Good eyesight is something many of us take for granted. As parents, we have enough reasons to worry about our kids’ eyesight, especially with the amount of reading they need to do for school.
Our kids’ eyes are put under quite a lot of strain these days
But let’s not forget about our own eyesight. Adults and children nowawadays have way too much screen-time than necessary, staring at either a phone, TV or computer.
The result is often weakened eyesight and the need to wear glasses or contact lenses for conditions such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (longsightedness), or astigmatism (blurred vision). These conditions are common among both adults and children.
If you or your child has one of these conditions, you may have heard about LASIK surgery, and wondered if and when this procedure can be done on your child, or yourself. Here are some facts on the matter.
LASIK surgery is becoming an increasingly common solution to common eyesight problems
What is LASIK surgery?
LASIK (Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis), commonly known as ‘laser eye surgery’ or ‘laser vision correction’ is a procedure performed for the correction of conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
LASIK surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist who uses a laser to reshape the eye’s cornea in order to improve sight (Wikipedia). Often, the process eliminates the need to wear glasses or contact lenses.
We spoke to Dr Marc Tay, Medical Director and Consultant Ophthalmologist at The Lasik Surgery Clinic here in Singapore about some commonly asked questions on LASIK surgery.
Dr Marc Tay answers all your LASIK surgery-related questions
At what age can LASIK surgery be done on children?
LASIK is not recommended for anyone below 18 years old.
Why is LASIK not suitable for children under 18?
This is because at this age, children could be still growing and their vision may still be unstable.
What are the risks involved in this procedure?
LASIK is generally a low risk procedure. However, temporary side effects do sometimes occur after LASIK. Here are some of the most common ones:
– Dry eyes. This may last a couple of months after the surgery. Discomfort may be eased with regular use of moisturising eye drops and observing good eye care habits.
– Night vision problems. These may manifest as haloes, starbursts and glares, lasting between 9 to 12 months. This usually will stabilise over time.
– Infection. The risk of infection after surgery is also possible, though generally low (1 in 10,000 people). In unlikely instances of infection, seek immediate treatment as delayed treatment may lead to vision loss.
LASIK surgery is NOT recommended for children under the age of 18
What’s the recovery rate and is eyesight fully restored?
According to Dr Tay, about 75% of vision is recovered on the first day after surgery, and the remaining 25% over the next few months, although this may vary due to each individual’s unique eye condition.
For what conditions is LASIK surgery performed?
LASIK is able to correct vision problems such as:
– Myopia (short-sightedness);
– Hyperopia (far-sightedness);
– Astigmatism (“san guang” – blurred vision);
– Presbyopia (“lao hua” – long-sightedness caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye, occurring typically in middle and old age).
What is the cost of LASIK surgery?
The cost of LASIK surgery has become more affordable and accessible for the general public. For example, at The Lasik Surgery Clinic, prices start from $2,888 (before GST).
LASIK surgery can help with several common eye problems
What is follow-up care like after LASIK surgery?
You will have your first post-LASIK review by the doctor in the first 24 to 48 hours after the treatment and at regular intervals for the first 6 months.
At the first review, the doctor will test your vision and examine your eyes. In general, a person with lower myopic power will achieve better vision more quickly than a person with higher myopic power.
Regarding follow-up care, doctors recommend:
– Abstaining from eye skin care and makeup products for at least a week to reduce any chance of infection or complication;
– Setting your departure date 3 days after the surgery date, if travel is required, and keeping your eyes moist throughout the flight with lubricating eye drops provided;
– Gym exercising and yoga may be resumed 3 days after LASIK surgery. However, water activities (e.g. diving, swimming) and contact sports (e.g. football, boxing) are strongly discouraged for the first month as it takes at least a month for the corneal flap to heal completely.
Is the outcome of LASIK surgery for life, or is follow-up surgery needed?
The result of LASIK surgery is expected to be long-lasting but regression can happen sometimes. It is therefore important to observe good eye care habits and have yearly routine eye screenings to assess the health of your eyes in general.
Having said this, Dr Tay points out that LASIK is one of most popular methods for near-permanent vision improvement due to its minimal downtime, rapid recovery, safety and success.
He also highlights that LASIK technologies have been used in more than 15 million procedures worldwide. In fact, NASA astronauts and US Navy TopGun Fighter Pilots are able to have laser vision correction surgery today because of the validated safety and precision performance of LASIK technologies.
The LASIK Surgery Clinic, a Singapore Medical Group (SMG) clinic, is happy to extend a corporate rate to theAsianparent readers.
For more information, please call 6836 1000 or email [email protected] and quote theasianparent.com for more information.
The LASIK Surgery Clinic is located at 290 Orchard Road Paragon #13-01/06 Singapore 238859.
Have you had LASIK surgery or do you know anyone who has? Share your experiences with us by leaving a comment.