Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser

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Surrey (604) 372-3937 | Abbotsford (604) 853-5575 | Coquitlam (604) 474-3937

FVCL Official Blog

5 Things You Should Know About Refractive Lens Exchange

During refractive lens exchange, your natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens to correct your vision. This is done to reduce your need for progressives, bifocals or reading glasses. 

If you haven’t heard of this procedure, don’t worry! We’ll explain the top five things you should know about Refractive lens exchange, also called RLE.

RLE, A Surgery For People Over 50 Experiencing Issues With Near Sight

As we age, so do the natural lenses in our eyes. Over time, they harden and discolor. The hardening of your natural lens (presbyopia) inhibits your ability to focus on nearby objects, and the discoloration (cataracts) makes all vision less clear. These conditions usually become noticeable in your 40’s and get worse into your 60’s.

RLE is often suitable for patients with presbyopia, severe hyperopia (a related condition in which your eyes do not focus sharply on nearby objects), and cataracts.

RLE Is Nearly Identical To Cataract Surgery

The process for lens exchange is nearly the same as the process for cataract surgery. The difference is that your natural lens is still clear, while the cataract surgery removes a cloudy lens.

Like with cataract surgery, your physician at FVCL/BCLASIK can recommend different types of intraocular lenses (IOL), depending on your lifestyle and desired outcomes. 

Some lenses provide clear vision for distance only. This means you will still need glasses for near and intermediate ranges. Other lenses provide extended depths of focus; clear vision at multiple distances similar to natural, vision.

The artificial lens is meant to be a permanent replacement for your natural lens, and should last the rest of your life without deteriorating.

RLE Provides Lasting, LASIK-Like Results

LASIK eye surgery continues to be an excellent solution for people with refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, however, it doesn’t address visual issues stemming from the lens inside the eye, like presbyopia.

For visual conditions that involve the lens inside your eye, Refractive Lens Exchange is the recommended option for an exceptional visual outcome: clear vision with a reduced need for glasses, contact lenses, reading glasses, progressives or bifocals.

RLE also eliminates the need for future cataract surgery by replacing the lens that would otherwise continue to deteriorate over time.

RLE Is An Outpatient Surgery

Like LASIK, you can expect to go home immediately after RLE – with someone to drive you, of course.

The procedure takes about 15 minutes, but each eye is operated on separately, with some time in between for recovery.

Before the surgery, your doctor will apply anesthetic drops to your eye to prevent pain during the procedure. Afterward, you can expect to spend about 2 weeks recovering before you continue participating in your normal daily activities.

Although the recovery time is short as far as surgeries go, it can take several weeks to see the final results of your vision correction surgery.

RLE Is An Extremely Safe Procedure

Refractive Lens Exchange is one of the safest and most common medical procedures. Like all surgical procedures, there are some complications to be aware of. However, by choosing a reputable surgeon like Dr. Chu or Dr. King and following aftercare procedures, you can reduce your risk for them.

Find Out If Refractive Lens Exchange Is Right For You

BCLASIK in Surrey, BC is one of Canada’s providers of vision correction surgery. Pre-screen yourself to determine whether you may be a candidate for this type of surgery by completing our online test.

Then, if you’re ready for a consultation with one of our Ophthalmic Technicians here at BCLASIK, call our office at 604-372-3937 or book online.

Our BCLASIK team is excited to meet you and help you to see with clear, natural vision.

FVCL Official Blog

Common Eyelid Issues (and how to fix them)

Like with nearly every part of our body, as we age our eyelids become susceptible to certain conditions – some are purely cosmetic but others can have a serious effect on vision and, as a result, daily life. In this article, we will be reviewing several conditions that often arise in patients as they age, and how these conditions can be treated.

Drooping Eyelid (Dermatochalasis & Ptosis)

Two of the most common eyelid complications our patients face are dermatochalasis and ptosis. Both involve drooping of the eyelid but the reason for the droop is dependent on which condition is the root cause. Dermatochalasis, the more common of the two, is commonly caused by age related loosening of the eyelid skin. Ptosis, a slightly different condition, is a result of the elevator tendon responsible for lifting the eyelid becoming loose. While our cosmetic clinic can temporarily improve symptoms using Botox injections, more serious cases require eyelid surgery to remove excess fat and skin, or tighten the tendon responsible for lifting the eyelid.

Asian Double-Eyelid Blepharoplasty

The typical Asian eyelid is anatomically different from a Caucasion one. Many Asian eyelids are monolid meaning they lack the fold or crease that naturally occurs in Caucasian eyelids. This makes the eyes appear smaller and changes the application of makeup on the eyelids.The procedure used to treat this is very similar to the treatment for dermatochalasis. In addition to the typical dermatochalasis procedure, the surgeon will create a crease in the patient’s eyelid to give a more awake, alert, bright-eyed appearance.

Ectropion & Entropion

Ectropions and entropions are the result of the eyelid (usually lower eyelid)  turning outward or inward respectively. When an ectropion occurs and the eyelid turns outwards, it can expose the area it usually shields underneath your eye allowing for air, dust, and debris to irritate it. Although this condition is usually not serious it can be extremely uncomfortable. In contrast, entropions (turning in of the eyelids) cause your lower eyelashes to continuously rub against the eye causing dry eye, pain, and potentially cornea damage, eye infections, and even vision loss. When dealing with either of these conditions, artificial tears and lubricating ointments can help to relieve symptoms but surgery is required to fully correct the condition.

Styes & Chalazions

Styes and chalazions are caused by clogged oil glands and can result in red, painful lumps around the edges of the eye. Styes are more painful and acute and can be treated initially by warm compresses. Chalazions are chronic and less painful. In most cases, styes can resolve on their own, but chalazions are more chronic. A doctor can inject corticosteroid and/or drain the lump surgically.

What We Offer

 

To learn more about other procedures we offer to treat age-related cosmetic issues, be sure to check out our Cosmetics Page!

FVCL Official Blog

BCLasik – Our Lasik Experience

Every year, thousands of Canadians are putting away glasses and contacts for good with the help of Laser Eye Surgery. These procedures, performed by BCLasik, are the most commonly practiced methods of correcting refractive errors such as astigmatism (blurry vision at any distance), myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or presbyopia (inability to focus on nearby objects). One of the leading forms of Laser Eye Surgery is Lasik, and the purpose of this post is to help people understand what they should expect during their LASIK experience.

Lasik Consultation

The first step is to book a consultation with a vision counselor to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK. As discussed in our last post, even though Lasik has opened the opportunity of laser eye surgery to more people than ever before, not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. At this consultation, you will undergo several simple tests to help the vision counselor assess the best treatment option for your eyes.

To properly prepare for this consultation, there are some things you should keep in mind. First, if you wear contacts, it is important that you remove them and switch strictly to glasses before your evaluation with the counselor. Contact lenses can change the shape of your cornea even after you stop using them, leading to inaccurate measurements and reducing your chances of perfect vision post-procedure. For testing purposes, we ask that you stay away from contacts for 3-5 days prior to your appointment.

After this consultation, your vision counselor will let you know which procedure, either Lasik or a Lasik alternative we offer, is best for your specific vision needs. They will also go over the pre and post-surgical steps you should take to help you get the best results medically possible. At this time, you will be able to book in for a surgery date or go home and get back to us with your final decision later on.

Preparing For Laser Eye Surgery

Once you’ve booked your surgery date, be sure to follow the pre-operative instructions provided during your consultation. Do not use creams, lotions, make-up, or perfumes the day before surgery. These products can produce debris along your eyelashes, increasing the risk of infection before and after surgery.

Please ensure you have a driver who can take you home after surgery is complete. Even though most patients experience the clear sight Lasik provides immediately after their procedure, there is a chance your vision will be blurred for a short time, making it unsafe to drive. Also, if a patient is nervous, the doctor may administer medicine to help the patient relax. The medicine’s effects may be felt for a short time after surgery so you must have someone to help you get home safely. 

Date Of Your Procedure

Even though the procedure takes only 5-10 minutes, expect to be at the clinic for at least 2 hours. You will lie down on a chair in the room with the laser system while a numbing drop is placed in your eye. Your eyelid will be cleaned and a tool called a lid speculum will be used to hold your eye open as an opening is created in your cornea. Some patients have reported feeling discomfort in the form of pressure during this step. 

Finally, the doctor will ask you to stare at a light. This light is not the laser that will be correcting your vision; it is a focus point to ensure your eye remains still during the procedure. When you are focussed on the light, the doctor will start the laser. The pulse of the laser makes a ticking sound and you may become aware of a burning smell as the laser adjusts your corneal tissue. Before the surgery begins, the doctor will have programmed the laser to adjust your cornea based on the measurements taken at your initial consultation.

When the laser finishes, the opening in your cornea will be closed back up, and an eye shield is provided to ensure your cornea heals properly. Because there are no stitches involved with this procedure, it is important that you keep the eye shield in place. The shield will protect you from rubbing your eye or getting poked throughout the day and from putting pressure on it while you sleep.

Post-Lasik Care

In the days following your procedure, your eye may feel itchy, irritated, or have minor to mild discomfort. Both your eyes may water, and your vision may be blurry. You will instinctively want to rub your eyes but be sure not to! Contact with your eyes could result in the surgical site shifting and cause further treatment to be necessary. These symptoms should decrease drastically over the next couple of days, but it is recommended that you take a few days off work while you recover. Please note that you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe pain or your symptoms start to worsen instead of getting better.

We recommend that you wait 1-3 days after your procedure to resume any non-contact physical activities. To help prevent infection, you should wait 2 weeks (or the time recommended by the doctor) before beginning to apply creams, lotions, make-up, or perfumes. For at least 4 weeks, do not participate in contact sports, swimming, or the use of hot tubs. 

Additional precautions will be covered by your vision counselor. If you have any questions, please be sure to write them down so we can address them during your consultation. Join the millions of people who now live life without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses. Let us help change how you see life with this safe, pain-free 5-minute procedure. 

FVCL Official Blog

LASIK – Common Myths And Misunderstandings

Every year, thousands of Canadians are putting away glasses and contacts for good with the help of Laser Eye Surgery. These procedures, performed by BCLasik, are the most commonly practiced methods of correcting refractive errors such as astigmatism (blurry vision at any distance), myopia (near-sightedness), or hyperopia (far-sightedness).

While LASIK surgery has become the most popular form of Laser Eye Surgery in Canada, there are many misconceptions that people should have cleared up prior to considering Lasik.

Despite LASIK being an incredibly safe and common procedure, it’s still normal to have questions or concerns. It’s part of our job to address these so that you can be confident in making the best decision for your vision. Below, we separate fact from fiction and address common misconceptions about LASIK to help you decide if this procedure, or another form of vision correction, is right for you.

Myth: Anyone who wants to have LASIK is a candidate.

Fact: While today’s technology has made LASIK more inclusive than ever before, not everyone is a LASIK candidate. To ensure safety and the very best post-LASIK outcomes, each patients’ eyes are thoroughly analyzed to determine if they are ideal candidates. The great news is that even if you aren’t a LASIK candidate, other solutions like PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), ICL (implantable collamer lens), or RLE (refractive lens exchange) will provide great results and may prove to be right for you!

Myth: LASIK is not affordable for most people.

Fact: The cost of LASIK has decreased significantly over the years as the technology has improved and the treatment has become more common. In addition to vision insurance coverage, there are a number of financing plans that can help make LASIK affordable for everyone. At BCLasik, we want to restore the gift of good vision to as many of our patients as possible and will do what we can to ensure obstacles like large payments are removed. We offer excellent financing options.

MYTH: You can go blind from LASIK surgery!

Fact: Refractive surgery is in fact one of the safest medical procedures performed, as it is a non-invasive process. The technology being used makes it possible to treat near and farsightedness, astigmatism, and other vision problems that glasses and contacts simply cannot solve. The side effects are temporary and minor. Serious complications happen very infrequently, and no one has gone blind from LASIK surgery.

Myth: The procedure is painful.

Fact: While you may experience some discomfort and slight pressure around the eye, Lasik eye surgery is a relatively painless procedure. In fact, many of our patients are surprised by how little discomfort they experience during the surgery. Before the procedure, you will have numbing drops administered to each eye to minimize any discomfort. We can also provide a mild relaxant, such as Ativan, to help calm your nerves. The procedure lasts between 10-15 minutes.

We hope that this information has cleared up some of the misconceptions you may have had about the LASIK procedure. Millions of people are now living life free from the hassle of glasses and contact lenses. You can too! If you are interested in LASIK and want to find out if you qualify, please book a no-cost, no-commitment consultation with one of our vision counselors using the red “Book Your Consultation” button at the top of this page.

FVCL Official Blog

Your Cataract Surgery Should Be Laser Assisted; Here’s Why!

What Are The Benefits?

New laser assisted procedures increase the precision and predictability of cataract surgery more than ever before. Instead of manually performing much of the operation with the traditional blade, this innovation allows our surgeons to undergo the most delicate, and challenging steps of cataract surgery using a computer programmed blade-free laser.

Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser is one of the first eye centers in the Fraser Valley to adopt this new technology. It’s important to us that we offer our patients the best eyecare medically possible and the laser lets us do just that. By using the LenSx® Laser, our surgeons have more control over a procedure’s outcome allowing us to precisely tailor the surgery to our patient’s specific needs

How Does This New Technology Work?

During your laser assisted surgery, an ultrasound device is placed over your eye to map out its surface. This device registers the exact location, size, and depth the incisions should be then sends that information to the computer operating the laser. In addition to making the incisions, this laser can also soften the cataract before a probe breaks it up and clears the pieces out.

Conclusion

Although there is an additional cost, many consider laser assisted cataract surgery to be well worth it. The comfort of having a laser rather than a blade to create incisions for the operation is one most vision counselors would recommend. Although there is nothing wrong with traditional cataract surgery, by automating the most difficult and delicate steps, you can maximize results and minimize risk.

FVCL Official Blog

Why Do You Need A Visual Field Test

Function Of A Visual Field Test

Visual Field tests are a fundamental part of assessing eye health. The purpose of a Visual Field test is to measure a patient’s central and peripheral vision. These results provide necessary information to our doctors, to help diagnose and monitor numerous conditions.

Who Should Get A VF Test

Examination of one’s visual field is an important part of regular eye care, especially for those who are at a higher risk of vision loss due to underlying diseases or conditions. People with the following conditions should be monitored regularly due to their heightened risk of vision loss:  

  • Glaucoma
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Thyroid eye disease
  • Pituitary gland disorders
  • Central nervous system problems (such as a tumor pressing on the brain)
  • Stroke
  • Long-term use of certain medications

People with diabetes or high blood pressure have an increased risk of developing blocked blood vessels in the optic nerve and retina. Regular appointments with your ophthalmologist accompanied by visual field tests can help identify any problems or potential risks. Visual Field tests allow our doctors to identify and address these issues before serious damage can occur.

VF Tests At Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser

Visual Field tests are subjective. The test relies on a patient’s cooperation and ability to respond to prompts the test gives them. For this reason, our technicians at Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser are constantly monitoring patients throughout the duration of the test. This ensures that doctors are presented with the most reliable information on the patient’s eye health. There are certain guidelines that must be followed ie: the patient must not be moving their head, their chin, they can not be looking around, etc. If the guidelines are not followed it invalidates the test results necessitating the re-administering of the test.

 

If you are in need of an ophthalmologist in the lower mainland, our qualified team at Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser is ready to help.