The difference between PRK and LASIK: Which is the best fit for you?

When it comes to corrective vision eye surgery, there are several options to choose from. PRK and LASIK are the big two when it comes to the most popular forms of eye surgery to repair nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

So, what is the difference between PRK and LASIK – and what’s the best fit for you?

According to AllAboutVision.com, “The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that in LASIK surgery a thin, hinged flap is created on the cornea to access the treatment area, whereas in PRK the cornea’s entire epithelial (outer) layer is removed to expose the area and no flap is created. For both PRK and LASIK, the excimer laser then sculpts the stromal layer of the cornea to correct your refractive error.”

Both PRK and LASIK have high success rates. Each has a slight percentage of risk. So, what’s the best road to take to improved vision?

LASIK.com notes, “The most significant differences between PRK and LASIK are the initial discomfort and the speed of visual recovery. Recovery from PRK takes a little longer than from LASIK because the outer layer of the cornea needs time to heal.”

Less discomfort. Faster recovery. Sign me up for LASIK!

But you shouldn’t base your decision on those two factors alone.

“Both surgeries are safe and effective and carry a very high rate of patient satisfaction. Choosing between PRK and LASIK is a decision best made in consultation with a trained eye doctor who specializes in laser eye surgery. The good news is that history has shown that whichever you choose, you’re likely to be very pleased with the outcome,” states LASIK.com.

We couldn’t agree more. We urge you to seek the opinion of an eye care specialist – like the Harvard-trained surgeons employed by Global Laser Vision.

During your free consultation, you’ll determine your eligibility for laser eye surgery. If you’re deemed okay to go, our specialist will discuss the procedure step-by-step so there are no surprises when the time comes for your quick in-house procedure.

The LASIK eye surgery procedure takes on average about 10 minutes per eye. Recovery is quick. There is little or no discomfort.

There are occasions when PRK is the preferred way to go.

PRK may still be suitable for people with larger pupils, thin corneas, or those who have other corneal issues and/or dry eyes.

PRK vs LASIK

The eye surgery experts at Global Laser Vision note: “The final results of PRK surgery are comparable to LASIK outcomes, but the initial PRK recovery is slower because it takes 3 to 5 days for new epithelial cells to regenerate and cover the surface of the eye.

“There also is a slightly increased risk of eye infection and haziness of vision in the first few days after the surgery. Lasik patients generally have less discomfort, and their vision stabilizes more quickly, whereas vision improvement with PRK is gradual and the final outcome can take several weeks.”

There are some benefits to PRK. Be sure to check out the GlobalEyeandLaser.com website, then schedule your appointment with one of our specialists.

Whichever direction you choose – PRK or LASIK – you can rest assured that you’ll get the best treatment in Southern California here at Global Laser Vision!

How to Choose the Right LASIK Facility

There was this great commercial a few years ago. The spot for Esurance showed a guy with obvious stomach distress. A voiceover notes, “We all make bad decisions like buying sushi from a gas station. Cheap is good and sushi is good. But, cheap sushi… not so good.”

That message can apply to your choice of places to have your LASIK surgery done.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there are fly-by-night eye care centers out there – places just willing to take your cash while they do a slipshod surgery on your precious eyes.

There are good places. And then there are better places.

But why not choose the best?

The Harvard-trained professionals at Global Laser Vision have performed more than 75,000 procedures. They are considered the No. 1 choice for eye care in Southern California.

So, why wouldn’t you put your trust in the skilled hands of a top-ranked LASIK expert?

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration warns there could be adverse reactions to LASIK eye surgery. Potential problems:

  • Some patients lose vision.
  • Some patients develop debilitating visual symptoms.
  • Some patients may develop severe dry eye syndrome.

You greatly lower your risk by choosing wisely.

The FDA suggests you do your homework. Here are some of the things the FDA urges you to look for – and to look out for!

Compare. The levels of risk and benefit vary slightly not only from procedure to procedure, but from device to device depending on the manufacturer, and from surgeon to surgeon depending on their level of experience with a particular procedure.

Don’t base your decision simply on cost and don’t settle for the first eye center, doctor, or procedure you investigate. Remember that the decisions you make about your eyes and refractive surgery will affect you for the rest of your life.

Be wary of eye centers that advertise, “20/20 vision or your money back” or “package deals.” There are never any guarantees in medicine.

Read. It is important for you to read the patient handbook provided to your doctor by the manufacturer of the device used to perform the refractive procedure. Your doctor should provide you with this handbook and be willing to discuss his/her outcomes (successes as well as complications) compared to the results of studies outlined in the handbook.

So, now that you know what the FDA has to say about LASIK and the importance of doing your homework, let us give you a little cheat sheet. Go to the Global Laser Vision website and see why we’re your best choice for LASIK eye surgery and al your eye-care needs.

With the advancement of technology, there are now several procedures available that is ushering in a new era in laser vision correction by giving millions of people – including many who were once told they were not candidates – the opportunity to free themselves from glasses and contact lenses.

Lauren G. is happy she turned to Global Laser Vision for her surgery.

“From the second I stepped into the Global Eye and Laser office, I felt like family. The entire staff goes above and beyond to make sure every question or concern you might have is addressed and that a personal plan is designed for your eyes. There was no pain, no discomfort and each eye only took 30 seconds! The next day I could read my clock and my phone without glasses…  I now have 20/15 vision! You won’t receive better care anywhere else.”

Call for your free consultation today and see you way to better vision and a better life tomorrow.

How to Choose the Right Eyeglass Frames for Your Face Shape

Some people do not like shopping for new eyeglasses. They may think there aren’t styles for their particular head shape, or may be that regular eyeglass frames just don’t fit them well.

Some people just can’t get used to how they look in eyeglasses.

But that’s not the case. Everyone can find a pair of glasses that fit them just right and look great.

“Glasses not only need to fit correctly, but also should complement and reflect your style,” notes the Optical Department page at GlobalEyeandLaser.com.

“No two eyes are the same; nonetheless the lifestyle between any two people and that is why at Global Laser Vision we consider many factors beyond the traditional measurements to find your proper eyewear.”

The Vision Council says you should consider three main points when choosing an eyeglass frame for your face shape:

  • Eyewear should repeat your personal best feature (such as a blue frame to match blue eyes).
  • The frame shape should contrast with your face shape.
  • The frame size should be in scale with your face size.

The Vision Council notes that, while most faces are a combination of shapes and angles, there are seven basic face shapes: round, oval, oblong, base-down triangle, base-up triangle, diamond and square.

Or in simple terms – round, oval, square and heart-shaped.

A good optometrist will not only tell you your lens power; he or she will also guide you towards frames that work with your personal look. On the flip side, a good optometrist – or his or her staff – should also steer you away from making a poor choice.

Just because your best friend has cool-looking designer frames doesn’t mean you too will look good in them. A pair of new eyeglasses is an investment in better vision. It’s also your way of alerting the world to your personal style.

Keep in mind: Your lifestyle determines your eyeglass needs.

A child’s eyeglass needs are different from those of an athlete or a business person.

Global Laser Vision offers a well-stocked optical department – one that offers dozens of brands and hundreds of styles to choose from.

The website’s “Glasses” page promises: “Our extensive selection can tailor the minimalistic type where glasses blend seamlessly away or stand out to scream the bold personality. We will find the design to help you look and see your best.”

Check out our locations in Huntington Beach and Los Angeles. You’ll soon see why we’re considered the top-ranked eye center in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Call (855) 456-2253 to determine the nearest location to you.

Why You Need a Yearly Eye Exam

Annual eye exams are a must if you want to keep your vision in tip top shape and keep ahead of any potential inherited or environmentally related eye conditions .

Yearly eye exams are an invaluable tool for catching vision-robbing issues in their early stages. Spending an hour with an eye-care professional once a year can allow you to ward off sight-threatening ailments like glaucoma that, when left untreated, could lead to blindness!

However, many people skip or avoid getting a yearly eye exam. But, why do a large majority of Americans skip this pain-free annual checkup?

Good question.

There’s a good chance your yearly eye exam is covered by your insurance plan. In many cases, the only cost to you is a small chunk of your time.

Yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 11 million Americans have uncorrected vision issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism that can be mitigated with the use of corrective eyewear such as eyeglasses  or contact lenses.

One survey found that 86 percent of us who already have an eye disease do not get routine eye exams.

Lighthouse Guild, an organization with a mission to prevent serious eye problems – and to help those with vision issues live a more productive life – says yearly eye exams are needed because many vision-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms in their early stages. Annual comprehensive eye exams let eye doctors find serious eye diseases before they advance and potentially affect your vision.

“Poor vision can lead to job loss, social difficulties and the pain and cost of falls and accidents,” notes the New York Times blog, Tending to Your Eyes. “And though routine eye exams can help to detect the early signs of vision loss and prevent the progression of some eye diseases, few adults make their annual appointments.”

The A Team of eye experts at Global Laser Vision stress to you that regular eye exams should be part of everyone’s health care regimen – especially those of us who suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

“Eye exams are an important part of maintaining good overall eye health,” states the Global Laser Vision website. “Having regular eye exams is a critical component in detecting eye diseases or problems in their early stages when they are often still treatable. With regular eye exams, the doctor can sometimes detect a problem before any noticeable symptoms begin to occur.”

It’s been my experience that you’ll receive the best eye care that’s available when you link up with Global Laser Vision.  Southern Cailfornia’s No. 1 eye care center provides low-cost eye exams and employs the best eye exam technology on the market.

In order to get the best and most appropriate eye treatment available, be sure to tell your eye doctor if you’ve experienced any of the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Halos surrounding lights
  • Flashing lights in the periphery of your vision
  • Eyes that itch or burn
  • Black spots or “floaters”
  • Double vision
  • Tearing or watering eyes
  • If you are having trouble doing usual tasks that require your vision, like reading or watching television

Procrastination or a desire to save a few bucks are terrible reasons to put off a yearly eye exam. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your phone and call the top-ranked eye doctors at Global Laser Vision for your free consultation or to schedule a checkup.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits images from the retina to the brain to interpret, thereby allowing us to “see”. In glaucoma, eye pressure develops and begins to damage the very delicate nerve fibers of the optic nerve.

There’s Not Always Warning Signs for Vision-Robbing Glaucoma

Most diseases offer warning signs. That’s not always the case with glaucoma.

While the so-called Angle-Closure Glaucoma does have five warning signs, its much more common cousin – Open-Angle Glaucoma – has been known to sneak up on its victims. Because of this, it is extra important for you to schedule regular glaucoma exams with a top-ranked eye professional, especially if you have a family history of glaucoma as family history increases your risk of glaucoma four to nine times.

Angle Closure Glaucoma Symptoms

First, let’s take a closer look at Angle-Closure Glaucoma.

The 5 Warning Signs

According to the glaucoma.org website, the five warning signs and symptoms of Angle-Closure Glaucoma include:

  • Hazy or blurred vision
  • The appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights
  • Severe eye and head pain
  • Nausea or vomiting (accompanying severe eye pain)
  • Sudden sight loss

“Angle-closure glaucoma is caused by blocked drainage canals in the eye, resulting in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure. This is a much more rare form of glaucoma, which develops very quickly and demands immediate medical attention,” the website notes.

Open Angle Glaucoma

Now let’s take a look at Open-Angle Glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma.

One theory has it that glaucoma is thought to develop when the eye’s drainage system becomes inefficient over time. This leads to an increased amount of fluid and a gradual buildup of pressure within the eye. Other theories of the cause of the optic nerve damage include poor blood flow to the optic nerve.

Damage to the optic nerve is slow and painless and a large portion of vision can be lost before vision problems are noticed.

The Mayo Clinic says sufferers could experience patchy blind spots in their side or central vision –a symptom that frequently occurs in both eyes. During advanced stages, you could also experience tunnel vision.

Glaucoma Treatment Options

The treatment of glaucoma is aimed at reducing intraocular pressure. The most common first line treatment of glaucoma is usually prescription eye drops that must be taken regularly.

In some cases, systemic medications, laser treatment, or other surgery may be required. While there is no cure as yet for glaucoma, early diagnosis and continuing treatment can preserve eyesight.

Patients with glaucoma need to continue treatment for the rest of their lives. Because the disease can progress or change silently, compliance with eye medications and eye examinations are essential, as glaucoma treatment may need to be adjusted periodically.

Early detection, prompt glaucoma treatment and regular monitoring can help to control glaucoma and glaucoma symptoms and therefore reduce the chances of progression vision loss.

If you are experiencing any glaucoma symptoms, we encourage you to call us ASAP for a free consultation. A simple eye exam could mean the difference between good vision and loss of vision.

If left untreated, glaucoma will eventually lead to blindness. Even with specialized glaucoma treatment, about 15 percent of people with glaucoma become blind in at least one eye within 20 years, or suffer from extremely diminished vision.

What is Pterygium – and How Dangerous is It?

Pterygium is a funny sounding word, but there’s nothing funny about its effect on your eyes.

Pterygium, which is pronounced te-ri-jē-əm, is commonly referred to as Surfer’s Eye.  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “a pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that starts in the clear, thin tissue (conjunctiva) of the eye. This growth covers the white part of the eye (sclera) and extends onto the cornea. It is often slightly raised and contains visible blood vessels. The problem may occur on one or both eyes.”

Eye specialists know how to handle this mysterious affliction that is most commonly found in people with excessive exposure to sunlight and dust in windblown areas.  The groups most at risk for developing pterygium includes individuals who work outdoors or those who engage in outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing and surfing.

The good news: Pterygium often looks a lot worse than it is – and it can go away with no treatment or with minimal treatment that includes ointments or eye drops. In some cases, laser surgery can take care of pterygium however. Your eye care specialist can easily assess the degree of your particular pterygium case.

So how do you know if you have developed pterygia? Warning signs include:

  • irritation
  • persistent redness
  • inflammation
  • dryness
  • itching
  • burning
  • a feeling of a foreign body sensation
  • a visually detectable cloudy spot on the eye – although vision is not always affected.

The eye care specialists at Global Eye & Laser Center assure us that most pterygia do not cause problems and can simply be left alone. However, people may not like the look of pterygium when it has formed a cloudy spot on the eye, and may want it removed for aesthetic reasons.

But here is why you don’t want to ignore the worsening symptoms or the disease. In advanced cases of pterygium, the growth may affect vision as it extends onto the cornea and presents the potential of induced astigmatism and corneal scarring.

Rather than risk your vision, you should seek out a top-ranked eye specialist to arrange surgical treatment.

The top 3 reasons to opt for surgery:

  1. If symptoms persist and are no longer affected by conservative treatment.
  2. If the growth invades the cornea towards the pupil, obstructing vision.
  3. For cosmetic reasons, when the pterygium becomes unsightly.

The WebMD website notes, “If the lesion causes persistent discomfort or interferes with vision, it can be surgically removed during an outpatient procedure. You and your doctor may also take into account appearance and the size of the pterygium when making a decision about surgery.”

The ball is in your court. If you spend a lot of time outdoors – and if you have several of the warning signs of pterygium – you may want to arrange a free consultation with Southern California’s #1 eye specialists.