Presently, myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism can be permanently corrected with the Excimer laser, which has been done at the Eye Care Center in the form of LASIK surgery since 1998. The original Excimer laser was approved for PRK or photorefractive care technique was initially approved by the FDA in 1995 and Dr. Hunter Norris of the Eye Care Center did many of these treatments in the Nashville Surgery Center doing each eye one at a time individually. However, over the next couple of years, a form of refractive surgery known as LASIK done under a flap provided the ability for Dr. Norris to do these surgeries locally in the Tullahoma Eye Care Center as well as the ability to do both eyes at the same time. This technique, done under a flap at the front surface of the cornea, is either used to flatten for myopia, steepen for hyperopia, or round it up like a basketball for astigmatism correction. Essentially most refractive errors can either be lessened greatly or even completely eliminated to gain more independence from glasses or contact lenses.
The laser can be applied to the eye directly, as we mentioned, first approved as PRK, leaving the patient with a large abrasion on the eye that required a bandage contact lens for several weeks. This evolved into LASIK done with a flap, which, at the Eye Care Center, is done with a mechanical keratome, which Dr. Norris has found to be reproducible and extremely safe. More recently, a second laser, known as IntraLase, has been introduced to cut the flap as effectively as the origin microkeratome device.
Dr. Norris has done over 3,000 of these refractive procedures since the laser was approved in 1995.
He enjoys being able to give his patients the gift of a more independent and active lifestyle without glasses or contact lenses. As mentioned, almost any level of nearsightedness or farsightedness or astigmatism can be corrected this way without having to go to Nashville or Murfreesboro for the treatment.
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
For the first time, doctors can treat farsightedness (hyperopia) and presbyopia without a laser or scalpel. A new noninvasive technique called Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) can correct patients' vision quickly, safely and effectively. Unlike LASIK, PRK and other refractive vision correction techniques which cut and remove tissue, CK uses radiofrequency energy to gently reshape the eye.
The Eye Care Center and Dr. Norris have used five different Excimer lasers since 1995, the most recent of which is the Allegretto wave light laser that uses a flying dot laser, which obviates the extra step of having to take a custom photograph of the eye prior to surgery. The results with this laser have been the best yet, as experienced by Dr. Norris and his patients. This portable laser is approved by the FDA, and is brought to the Eye Care Center office on the second Tuesday of each month for LASIK treatments.
To find out if you are a candidate view the accompanying patient testimonials, call our office or visit a free seminar the 1st Thursday of each month at 7 p.m., Eye Care Center, 1100 North Jackson Street, .