For many of the thousands of people who apply to be candidates on Style By Jury, the number one item on their makeover wish list is laser eye surgery.
The promise of getting rid of their glasses is incredibly appealing. Imagine being able to see at the swimming pool, not fishing for glasses when the morning alarm goes off, not getting foggy lenses when you come in from the cold, and not clanking your glasses every time you kiss someone.
But there’s also some hesitation, because many people are unwilling to take even a small risk with their eyes. So how do you know if laser eye surgery is right for you?
The surgeons of the Bochner Eye Institute (www.Bochner.com) have performed more than 60,000 procedures, have been in operation for more than 75 years, and wrote the first textbook on laser vision correction.
Dr. Raymond Stein, medical director of the institute, says, “In order for light to focus clearly on the retina, the outer window of the eye and the cornea must be of the proper curvature. When the curvature is off, vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can develop.”
He laid out for us how laser eye surgery corrects these problems.
First the eye is numbed with “eye drop” anesthesia, and the surgeon creates a protective flap that is folded back. Then light from the Excimer Laser reshapes the inner tissue of the cornea within 0.25 microns of accuracy. Often, only 50 microns of tissue (about the thickness of a human hair) are removed to achieve the proper amount of correction. The corneal flap is then folded back into place and the eye is allowed to heal naturally without the need for stitches.
Dr. Stein says that after the operation, some patients may notice mild irritation, light sensitivity, or watery eyes for a day or two. But the procedure is quick, almost painless and most patients enjoy dramatically improved vision within a few hours.
The ideal patient for the procedure is normally 18 or older, with healthy eyes and a stable prescription. They also have to be checked for corneal thickness, pupil diameter and internal aberrations.
While the candidates on Style By Jury get their laser eye surgery at no charge, the rest of us have to pay out of our own pockets. The procedure, including pre-operative consultation, specialized testing, surgeon’s fees, and laser facility charges, can run you up to $3,000/eye. That price should also cover all surgical and procedure-related post-operative care for one year.
One question people often ask is, “Can I go blind from the laser?”
Dr. Stein says, “This is an easy question. The answer is no. No one has ever been blinded by the laser, and no one is ever likely to be. There are risks, and you should be aware of them. But being blinded by the laser isn’t one of them.”
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