Isaac Porter, MD explains the tests and evaluation needed to determine if a patient is a candidate for LASIK or PRK. In a free evaluation, the stability of the eyeglass or contact lens prescription is checked to ensure that it is not currently changing. Specialized mapping of the cornea shows detail of the curvature of the eye and can help identify problems like keratoconus that do not qualify for LASIK. Wavefront testing passes light in and out of the eye to measure every distortion in the vision. The thickness of the cornea is measured and an eye exam is performed to check the overall health of the eye. Using this information, it can be determined if a patient qualifies for laser vision correction.

Welcome to A State of Sight, I’m your host, Isaac Porter from Lowry Porter Ophthalmology and we are bringing you the latest in ophthalmology and eye care. Today, I will explain how people can know if they qualify for LASIK.

In our last episode, we explained some of the basics about LASIK and many people wondered if they were viable candidates. Most of the time, this can be determined in a free evaluation visit that takes less than one hour.

One of the first things we will look at is your prescription and its stability over time. I want to see that the prescription has not changed very much because once we include the power from your glasses or your contacts onto your eye, if your prescription continues to change you will lose the effect from the laser vision correction.

We will also take corneal topography, which is a map of the front of your eye. For the patient, it’s basically like a photo of the eye which gives me very valuable information about the curvature of the cornea. I want to see that this is a regular pattern for patients to qualify.

Next, we will do a wavescan on your eye that passes rays of light in and back out through the eye. How this light moves gives us an idea about the prescription that is needed to correct the vision and it also can reveal any imperfections in the vision that can be corrected with the laser.

This is a little bit like a fingerprint of the eye in that it is unique to each person and the laser can adjust for these very unique problems with the vision. After that, we will measure the thickness of the cornea.

The thickness of the cornea is important because there needs to be an adequate amount of tissue available since the laser removes tissue. Some people that have corneas that are too thin may not qualify for LASIK.

Next, I will do a thorough examination of your eye and to see if it is healthy. Basically, we want the eye to be able to get the best vision that it can and if there are significant problems with the eye or it’s unhealthy then you may not qualify.

Based off of all the information from these tests, I can determine if you qualify for the laser vision correction. There are two types of procedures that I do: LASIK and PRK. In our next episode, I would like to give you some details about what determines if you need one or the other, or if you have a choice between both.

Until next time, I hope to see you again on A State of Sight and thank you very much for joining us here from Lowry Porter Ophthalmology in Raleigh