Myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism, presbyopia: these are just some of the most common visual defects; defects that are becoming more and more widespread and that in some cases can be effectively corrected with laser surgery, as explained by Professor Paolo Vinciguerra, Head of Ophthalmology at Humanitas, a guest in the studio at Il mio medico on TV2000.
First of all, there is a diagnostic phase to determine whether the patient is a candidate to correct myopia, astigmatism or hypermetropia. Not all patients are suitable for surgery. Some parameters that evaluate the suitability for refractive surgery are: thickness of the cornea, size of the pupil, refractive defect within 2-10 diopters, visual defect stable for at least one to two years from 18 years and in relation to age.
The examinations that the patient undergoes before surgery are very articulated: “Meanwhile, we must detect the shape that the cornea has to understand if it is normal or if it is pathological, by means of corneal topography and tomography; then we carry out the TM of the anterior segment, a sort of histological examination of the different layers of ocular tissue. We then determine the mechanical resistance because with the laser we go to subtract tissue, determining its weakening; in this examination we see, with a breath of air, how the cornea deforms and we assess whether it is strong enough to withstand this method,” said Prof. Vinciguerra.
The Eye Centre of Humanitas
“We are a reference center for refractive surgery in Italy as well as internationally. We are also a Research Centre and we collaborate with the parent company that produces the lasers, suggesting possible improvements that are then implemented.
The patient who arrives is evaluated as a whole, studied according to diopter and age, and we decide whether to perform corneal surgery or surgery with intraocular lenses,” explained Dr. Maria Ingrid Torres Munoz, Refractive Surgery Representative at the Eye Centre of Humanitas.
“The femtosecond laser is characterized by the extreme speed of the pulse and creates micro impressions; the overall effect of many laser pulses is a very precise and very safe cut. This laser can also help in corneal transplants of lamellar surgery or to speed up and facilitate a safer cataract surgery. The excimer laser is the other leader in our refractive surgery, it breaks down the bonds of the molecules and separates the models, and it will perfectly reshape the cornea in an extremely safe operation,” added Dr. Torres Munoz.
Personalized surgery, improved visual skills
“Surgery is personalized, the intervention in fact respects the needs of the individual patient and this improves visual capabilities. We recently published a work that shows that on average our patients earn two-tenths more of their visual field than they had before. This, however, is not achieved immediately: in the first phase after the operation in fact we have the optical level, followed in a second phase by neuro adaptation, in which the brain must learn to use information that it has never had and therefore it is a skill that will develop over the next months,” says Professor Vinciguerra.
Caring for Your Eyes
It is advisable to have regular eye tests, approximately every year and in any case follow the indications of the specialist. A check should be carried out at the ages of 3, 6 and 12, as these are important stages in development.
Other advice: avoid smoking and alcohol, do not rub your eyes, rest at least 8 hours a day, follow a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and use sunglasses in case of prolonged exposure.
Watch the entire service, also filmed in the Humanitas Eye Center, by clicking here