Exposing the LASIK Scam

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 Post subject: Daytime Starburst, Starbursts at night
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:58 am 
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Hello. I had lasik a little over 2 years ago.
I never had any starburst effects past the 2 month period. My night vision was actually good.

3 weeks ago I was prescribed Lexapro and Ativan for anxiety and depression. 2 days later I noticed severe starbursting at night, daytime starbursts and light sensitivity. As well as dry eye. I stopped taking the lexapro. My physician said that's what caused the dry eye.

4 Days ago I took my last Ativan. I take it on a as needed basis. I still have the bad starbursts and daytime starbursts. I'm so scared. Will this go away? I NEVER had problems during the day. Is this caused by dry eye? Please help.....

Sarah


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 Post subject: Any sudden change in vision requires immediate attention
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:46 am 
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Dear Dixienpinch,

Although your symptoms are consistent with side-effects from Lexapro, unexplained worsening vision should always be followed up IMMEDIATELY with a doctor visit. Any patient who has had LASIK may develop DLK (inflammation under the flap) or infection at any time as the LASIK flap never heals. Please see an Ophthalmologist immediately as failure to treat some conditions promptly can cause permanent visual damage.

Hopfully your problem is just a side-effect of your antidepressant. One reason antideprssants such as Lexapro can have visual side effects is that they can enlarge your pupils. When you have larger pupils, you see more of the irregularities that your surgeon induced in your corneas during your surgery. Patients with naturally large pupils suffer from this problem with predictable regularity. I can speak with some authority on this subject :evil: .

I am certain that the visual symptoms you describe ARE consistent with Lexapro and it would take a while for this drug to leave your system completely after you have stopped taking it. But again, for safety and peace of mind, go have a good eye exam ASAP.

Some drugs used to treat depression can also make dry eye worse. I have not heard about visual side-effects and dry eye with benzodiazepines (such as ativan) but your prescribing physician would certainly be a better person to ask.

Dry eye alone can cause worsening of vision.

It would be a good idea to call the doctor who prescribed the Lexapro and Ativan and let him know you stopped taking the Lexapro if he doesn't know.

You may consider finding an Opthalmologist who is a retinal specialist. He or she can rule out or treat any imminent danger to your vision such as DLK. A retinal specialist will be able to give you all the diagnostics/care you would need for dry eye, check your refraction to make sure it is stable and examine you for other signs of ectasia... and as a bonus you will get a terrific retinal exam. He/she may not have an aberrometer and a topographer but ask him or her to refer you to someone who does - just for those tests alone. You should be checked for changes in your topography and aberrometry. This requires comparision with previous topographies and wavefront scans. You may only have pre-op wavefront scans available - if this is the case, have a wavefront scan anyway so that you will know where you stand in terms of higher order aberrations. An Orbscan would also be a great test to have, but not every center has an Orbscan.

A 2nd best scenario would be to go to a corneal refractive surgeon other than your original surgeon. Please obtain a complete copy of your charts from your original surgeon for your personal records, and take good care of them. Ask for a copy of every scan (color copy if the test is a color scan) and add them to your personal medical file. These records will be a very useful source of reference information in the future.

Please don't be scared. The scariest thing is uncertainty and a trip to the Opthalmologist and another chat with the doctor who prescribed the psychiatric medication should get you to the root of your recent visual disturbances so that you can take appropriate action.

My bet is on side-effects from Lexapro as the culprit. Please keep us posted!


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 Post subject: Opthalmologist visit today....
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:56 pm 
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Well I went to an opthalmologist. Didn't get any clear answer as to why i'm having starbursting during the day, light sensitivity and bad night time starbursts. She just said the medication should have been out of my system by now. It's been 4 weeks for Lexapro and 2 for Ativan. She told me I should speak with my Physician about other possible drugs. My physician told me to speak with my opthalmologist. Seriously annoyed!

My eyes are perfectly healthy though. No retinal problems, no corneal problems and she ruled out dry eye with that paper test thing. I don't get it. Why are my eyes red and itchy? Why can't I sleep at night without that damn ointment?

So now....i'm back to my lasik surgeon tomorrow to see what he says about the eyes again. I feel like i'm going in circles. He thinks it's dry eye. I didn't go to him first though because he's quite rude and i don't particularly care for him. Oh well.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:11 pm 
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I know that when I tried Cymbalta that it took about a whole month for the additional starbursting and glare to go away.
I am really hopeful that for you that the medicine is still in your system giving you that mydrasis.

Anthony


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 Post subject: That paper test is not the end of the story...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:10 am 
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Quote:
Why are my eyes red and itchy? Why can't I sleep at night without that damn ointment?


You could have allergies, blepharitis, an infection -are the whites of your eyes pink?

That 'paper thing', called a Schirmer's test doesn't rule out ocular surface disease because you could have a tear breakup problem and/or poor tear quality. Before surgery your eye was smooth and round. Corneal refractive surgeons make your occular surface irregular and lumpy, and as a result, it is harder for the surface of your eye to hold a stable tear film. The corneal nerve damage that results in poor tear production doesn't help.

You could technically 'pass' the schirmer's test but make very thin watery tears that break up on the lumpy mess created by your corneal refractive surgeon during your surgery.

You could try scrubbing your lids with a clean terrycloth washcloth or Q-tips and baby shampoo. Good lid hygeine is essential if you have dry eye and/or blepharitis.

Your doctor may try doxycycline for a while to see if that helps you. You may consider taking fish oil and/or flaxseed oil and making sure you drink plenty of water or iced tea.

Ask your rude doctor to do a suface stain with lisamine green and have him tell you whether or not you have surface staining consistent with keratoconjunctivitis sicca (occular surface disease from dry eye). Ask him what grade of staining he observes. This test is more definitive than the Schirmer's test. The proof is in the health of your ocular surface. Most patients have an unhealthy ocular surface after corneal refractive surgery.
Sadly, corneal refractive surgeons don't seem to mind ruining your ocular health and visual quality if they can make some quick cash in the process.

A humidifier by your bed may also help. You can pick one up at a drugstore.

_________________
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato


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 Post subject: Update
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:15 pm 
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Scientist you were right.
I went to my Lasik surgeon today and he said I have blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction. He used some drops and looked at my eye and could tell right away what was going on. He also put me on Restasis and said I have dry eye.Which is good so now I can get back on my meds.

He said that the dry eye is what is causing the light sensitivity, bad night time starbursting and daytime starbursting. He said dry eye could make all of those things much worse. I didn't know that. So now I just have to wait for my eyes to get better before I can finally get the right prescription for my right eye. Which constantly fluctuates. At least I know why now.

Thanks so much for your posts. Does Restasis work really well?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:17 am 
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Glad you received something resembling a diagnosis! Some doctors will insist there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with your eyes to the bitter end.

You ARE aware that nerve damage from your surgery is the root cause of this problem. If you ever see your original surgeon again, nail him to the wall for lack of informed consent on this matter. Since you were completely unaware of the problem and the effect it can have on your vision it is clear that you did not receive proper informed consent for your procedure. So essentially your doctor 'raped' you, metaphorically.

Restasis is reported to help some people and not others. The active ingredient is cyclosporine, which is a immune suppressant drug used to treat patients for transplant regection. It works by preventing migration of immune cells.

This is a double edged sword because you wouldn't want to get an eye infection while you were on restasis.

Dry eye that is, at the root cause, nerve damage from refractive surgery, is permanent and we have only symptomatic therapies that don't work very well... my vision has fluctuated from day one. I hope your dry eye is not as severe and you have better luck maintaining stable vision.

_________________
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato


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