Can lasik/prk help RK starbursts?

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Can lasik/prk help RK starbursts?

Postby Anyman » Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:46 am

Curious- Had RK on one eye a good 20+ years ago. Not one of my better decisions, as I still have damned starbursts even now. Had all laser lasik a month ago and, of course and despite assurances to the contrary, guessed it..... starbursts in that eye as well. They tell me most fade within 3-6 months. I am hopeful, but quite apprehensive.

In any event, does anyone know if some variation of prk or lasik or even something else can help with the RK starbursts? I see have some residual myopia, perhaps 20/30 in day light & 20/40 at night. The 8 incision scars produce rather annoying starbursts. It'd be nice to get rid of the damned things and even better if such happens in the lasik eye as well.

I am aware of the pupil shrinking drops, but was hoping for something more permanent. I have noticed that wearing a contact lens in the RK dramatically shrinks the starbursts, possibly due to retained tear liquid "filling in" the scars and in effect smoothing the surface. Would the same apply to PRK, or would that just expose more of the stars? Did some research & still haven't found much.

So, any ideas. thoughts or more?

Thanks in advance--
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Re: Can lasik/prk help RK starbursts?

Postby LasikExpert » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:28 am

The starburst from RK are caused by light passing through the scar tissue, which is different than the surrounding tissue. One difference is opacity, but the other - and possibly more important difference - is density. The more dense RK scars can cause irregularity in the less dense surrounding corneal stromal tissue. This can create an irregular cornea. Now you not only have light dealing with a more dense scar, but it is also being bent by irregularity around the scar.

Contact lenses, especially rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, do a great job of smoothing out the front surface of the cornea where some of this irregularity manifests. If the front is smooth, then the amount of deviation of light passing through your cornea will be less. That almost always translates to better vision quality.

Your post All-Laser Lasik starburst issue may relate to inflammation at the cornea and alignment of the radial scars during repositioning the Lasik flap.

I don't know if you are aware of Alphagan P. It is a glaucoma medication that has the side effect of reducing pupil size. It is much less traumatic to the eyes than pilocarpine, which is probably all that was available for you two decades ago. You may want to ask your eye doctor if it would be appropriate.
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Re: Can lasik/prk help RK starbursts?

Postby Anyman » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:02 pm


I had lasik in one eye a month ago & RK in the other 20+ years ago. I have done nothing on the RK eye for fear of making it worse.

RGP lenses may help, as did regular soft contacts some years ago the last time I tried them. I was rather hoping for a more permanent solution than visual crutches. Then again, my desire to avoid these "crutches" is what lead me to stupidly get RK and then, perhaps equally as foolishly, have lasik a month ago in the other eye. Waited till it seemed the technology was good before having it. Now, 1 month post op I still have the damned starbursts, even though they have slightly receded at the 12 o'clock position, but remain prominent at 3 & 9 and large at 6. The Dr's office says they have no complainers after 6 months, but I wonder.....

Other than more visual crutches, which I despise to to dependence issues, can anything help RK scars and "clean them out" or polish them for lack of a better term.

Still hoping on the lasik eye, as it has only been a month or so. I can't help but fear that if it isn't better yet than how could another 2-6 months make a difference.....
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