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How do I Choose the Best Astigmatism Laser Surgery?

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  • Written By: Stacy Ruble
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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Picking the best astigmatism laser surgery for a particular person requires knowing certain things about that person. The age of the patient, the extent of his astigmatism, any other health conditions, the thickness of his corneas, and his lifestyle and job duties all need to be factored in. Other considerations include the surgeon's certification, surgery costs, the type of equipment used, clinic professionalism and cleanliness, and the level of comfort the person feels with the clinic staff.

Astigmatism laser surgery is not performed on people under the age of 18, because their eyes are still changing too rapidly to get positive, long-term results from the surgery. Older patients need to realize that the most well known type, LASIK, may not be the best for them. Laser eye surgery also will not improve age-related loss of the ability to focus up close.

Certain jobs can be impacted by a person’s recovery time and ultimate result from astigmatism laser surgery. For instance, a pilot needs to maintain good depth perception. A person who does exacting detail work needs to have clear near vision. Many jobs require long hours on computers, so middle-range vision needs to be maintained.

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Health conditions, including the condition of the eyes, will play into whether a patient is eligible for astigmatism laser surgery. People with severe astigmatism may not see enough improvement from laser surgery to warrant undergoing it. Certain types of astigmatism laser surgery are more effective in reversing farsightedness, others nearsightedness. A patient with very thin corneas or a dry eye condition would not be a good candidate for certain types of refractive eye surgery. Patients need to make sure the surgeon has considered all of these factors.

Pregnant and nursing women should not have the surgery, because their hormones can affect the results. Having an autoimmune, immunodeficiency, or systemic condition often means a person should not have laser eye surgery, because the ability to heal is compromised. There also are medications that impact a person's reaction to and ability to heal from eye surgery. All information regarding health conditions and medications being taken needs to be shared with the surgeon so the best choice for astigmatism laser surgery can be made.

As with any surgery, there are specific attributes a person should look for in his prospective eye surgeon. A surgeon should be state- and/or board-certified, use U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved equipment, and have a wealth of experience. A patient should ask about the number of procedures the surgeon has done and the complication rate. While cost can be a factor, picking the cheapest or most expensive may not be an effective decision-making strategy. A person can ask instead for referrals from a regular eye doctor or ask about specific clinics being considered.

Level of comfort also is key. Before agreeing to a specific surgery, surgeon, or clinic, a patient needs to be comfortable with his decisions. He needs to feel comfortable with the staff, including the surgeon. He needs to make sure all of his questions have been answered completely and to his satisfaction. Follow-up and hidden charges can be issues, so potential clients of astigmatism laser surgery will want to discuss what exactly is included in the fee, and what follow-up services are provided.

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