Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

OHSU eye doctor says laser surgery safer than contacts

11.10.2006
Traditional assumptions have held that contact lenses are safer than laser surgery to correct vision problems. Now, an Oregon Health & Science University Casey Eye Institute physician, comparing data from several recent studies, has found that belief may not be true.

William Mathers, M.D., professor of ophthalmology in the OHSU School of Medicine, reviewed several large, peer-reviewed studies and found a greater chance of suffering vision loss from contact lenses than from laser vision correction surgery, also known as "refractive" surgery. His findings are published in a letter in today's issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

"Several times a year, I have patients who lose eyes from complications because they've been wearing contacts and they've gotten an infection. By this I mean their eyes have to be physically removed from their bodies," said Mathers, an eye surgeon with a strong background in contact lens issues and former president of the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists. "It's not that contacts aren't good. They're better than they've ever been. But one cannot assume contacts are safer."

The risks associated with laser surgery versus contact lenses can not be compared directly, partly because complications from contact lenses accumulate over years of use, and complications from surgery occur soon after the surgery.

Data extrapolated from a study in Lancet shows the lifetime risk of bacterial keratitis to be 1 in 100 for contact lenses worn daily. Bacterial keratitis is an infection that causes an inflammation of the cornea and can lead to vision loss. Wearing contact lenses overnight or improper care or cleaning further increases the risk of infection from contacts. The risk of bacterial keratitis has changed little over the years for contact lens wearers and is the same worldwide.

Vision loss from laser surgery is easier to calculate. Mathers looked at a large study of military personnel who had laser surgery and found results similar to those of the OHSU Casey Vision Correction Center.

A study of more than 32,000 U.S. Armed Forces members receiving laser surgery published in the journal Ophthalmology found a loss of vision of one line on an eye chart was 1 in 1,250. A loss of two or more lines of vision, which would be more significant, but less frequent, was not reported. Data from the OHSU Casey Vision Correction Center showed no cases of vision loss greater than two lines in 18,000 procedures performed over 10 years.

"Even with perfect care of your contacts, the risks for infection and vision loss are still there," said Mathers. "Our long-term results at OHSU confirm the experience of the U.S. military: Laser surgery is as safe, and probably safer, than long-term use of contact lenses."

The calculated risks of vision loss from contact lenses and laser surgery are approximate and subject to change. Highly oxygen-permeable contact lenses and advances in laser surgery should make both even safer. There are approximately 20 million to 25 million contact lens wearers in the United States, and approximately 1 million people in the United States have laser surgery every year.

"Data from these studies strongly suggest our intuition regarding these risks needs to be reassessed," Mathers said. "I, for one, look forward to further investigations of these risks."

Jonathan Modie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohsu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>