For the Farsighted, Getting Rid of Glasses Now a Reality
An LTK procedure takes only a few minutes, and Aker says, "[the patients] don't feel anything ... There's no sensation at all." Afterwards, patients may feel as though they have something in their eye for a day or two.
It is important that people who decide to undergo LTK do not have unrealistic expectations. The procedure is only geared to minimize or eliminate dependence on glasses, not perfect vision.
Both Aker and Belmont say that patients' reactions immediately following the surgery are extremely positive because they are able to read without glasses, although their distance vision is not perfectly clear. After several weeks or months, however, most people are able to see well at a distance but may need a little help from reading glasses for near vision. Nonetheless, it should be better than it was before surgery.
The researchers also warn their patients that they may need a retreatment with LTK every few years, which they provide free of charge. This is because farsightedness normally increases as we age, thus creating a need for more powerful correction.
Before farsighted people run to their doctors demanding this procedure, they need to understand that it is a new technology and not all the bugs have been worked out. So far, it's can only be performed on certain people, such as those with relatively mild farsightedness and virtually no astigmatism, an unevenly curved cornea.
Tim Khater, MD, PhD, an ophthalmologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas, is not quite as impressed with LTK. "Having worked directly with a number of patients who've had the treatment," he tells WebMD, "I'd say it's a great treatment if you pick and choose your patients well."
"There's been a lot of confusion about LTK, and the naysayers are quick to say it doesn't work," says Aker. "Well, they ought to talk to my patients ... Anyone who works with this technology knows how happy these patients truly are."