With LASIK eye surgery at Diagnostic Eye Center in Houston, you can achieve your personal best vision. We believe in providing you with the most advanced technology and the highest quality of care. We value each and every patient with individualized care from your first LASIK consultation to the very last day of your LASIK recovery. With LASIK, you will be able to enjoy all of the events around the Houston area without the worry of eyeglasses or contacts.
Our doctors have years of experience in performing LASIK in Houston and taking the time to ensure all of our patients are informed and enjoy a comfortable visit at Diagnostic Eye Center. We will provide you with a caring and supportive environment for undergoing your refractive procedure. You will find our surgeons and staff to be some of the most helpful and knowledgeable in the field of LASIK.
What is LASIK?
LASIK, which reduces or eliminates a person’s dependency on glasses or contact lenses, has quickly become the refractive procedure of choice for most patients. They recover quickly, have fewer side effects and complications than with other procedures, and often notice a significant improvement in their vision soon after surgery.
LASIK corrects refractive errors by reshaping or flattening the curve of the cornea, the clear layer of tissue covering the front of the eye. First, a thin flap is made on the cornea using a femtosecond laser. The flap is carefully pulled back, and the cornea is reshaped using precise short pulses of ultraviolet light from an excimer laser. The flap is then smoothed back to its original position. The entire procedure takes just a few minutes.
LASIK is used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. We perform thorough testing to determine if our patients are good candidates for vision correction surgery.
Ideal LASIK Candidates are those patients who:
- Are at least 18 years of age
- Have a stable refraction
- Have no other ocular health issues
- Have normal corneal thickness and curvature
Take our LASIK Self-Test
What does LASIK Correct?
In order for our eyes to be able to see, light rays must be bent or refracted by the cornea and the lens so they may focus on the retina, the tissue that lines the back of the eye. The retina receives the pictures formed by these light rays and sends the image to the brain through the optic nerve.
A refractive error means that the shape of the eye does not refract the light properly, resulting in a blurred image. Intervention in the form of glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery is needed to alter the light rays and make them focus on the retina properly. Although refractive errors are called eye disorders, they are not diseases.
What are the different types of refractive errors?
A myopic eye is longer than average or has a cornea that is too steep, causing the light rays to focus in front of the retina. Close objects appear clear, but distant objects are blurred. Myopia may be inherited and is often discovered in children between 8 and 12 years old. During school-age years, when the body grows rapidly, myopia may increase. Between the ages of 20 and 40, however, there is usually little change.
Patients with high myopia have an increased risk of retinal detachment due to the eye’s longer shape. Your eye doctor should discuss this risk with you, along with the warning signs of a retinal detachment. Having LASIK or another refractive procedure will not reduce this risk, as the eye remains elongated after surgery. It is important to have regular eye examinations to monitor for any changes in the retina.
A hyperopic eye is shorter than average or has a cornea that is too flat, causing the light rays to focus beyond the retina. Near objects appear blurred, and sometimes distant objects are blurred as well. Like myopia, hyperopia is often inherited. Babies and young children tend to be slightly hyperopic, but as the eye grows longer, hyperopia lessens. This is why some people wear reading glasses as a young child and then grow out of them as they get older.
Astigmatism refers to an irregular shape of either the cornea, the clear covering on the front of the eye, or of the lens inside the eye. This irregular curvature causes light to focus improperly on the retina, and vision may become blurred at any distance. Astigmatism is very common, and most people have some degree of astigmatism. Slight amounts may not affect vision, but larger amounts may cause blurred or distorted vision, eye fatigue, and headaches. Astigmatism is often inherited and present at birth, though it may change over time. It is possible to have astigmatism combined with hyperopia or myopia.
Presbyopia occurs when the natural lens inside the eye loses its flexibility, making it difficult to focus on objects up close. This is a gradual process that takes place over many years, though presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-40s. Presbyopia is a natural part of the eye’s aging process and cannot be prevented. It may be combined with other refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism.
LASIK Technology at Diagnostic Eye Center
At Diagnostic Eye Center in Houston, we take pride in providing our patients throughout the Houston area with the latest technology in laser vision correction. Our blade-free LASIK center is equipped with the Alcon WaveLight® Refractive Workstation. The WaveLight’s revolutionary approach to laser eye surgery technology minimizes problems associated with older generation lasers, such as night vision reduction, glare, and halos.
Wavelight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser
Faster Flap Creation: Featuring the nation’s fastest flap creation times, the 200 kHz WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser delivers precise, predictable outcomes:
- Standard flap creation in approximately 6.0 seconds
- Automated vacuum control of the patient interface for consistent suction
- Minimized IOP and ocular distortion during suction
- Fast visual regeneration
WaveLight® Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q Excimer Laser
Built for Speed and Superb Outcomes: Featuring a 400 Hz repetition rate, the WaveLight® Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q Excimer Laser delivers one of the world’s fastest ablation times at only 1.4 seconds per diopter, resulting in consistent outcomes.
- High speed 400 Hz eye tracker actively tracks the fastest eye movement and verifies location before releasing
- Thermal optimized shot distribution helps minimize the potential for thermal buildup
- Crossline projector provides precise centration
Monovision is a treatment technique used for patients aged 40 or older who are affected by presbyopia. Presbyopia occurs when the lens inside the eye naturally loses its ability to focus on objects up close.
With monovision, one eye is focused to see clearly at distance, and the other eye is focused to see clearly at near. The brain learns which eye to use, depending on whether you are focusing on a distant or near object. Often times, monovision is implemented with contact lenses, but it can also be done with refractive surgery, such as LASIK, or with cataract surgery.
It is important to understand that monovision may not be the best option for everyone. You should discuss this option thoroughly with one of our doctors to determine if you would benefit from monovision correction. We generally recommend a brief trial period with contact lenses to be sure you are comfortable with monovision correction before proceeding with LASIK.
Common Questions About LASIK Eye Surgery
At Diagnostic Eye Center, we want you to have all of your questions answered before proceeding with any type of surgery. If you have a LASIK question that is not answered on our website, please feel free to ask your doctor during your consultation.
Other Refractive Procedures
While LASIK is the most popular refractive procedure performed today, some patients are better candidates for other vision correction procedures, such as Advanced Surface Ablation, Phakic IOL, or Refractive Lens Exchange. During your consultation, you will meet with one of our doctors to discuss your individual needs, as well as which procedure is best suited for your eyes.
Advanced Surface Ablation
Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA), also known as LASEK, is laser vision correction without making a flap. It represents a surgical advancement over photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), which was the original laser vision correction procedure first approved by the FDA in 1995.
ASA combines certain elements of both PRK and the more popular LASIK procedure and may offer some advantages over LASIK for certain patients. With ASA, instead of completely removing the epithelium, as is done with PRK, the flap of surface epithelium is loosened with a diluted alcohol solution and moved to the side. The surface under the epithelium is treated with the Excimer Laser, and the epithelial flap is returned to its original position, similar to LASIK. A protective soft contact lens is then placed over the cornea to make the eye more comfortable as it heals.
Final visual results are similar when comparing LASIK and ASA. There are a few conditions where ASA is preferred, such as thin corneas, dry eye syndrome, and epithelial basement membrane dystrophy. There is a theoretical advantage in that there can be no flap complications such as flap displacement; however, flap complications with LASIK are very uncommon. The disadvantages are that most patients experience some post-operative pain and longer visual recovery time. Your doctor can discuss Advanced Surface Ablation with you during your consultation.
A Phakic Intraocular Lens (IOL), also referred to as an Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL), is a lens that is permanently implanted in the eye behind the cornea. It is called a Phakic IOL because the eye still has its natural lens. The implanted lens contains a refractive power which compensates for the eye’s nearsightedness and can correct refractive errors outside the range of LASIK, up to -20 diopters. A Phakic IOL may be the procedure of choice for patients with dry eyes or thin corneas that do not qualify for laser vision correction.
The first step is to create two small openings near the edge of the colored part of the eye (the iris) to allow the intraocular fluid to circulate around the lens. This is done one to two weeks before the lens implantation. The actual phakic IOL procedure is a short 15-minute outpatient operation. A small opening is created in the cornea, through which the folded lens is inserted. Once the lens has fully unfolded, the four corners of the lens are placed behind the iris. This makes the lens invisible to both you and others.
Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) corrects refractive errors using an intraocular lens implant. RLE may be the procedure of choice for patients with a large amount of hyperopia (farsightedness) or for patients with early cataracts or a need to lower their intraocular pressure. Millions of patients have received intraocular lens implants when undergoing cataract surgery, using the same highly successful surgical techniques used in RLE.
The primary difference between cataract surgery and RLE is that cataract surgery is performed to remove a patient’s cloudy lens, and RLE is performed to reduce a patient’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Performed as an outpatient procedure, the eye’s natural lens is replaced with an intraocular lens implant (or IOL). You will remain comfortable, as the eye is completely anesthetized. Very tiny incisions are made on the front part of the eye using a femtosecond laser. The natural lens is then removed, and an intraocular lens is placed inside the eye. Most patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately. Strenuous activity should be avoided for one week, but you can return to a desk job the day after surgery. One eye is done at a time, and the second eye is usually done one or two weeks later.
LASIK Next Rewards Program
Have you been considering LASIK but want to make sure you get value added to your new vision? Are you tired of continually spending your hard earned money on glasses or contacts, just to see them lost or broken? Use your money wisely and put those dollars to work for your vision! Diagnostic Eye Center is excited to introduce a groundbreaking new program that rewards our eyeglass and contact lens customers with a long-term plan for better vision at a reduced cost.
Get up to $1500 of eyewear and contact lens purchases at Diagnostic Eye Center discounted from your LASIK procedure. Maximum deduction, including any other discounts, is $1500. Applies to bilateral LASIK (for unilateral LASIK, the maximum discount is $750). Includes patient contributions for glasses and contact lenses purchased from Diagnostic Eye Center (insurance payments not included). Applies to purchases made over a 3-year period prior to the date of LASIK.
To schedule a consultation today or to learn more, call 713.797.1500 or request an appointment now.
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“I had my LASIK procedure done here and am so happy I chose Diagnostic Eye Center! From the initial appointment to the follow-up meetings, everything was perfect. I drove myself to the follow-up appointment the next day! Friendly staff and they made sure I was comfortable and understood everything. Flawless!”