Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Am I A Candidate For Topical Anesthesia For Cataract Surgery?

Topical anesthesia is now a very frequent and effective method of pain control utilized in short surgical procedures such as cataract surgery. The topical anesthetic is applied directly to the surface of your eye and affects only the area to which it is applied. Topical anesthesia is usually given in the form of eye drops or gels, or applied with sponges to the surface of the eye.

In some cases, if surgery time is relatively short, you may only require topical anesthesia. If this is the case, anesthetic drops or gel will be applied to your eye and you will need to follow instructions from your ophthalmologist during surgery to keep eye movement to a minimum. If you need to sneeze or shift position, you will simply need to alert your ophthalmologist beforehand.

Often, if surgery is longer and more involved, the topical anesthetic will be supplemented with other forms of anesthesia to make you more comfortable and perhaps to immobilize your eye.

By using topical anesthesia, your ophthalmologist ensures that you are as comfortable as possible during and following surgery. Since you will not be put to sleep using general anesthesia, your recovery time after surgery will be much quicker, and you will be able to go home soon after surgery is completed. There are usually few side effects or complications due to topical anesthesia.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Conscious Care Sedation Anesthesia

Conscious care sedation is used in most Ophthalmic surgical procedures. It minimizes pain and anxiety during the surgery. At the same time, this type of anesthesia allows the patient to be conscious, able to respond to verbal commands, and able to breathe without assistance.

With conscious care sedation, medication is introduced using intravenous means in my practice. It is a very safe method for achieving the goal of comfort and cooperation for the patient during the surgical procedure. In addition, this method of anesthesia allows patients to feel well and alert after the procedure.

After conscious care sedation, you may not remember all or part of the procedure, and rarely, you may experience headache, nausea, and vomiting. You will be monitored closely during the procedure and immediately following your procedure. One should not drive or operate dangerous equipment for 24 hours after sedation.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

What Are Corneal Abrasions and Erosions? What Is The Treatment?

Corneal Abrasions

The cornea is the clear front window of the eye. It covers the iris (the colored portion of the eye) and the round pupil. The cornea is composed of five layers. The outermost layer is called the epithelium.

Injuries to the epithelium, such as scratches, cuts, or scrapes, are known as corneal abrasions. Usually, these injuries are caused by fingernail scratches, makeup brushes, paper cuts, or rubbing of the eyes. Sometimes conditions like dry eye can cause abrasions. Symptoms associated with corneal abrasions include tearing, redness, pain, soreness, and blurred vision.

Treatment options for corneal abrasions include patching the injured eye, dilating pupils to relieve pain, wearing special contact lenses that promote healing, taking antibiotics to prevent infection, and using lubricating eyedrops.

Minor abrasions usually heal within a day or two, while larger abrasions take about a week.

Corneal Erosions

Corneal erosion is caused by a loose attachment of the epithelium to the underlying tissue. This often happens at the site of an earlier abrasion. Some patients have an underlying condition called “map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy” that predisposes them to having recurrent corneal erosions.

Symptoms of corneal erosion are similar to those of abrasions: pain, soreness, redness, and blurred vision.

Treatment is the same as for corneal abrasion and may also include saline solution eyedrops or ointments. However, if the erosion keeps occurring, further treatment may be necessary. These treatments may include procedures to remove the damaged epithelium, removal of corneal cells using a laser, or performing an anterior stromal puncture, which involves making tiny holes on the surface of the cornea to promote stronger attachments between the top layer of corneal cells and the layer of the cornea underneath.

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