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Concerns with Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, etc.

Image of light clouds in a blue sky with floaters obscuring clarity.  
Floaters often appear as tiny 'worms' within aperson's vision,  

Floaters are small particles of the inner eye that float around in the clear liquids and gels within the eye. They are common among all people, but can be created or exacerbated by conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, and Epi-Lasik. Existing floaters can be disturbed by almost any eye surgery.

Increased Intraocular Pressure

During Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, and Epi-Lasik surgery, the pressure inside the eye is elevated when the microkeratome vacuum ring is attached. Extended elevated internal pressure can cause minor to major detachment of the vitreous or retina. Such detachment can cause floaters or other more serious problems. Although the duration of the elevated pressure during these procedures is short, it may be enough to induce floaters in those who are already predisposed to floaters.

Severe Myopia

People who are severely myopic (nearsighted, shortsighted) have a higher risk of retinal problems because the eye is elongated and the retina is often stretched over this larger than normal eye ball. For this reason, people with extreme myopia tend to be predisposed to floaters.

Changes in contrast sensitivity may cause existing floaters to become more noticeable. Changes in contrast sensitivity are not unusual with refractive surgery, but it is rare the change is significant enough to be problematic.

There is no cure for floaters, however the brain seems to become accustomed to them and will ignore minor floaters.

VitreoRetina Specialist

If you have a history of floaters or problems with the vitreous or retina, it may be wise to be evaluated by a retina specialist before having Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, or Epi-Lasik.

Although there is always the possibility of problems, PRK and LASEK do not require the high inner eye pressure of Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, and Epi-Lasik, therefore PRK or LASEK may be appropriate alternatives.

Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?

If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization. Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.

Personalized Answers

If this article did not fully answer your questions, use our free Ask Lasik Expert patient forum.

Recent Floaters Medical Journal Articles...

Related Articles

The impact of persistent visually disabling vitreous floaters on health status utility values.

Qual Life Res. 2013 Aug;22(6):1507-14

Authors: Zou H, Liu H, Xu X, Zhang X

PURPOSE: To assess the time trade-off (TTO) utility values in patients with persistent visually disabling vitreous floaters (DVF) and to determine the reliability and validity of TTO methods in DVF patients.
METHODS: Prospective cross-sectional questionnaire survey: Eligible patients with persistent DVF referred to the Shanghai First People's Hospital outpatient service between January 2006 and February 2010, and randomly selected normal vision general population residents, were enrolled. All participants underwent TTO utility value evaluation. After 4-5 weeks, the patients were asked to undergo second TTO utility value evaluation during the follow-up interview.
RESULTS: The mean initial utility values of the 107 persistent DVF patients were 0.904 ± 0.054. Regression analyses revealed that length of education, visual acuity in the poorer-vision eye and employment status were associated with utility values (all P < 0.01). All patients took part in the follow-up interview; the intra-class correlation coefficient for TTO utility values at the initial and follow-up interviews was 0.855. In the 91 general population residents, the mean utility value was 0.923 ± 0.032, which was statistically higher than that of active study patients (t = 3.01, P < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: Persistent DVF can substantially diminish the patients' perception of their life, and can be measured by TTO utility values with high reliability and construct validity.

PMID: 23054488 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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