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Will I Need Contact Lenses After Lasik Eye Surgery?

Aug 8, 2008
Many people get LASIK surgery hoping that they will no longer need to wear contact lenses. Perhaps it's ironic, then, that in some cases, doctors will recommend that the patient wear a certain type of lens after the surgery. Specifically, it's been found that gas permeable (or "GP") lenses sometimes help the eyesight of those whose results from LASIK and other refractive surgery have been less than perfect. These GP lenses have a rigid, smooth surface that is often capable of correcting optical imperfections which soft lenses or eyeglasses can't help. For this reason, for some people, even following LASIK, GP lenses are a good choice if you want the sharpest possible vision.

Why, though, would you need contacts at all after LASIK? It's true that LASIK surgery has a high success rate; however no surgery works perfectly 100 percent of the time. Refractive surgery will not produce the same results for everyone. These results will depend much on how the person's cornea reacts to the energy of the laser and how the cornea heals following the surgery. For most people who experience a few problems after surgery, the problems are minor and tolerable. However, a few patent's experience headaches, eyestrain, or have trouble driving at night. These patient's are the best candidates for post-surgery contact lenses.

Let's talk about what causes the problem that might require the use of these lenses. LASIK reshapes the front surface of the eye by getting rid of tiny bits of tissue from your eye's cornea. This very occasionally results in irregularities in the cornea's shape that makes the patient's vision a bit unclear after the surgery Sometimes this problem can be fixed with a follow-up procedure known as an enhancement. Still, there is a tiny minority of patients whose cornea is too narrow for this follow-up procedure. For them, the GP lenses are often the best solution.

Gas permeable lenses are rigid. This allows them to keep their shape once on the eye. This matters because there is a space between the back surface of the lens and the cornea that is full of tears. This river of tears covers all the aberrations on the surface of the cornea. The GP lens's smooth front then optically takes the place of the abnormal cornea surface, and as a result, eliminates blurring and visual distortions. Because soft lenses are pliable, they cannot achieve the same vision-enhancing effect as the GP lenses.

Sometimes people confuse GP contact lenses with hard lenses; however they are completely different creatures. While a GP lens is firm, it is not uncomfortable like the hard lenses you might remember. Hard lenses did not allow sufficient oxygen to get to the eye, and they are considered obsolete in the 21st century. GP lenses are custom-designed for each patient. Your eye doctor will measure your cornea's exact shape and prescribe GP contacts perfectly suited for your eyes.

Ideally, if you have LASIK surgery, the process will result in near-perfect vision for you. But if not, it's nice to know that the GP lenses give you a fall-back option
About the Author
Phillip Dye is the creator of Lasiksurgeryrx.com . Lasiksurgeryrx.com covers information from Lasik Surgery , to Contacts and Lasik , No Bifocals After Lasik.
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