Are you a diabetic deliberating whether or not you should choose Lasik?
Since diabetics are prone to a number of serious vision problems, Lasik is the perfect solution for them. With a few basic checks, most of the diabetics can enjoy problem-free clear vision with a minimally invasive and almost painless vision correction surgery – Lasik. It corrects farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. In most of the cases, Lasik can drastically reduce or even completely eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. It is by far the safest and the most frequently performed eye surgery.
Diabetes is a wide-spread medical condition and the number of people affected by it is baffling. Besides numerous other health complications, diabetics also suffer from some serious vision problems. Some of the most common ones are listed below -
· Retinopathy – High blood sugar levels may damage the small blood vessels in a retina causing blurred vision at initial stage. The resulting condition is known as diabetic retinopathy. In worst case scenarios, it may result in blindness. Background retinopathy, maculopathy and proliferative retinopathy are other types of this condition. Also, when fluid leaks into the retina, it may cause swelling in surrounding areas like macula which is known as diabetic macular edema.
· Cataracts - Clear lens are clouded by cataracts and although even normal person can acquire them, diabetics tend to get them easily and early, and it also worsens quickly.
· Glaucoma - When fluid doesn’t drain from your eyes like it normally should, it builds up and damages nerves and blood vessels causing changes in vision initially and major vision loss in the long run.
These and other health complications prevent diabetics from opting for most medical procedures. But that’s not the case with Lasik. Even people with diabetes can consider Lasik for which they need to know some key aspects mentioned below.
1.Confirmation of Steady Blood Glucose Levels
It is vital that diabetics have their blood glucose level tested before going for Lasik treatment. If these levels are not firmly under control, then there could be risks involved. Hence, eye surgeons insist that the patients going for Lasik have a written statement from their general practitioner stating which confirm that the patient’s blood sugar levels are stable and under control prior to the surgery.
Another important aspect to this is the Hemoglobin A1c level. It indicates the stability of blood glucose level in a diabetic person, over the past three months. Generally, a diabetic whose A1c level is up to 6.5% and not any higher than that, can expect fewer difficulties post Lasik.
2.No Advanced Diabetic Retinopathy
Here’s one more reason why you should never miss your regular eye check up. Retinopathy is one of the first symptoms which indicate diabetes. A majority of diabetics also suffer from retinopathy. And such people can only and only qualify for Lasik treatment, if the condition of retinopathy is in the early stages and not too advanced.
High blood sugar levels can cause temporary refractive changes in diabetics. And it is essential to have a stable eyeglass prescription for 12 months. If the change is more than 10%, then that individual is not a suitable candidate for Lasik. Because, the eye surgeon needs an accurate measurement of prescription so as to program the laser used for this vision correction eye surgery accordingly.
4.More Recovery Time
As compared to the non-diabetics, the people suffering from diabetes heal much slowly. This also stands true when it comes to Lasik. A person free from diabetes would usually recover within 48 hours after this treatment. However a diabetic would generally take longer to recover and get back to daily activities. Thus, to prevent any further risks, it is advisable that they follow the prescribed post-operative instructions absolutely.
5.Consult to Ensure
For diabetics, the surest way to ascertain whether or not they qualify for Lasik is to consult a surgeon offering Lasik services. Because, a surgeon helps the patient make an informed decision by considering the patient’s medical history and other vital information.
In certain cases some surgeons might not find diabetics suffering from cataracts due to high levels of blood sugar, eligible for a Lasik, but other similarly competent surgeon might think otherwise and allow the candidate to undergo this surgery. So it’s better to not give up hope and consult one or more eye surgeons.
Don’t let diabetes keep you away from an error-free vision. If you or someone else you know who is a diabetic and wants to choose Lasik, consider the above mentioned points and don’t forget to consult with a professional Lasik surgeon.
Aaron Barriga is a guest author from the Insight Vision Center, an Ophthalmology Center in California. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK.