April is Sports Eye Safety Awareness month
LASIK is still the most common laser vision correction procedure performed in Calgary and around the world, but surface treatment with PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is becoming popular again along with a new surface treatment called Epi-LASIK.
One of the reasons some surgeons in Calgary and elsewhere favor surface treatments over LASIK is the risk of flap dislocation following LASIK.
For many sports activities specialized eye wear is recommended. Unfortunately for some higher risk sports such as basketball safety glasses may not be routinely recommended. Other sports such as mountain biking or hunting may pose a risk when traveling through wooded areas. Recreational activities such as paint ball are also a risk for eye injury. More information about eye injuries can be found at www.geteyesmart.org .
Following LASIK the corneal flap heals around the superficial edge. It can be lifted surgically or shifted following an eye injury even years later. Although only a few people per year require treatment for shifted LASIK flaps, it can lead to a loss of vision if not properly treated within a short time. Epi-LASIK and PRK do not require the creation of a corneal flap. Instead just the very outer layer of cells called the epithelium is removed and the treatment is applied to the corneal surface. The long term results of Epi-LASIK and PRK equal to LASIK. The healing following surface laser treatments takes longer in the first few days to weeks, but there is no flap that could be damaged or shifted due to sports related or other eye injuries.
Whether you choose to undergo laser vision correction or not, always wear safety glasses for any activities where they are ordinarily recommended. For hockey a visor is recommended. When working in the yard with mowers or weed trimmers safety glasses will guard against stones that may be launched by these machines. Table saws, grinders, and other shop equipment also pose a risk for eye injuries. The few extra seconds it takes to put on a pair of safetly glasses can save you from a lifetime of poor vision.
For more information about your laser vision correction options, contact us today to book a free consultation.