle when looking at an electronic display versus paper does not completely explain the effect.  Although not a scientific study, in a small sample size of ophthalmologists and engineers, the ophthalmologists all saw the dress as White and Gold and the engineers all saw Blue and Black.

There have been reports that the split is from 70% white and gold to 50/50 in on each side.  It is possible that there may be genetic tendency to view the dress as one color or the other due to either retinal differences (the retina lines the back of the eye like film in a camera and the center of the retina is responsible for color vision) or due to differences in the brain or both.  Another interesting fact is that for some people the dress changes from white and gold to blue and black which indicates some adaptation in the brain’s interpretation of the images that are formed on the retina.  How Your Eyes Trick Your Mind shows a number of different optical illusions and explains some of the science behind them.  In some cases MRI images will show the involvement of specific parts of the brain when people are viewing an optical illusion.  The White/Gold/Blue/Black dress is a bit different than classic optical illusions in that it involves color.

In many ways we ultimately do see with our brains.  For example it is well established that people can adapt to glasses that turn everything upside down.  This is called perceptual adaptation. Another well known phenomenon is inattention blindness. This is an effect where when attention is focused on a specific detail a person will not see things that may be right in front of them.  There is likely to be continued debate about why this particular photograph of what should be referred to simply as the “striped dress” for now creates such a large difference between viewers.  For now it is nice to know that these perceptual differences are a normal part of the visual system (and whether you see it Blue&Black or White&Gold you are not right or wrong – just different).

If you have questions about laser vision correction or wish to book a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Anderson Penno, contact Western Laser Eye Associates.

 

Is PRK / Advanced Surface Ablation better than LASIK?

By | Customvue, Laser vision correction, LASIK, PRK, Refractive Surgery, Surgeon, VISX | No Comments

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) was the first laser vision correction used to eliminate glasses and contact lenses. The first PRK was done in North America in the 1980’s and PRK has remained an excellent way to eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

PRK involves removing just the surface layer of cells on the surface of the cornea (the clear winshield-like structure on the front of the eye) and then reshaping the surface using the excimer laser.  A contact lens is placed on the surface for three to five days as the surface cells grow back to cover the cornea.  Most people are back to usual activities in 7 to 10 days.

LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) was developed in the 1990’s as a way to speed up the recovery from laser vision correction.  Also called “Flap &  Zap”, LASIK involves cutting a flap from the cornea, folding it back out of the way to reshape the surface underneath with the excimer laser, and then replacing the flap to it’s original position.  This allows people to be back to usual activities within a day or two but does carry higher risks;  the LASIK flap is more complicated to create, the flap can be shifted even months or weeks later, and the cornea is weakened more from the LASIK flap.

For over twenty-five years surgeons have preferred to use PRK for people with thin corneas or other factors that may make LASIK too risky.  With the newer excimer lasers a customized wavefront laser pattern can be used.  This custom wavefront treatment uses a map of the patients vision system to create an individualized laser treatment pattern – much like a fingerprint that is customized to each individual eye.  Some surgeons believe that a customized treatment is more effective with PRK because the LASIK flap will cover up the finely customized wavefront treatment.

Many surgeons around the world are choosing PRK as their preferred way to do laser vision correction due to the excellent results and safety.  Although the risks are low with LASIK, they are lower with PRK and most complications of PRK are easier to treat than a complicated LASIK flap.

For people who are looking for safe and effective laser vision correction the combination of PRK/Advanced Surface Ablation with customized wavefront laser treatment is an excellent choice.

If you have questions about laser vision correction or wish to book a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Anderson Penno, contact Western Laser Eye Associates.

Ebola, Influenza: what is your risk?

By | LASIK | No Comments

Ebola is one of the least likely diseases that you might catch in North America, but it has raised awareness of the risks of infectious diseases.

The top 10 causes of death in high income countries like Canada and the US according the the World Health Organization WHO:

1. Coronary Heart Disease

2. Stroke

3. Lung and Other Respiratory Cancers

4. Lower Respiratory Infections

5. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

6. Colon and Rectal Cancer

7. Alzheimer and Other Dementia

8. Diabetes

9.  Breast Cancer

10. Stomach Cancer

HIV/AIDS, perinatal (deaths in childbirth), accidents, and malaria make the top ten in lower income countries.

According to the Huffington Post there are 5 more scarier infections to worry about.  Rabies kills about 55,000 people in Africa every year and is one of the deadliest viruses.  Hiv/AIDS has killed over 36 million people and can be treated but not cured.  More than 600,000 people are killed worldwide by mosquito spread disease like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile – every year.  Rotavirus is a particular problem for children under the age of 5 in developing countries.

In the top 5 viral diseases scarier than Ebola is Influenza which kills between 3,000 and 49,000 in the US each year.  Worldwide between 250,000 and 500,000 people die each year from influenza.

Ebola has been around for decades but has more recently become epidemic in some areas of Western Africa.  There have been approximately 4,000 deaths so far from Ebola according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ CDC.

You are more likely to become ill or die from the far more common influenza virus, but with any infectious disease there are common sense steps you can take to protect yourself:

1. Get vaccinated if a vaccine is available.  Influenza vaccines are available with the latest strains every year and there may be an Ebola vaccine available in the future.

2. Wash your hands & take other universal precautions

3. Stay home if you are sick and in particular if you have a fever.

4. Be aware of recommended precautions when you travel.

5. Don’t forget about common sense heart health including not smoking, exercise and watching your weight, and having proper screening for common diseases like colon cancer and breast cancer that are more likely to be treatable if found early.

Ebola is scary because it is new, but in developed countries sensible precautions are likely to prevent the devastating outbreaks that have been seen in African countries.  Everyone can do their part to slow down the transmission of all infections by common sense measures like hand washing, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when you are sick or feverish.

Ebola is one of the least likely diseases that you may catch in North American but it is a good reminder to take common sense steps to avoid both the rare Ebola and the more common Influenza.

Blepharitis & PRK/LASIK

By | Laser Eye Surgery, Laser vision correction, LASIK, PRK, Refractive Surgery | One Comment

If you are thinking about having PRK or LASIK laser refractive surgery you should be familiar with the common conditions that can cause problems after surgery.  Most people who have PRK or LASIK are very satisfied.  For the small percentage of people who have problems following laser vision correction, dry eye is one of the most common complaint.

Dry eye can be a complicated problem, called “ocular surface disease” by eye care professionals.  Dry eye is not as simple as not enough tears.  A normal tear film is like oil and vinegar salad dressing – the oil, mucous, and water components need to be in the proper proportions and also mixed properly to form an emulsion.  An emulsion is what happens when you shake your oil and vinegar salad dressing.

Blepharitis is a condition that causes plugging of the oil glands that have openings just inside the upper and lower eye lashes.  Blepharitis can also cause redness and inflammation along the eye lashes and mattering of the lashes.  Without the proper oils the tear film does not wet the eye surface as well.  The mattering of the lids can also lead to a poor quality tear film which causes dry eye symptoms.

Blepharitis treatment is like treating dry skin or any other chronic condition.  Treatment of blepharitis means a change in habits – the treatments need to be done as part of your daily routine on an ongoing basis.  Daily warm compress with mild pressure on closed lids with a warm wet cloth for 3 to 5 minutes twice per day is the most important treatment.  The warmth will encourage the oils to flow, the mild pressure can soften and lift off matter, and the moist cloth will help lift off debris.  Other treatment are gently washing the lids with dilute baby shampoo 1:10 or with a lid care pad available at pharmacies.

The link between blepharitis and PRK or LASIK is that after surgery, without glasses or contact lenses, the eye is more exposed to wind and evaporation.  If you wear glasses you know that there moist air trapped between your eye and your glasses because when you go out in the cold the glasses fog up.  Even contact lenses can provide a barrier from evaporation.  Once the surface is exposed on a daily basis, people with blepharitis might find their eyes feel more dry than before PRK or LASIK.

Before you have laser vision correction your eye care provider will assess pre-existing conditions like blepharitis and give you advice about treatment of these conditions.

If you have questions about laser vision correction or wish to book a complimentary evaluation, contact Western Laser Eye Associates.