Does Weather/Temps affect Lasik patients?

If you are thinking about having Lasik, IntraLasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or P-IOL eye surgery, this is the forum to research your concerns or ask your questions.

Does Weather/Temps affect Lasik patients?

Postby eagleye » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:44 pm

I've heard that hot, humid weather can affect the shape of a person's eye and that supposedly this is the best time to get the Lasik procedure done, as opposed to a cool, dry day. (Even though a Doctors office is temperature controlled your body may not fully relax while sitting through the procedure.)
Have you heard of this and is there any data to back this up? I feel that my eyes are more "swollen" if you will during days of high heat & humidity in Chicago.

Thanks and great site, it is very informative.
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Postby LasikExpert » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:26 pm

Remember that a laser is just light and as light it is subject to all the limitations normally associated with light, including being blocked by opaque objects and diffused by translucent objects. More laser light energy at the eye means more tissue removed with each laser pulse. Less light energy means less tissue is removed.

The area between the laser and the eye is filled with air, which contains molecules and will reduce the amount of light reaching the eye. If the atmospheric pressure is high, there are more air molecules in the same space and less light reaches the eye. Low atmospheric pressure and more light will reach the eye because there are fewer molecules getting in the way.

The air between the laser and the eye also has water in it. Water will block or diffuse light. On high humidity days the amount of light reaching the eye is less, on low humidity days the amount of light reaching the eye is more.

The molecules in the air move faster and spread farther apart when excited by heat, allowing more light to pass through the same distance. The molecules move slower and move closer together when it is cold, blocking more light.

All of these atmospheric variables are known and the Lasik doctor is able to adjust the treatment plan according to the atmospheric conditions at the time of surgery. Less treatment on hot, dry, low atmospheric pressure days, more treatment on cold, humid low atmospheric pressure days. Many doctors use conditioning systems to keep these variables relatively stable.

Hydration of the eye is important too. If the cornea is dry or moist, if you are older or younger, if you are of certain ethnicity, etc. are all variables that are considered by competent doctors and factored into the treatment plan.

These are more reasons why the selection of the Lasik doctor is so important.
Glenn Hagele
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