I am Dr. Ikeda Lal. I am a cornea, cataract and refractive surgery specialist at Delhi Eye Centre and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Today we will talk about how to get freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Glasses are not only cosmetic concern but also affect our lifestyle. More for swimmers and sports people. And there are certain jobs which require to have perfect vision like army. So, how to correct refractive errors. Refractive is the term which we use to remove glasses. So, who is the ideal candidate for these procedures? The minimum age limit to undergo refractive surgery is 18 years. Our vision gets stable between the age of 18-21 so, we can plan for the surgery. In case of the woman, we do not any surgery in pregnancy or lactating or not taking any hormonal supplements cases. So, there are multiple surgeries. The most common is LASIK. It is the laser-based surgery which is performed on cornea.
It is a transparent section and does not have any blood supply. We remove the flap, correct the vision and we put the flap back in position. This is the most popular procedure. It is a safe procedure and for us, it only takes 15 mins to treat both the eyes. How do we know if the patient is suitable for LASIK? We need to make sure that the patient's cornea is normal in shape and thickness. This is checked by a test called corneal topography. If patients corneal is not as normal as told than we can plan PRK or advanced surface ablation. In this procedure, we deliver the laser energy directly onto the corneal surface. In this, we remove the topmost layer of the cornea which is called the epithelium and we deliver lasr energy directly to the corneal surface. And we put special contact lenses which help in healing topmost layer on top of the eye at the end of the procedure. This is good procedure who are unsuitable for LASIK.
Perfect clarity in patients is achieved in 1 month duration. And it takes 4-5 days for surface to heal. And it is also little painful for the patient. In few cases, LASIK and PRK is not an option. These are the patients who have very thin cornea or the patient has high refractive error or keratoconus. So, these patients can be planned for ICL. It is the special contact lens which is implanted in the eye. So, it stands for implantable compatible lenses. These are the lenses which are highly customized. These are extremely safe to use and have a very good visual outcome. We operate one eye at a time and we wait for a couple of days to treat another eye. After ICL, patient needs to avoid eye rubbing for 1-week duration because this is the time when the eye is at the healing stage. Direct contact with water should be avoided for 1 week after the procedure. But patient can get back to work even after the day of the procedure. So, all are good procedure but proper evaluation is must and it should be done by a corneal specialist and suitable procedure should be chosen for every individual patient.