Will LASIK Remove Corneal Scars?

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Everyone wants to have excellent vision and a lot of people are unaware of LASIK and its benefits. Along with correcting refractive errors, LASIK also helps with corneal scars. Let’s take a look at how opting for LASIK can help one get rid of corneal scars. 

Causes Of Corneal Scars

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Corneal scars are usually the outcome of trauma or infection. With regard to infections, pathogens can be eliminated with the help of antiviral, antibiotic, or antifungal drugs; however, the damage incurred to the cornea can become a scar. These scars can also be due to improper contact lens use, lacerations, burns, deep scratches, and eye diseases such as shingles and syphilis. In cases of serious corneal damage, scar tissue substitutes the clear corneal tissue. Corneal scars can worsen your vision depending on where they are located. They can also cause poor vision, which is one of the leading causes of blindness.  

Symptoms Of A Corneal Scar

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One of the most common symptoms of corneal scarring is blurry vision. Often, patients also complain about glare and halos surrounding lights. The symptoms may be more aggravated in low light areas where the pupil dilates or worse in high light areas where pupils contract.

Usually, scars don’t cause pain; however, they could lead to surface irregularities that may give the feeling of sand or grit in the eye. The following is a list of typical symptoms of corneal scarring: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Burning sensation in the eye
  • Pain
  • Red eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Excessive tearing

How Are Corneal Scars Diagnosed?

A thorough eye exam carried out by your eye doctor can recognize any cloudiness or scarring. Depending on the severity of the scar, the cause may be apparent or difficult to determine. 

Your ophthalmologist will discuss with you about any recent eye injuries, symptoms, and medical history. They will then carry out an eye exam to look for any abrasions or irritating debris in your eyes. Magnifying tools such as slit lamps or ophthalmoscopes are used for a detailed observation of your eye. A painless method called ‘fluorescein eye stain’ may also be carried out in which dyed eye drops and a blue light are utilized for an in-depth observation of your cornea.   

Treatment Of Corneal Scars

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One of the easiest and most efficient ways to avoid scarring is through prevention. Conditions such as corneal infection or ulcer that could potentially lead to scarring can be addressed with immune-suppressing steroid eye drops subsequent to the infection being resolved through minimizing or preventing the formation of scars. 

If you do suffer from corneal scarring, your eye doctor will recommend treatments to improve your vision. Depending on the degree of severity, your doctor may recommend several different treatments. If the scar creates surface irregularities and impairs your ability to visually focus, your ophthalmologist could recommend speciality contact lenses, restoring the cornera’s smooth surface. Such lenses usually work best for scars that aren’t situated at the center of your vision. 

Eye specialists are qualified to help you find the most effective treatment, considering the level of severity of your scarring and other factors that contribute to the situation. The following are the plausible options of treatment your doctor may prescribe: 

  1. Laser surgery: In this case, UV light is utilized in scar treatment
  2. Corneal transplant surgery: During this treatment, the affected portion of the cornea is substituted with donated tissue 
  3. Artificial cornea: In this case, the injured cornea portion is substituted with a combination of donor tissue and synthetic material.  

What is LASIK?

LASIK or ‘laser in-situ keratomileusis’ is used to correct refractive vision problems. Numerous patients have opted for LASIK to correct their nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. 

During a LASIK surgery, your surgeon will create an incision in the cornea, raising a flap of tissue and reshaping the cornea to achieve vision correction. Here’s why LASIK is beneficial to enhance your vision: 

  • LASIK procedures are essentially painless
  • Improvement in vision is observed immediately after surgery. Around 85% patients achieve 20/20 vision
  • In most cases, bandages and stitches would not be necessary. Patients can conveniently return to their normal schedule within 24 hours. 
  • With LASIK, results are permanent. However, your eye prescription can still be altered over time. A follow-up procedure may be required if the eyesight changes slightly with age or the first modification was inadequate. Further adjustments can be arranged after several years to correct your vision if it changes. 
  • Most patients will not require glasses post LASIK surgery 
  • Patients find themselves saving a lot of money each year because of no longer having to pay to renew their prescription

Does LASIK Remove Corneal Scars?

Corneal ulcers and trauma can lead to the formation of scars if they penetrate beyond the layers of the epithelium. These scars have a great likelihood of being permanent since the inner layers of the cornea do not recycle like the outer epithelial layer. However, artificial scars can easily be removed through LASIK unless they are very thick and run deep. The patient’s vision can actually improve with a single surgical procedure than with prolonged contact lens wear. This is why patients with corneal scars are usually recommended to opt for LASIK, a safer and healthier alternative to contact lenses.

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