Dr. Fred Mattioli: So, basically, what you have is called hyperopia.
Sean Jones: Oh, yeah, I [crosstalk] that in med school, the hyperopia, the third day at med school.
Dr. Fred Mattioli: You remember that? And then the presbyopia, that’s on the fourth day, so that’s the reading problem that we all run into in our 40s and beyond.
But the good thing is the scans that we did or the topography, in other words, the curvature of the cornea, the shape that the cornea has, is amenable to changing that shape with the laser, basically that’s LASIK. So LASIK, what it does changes, it changes the shape of the cornea and that helps the light focus in in the back of the eye so you don’t have to put anything in front. Farsighted or hyperopia eyes focus way back here. We’ve got to bring that light to the back.
The opposite is myopia or near-sighted. They focus in too soon so it’s still blurry. If you focus in front or behind this yellow tissue is retina back here, it’s going to be blurry. So I’m going to do something to help.
In your case, your distance is pretty good. You had a little bit of hyperopia, which is correctable with the LASIK. Now we run into the presbyopia problem, which is what we all get with the reading. That’s because this lens inside the eye is aged, pretty typical between 40 and 50. It doesn’t flex as much as it used to and so we have to keep pushing things out or pop on those magnifiers.
The way around that with LASIK is changing the shape of the cornea, but giving it the power it needs to focus up close. And then of course the other eye would be the hyperoptic correction for the distance.
Sean Jones: So you correct both eyes?
Dr. Fred Mattioli: We correct both in a format we call monovision, where you got one eye for far and one eye for reading. Basically that reading power is now on one side and your distance power’s on the other.
Sean, the treatment, LASIK treatment is done in about 10 minutes, that’s for both eyes, it’s pretty quick, using topical anesthetic.
Sean Jones: No pain involved?
Dr. Fred Mattioli: No pain. The numbing drops, topical drops, is all we need, numbs the surface, you don’t feel anything sharp or painful. There’s a sensation of pressure and temperature because this laser suites are a little bit cooler. When we lubricate the eye some people still sense that temperature. It feels like a cold drop. It’s obviously not painful. Pressure, not pain, but for pressure it’s probably about a 22nd feeling of a tightness on the eye. That allows the laser to do its job without the eye rotating and moving around.
Sean Jones: What are the risks?
Dr. Fred Mattioli: The risks are very minimal, serious risks, scars, infections, things that can make your vision worse instead of better. In fact, it’s so unusual. I had my LASIK done that 18 years now.
Sean Jones: Are we talking about tonsils coming out or like two stitches [inaudible 00:02:47]? What degree of risk?
Dr. Fred Mattioli: Really you have more risk from wearing contacts.
Sean Jones: Stitches?
Dr. Fred Mattioli: Yeah, from wearing contact lenses then with LASIK. Side effects, people talk about dryness, halo’s very common in the beginning, but long-term pretty unusual, very unusual. And of course, there’s treatments for those types of things.
One of the other things with monovision, it’s just getting your brain to adapt for X number of years. You’re both eyes are distance or both eyes reading and then 10 minutes we switch it on your brain so there’s some adaptation period. That’s why we’re going to do those contact lens [inaudible] to see what you think.
Sean Jones: Okay.