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Humidity affects Lasik surgery

Patients who get laser surgery done to correct poor vision need fine-tuning in hot and humid weather.

Humidity affects Lasik surgery

Patients who get laser surgery done to correct poor vision need fine-tuning in hot and humid weather. Lasik stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and involves changing the shape of the cornea using an ultraviolet laser to correct vision. Researchers from the Wake Forest University in North Carolina conducted a study and found that September is the worst month to get the laser surgery done, with 50 percent of eyes needing a follow-up procedure compared to none in drier winter months. This is the first study to show that environmental factors can affect Lasik outcomes. Physicians should take these factors into account when calibrating laser equipment. Researchers performed Lasik on 368 eyes, with an average of 15.5 percent needing a second procedure to fine-tune vision. They found that a 10 percent increase in treatment room humidity meant an additional nine out of every 100 patients needed more treatment. The results were influenced by outdoor temperatures and humidity. Extra moisture in the air may reduce the laser energy absorbed by the cornea. The study does not mean that consumers should avoid Lasik surgery during the summer. But they should make sure that their physicians compensate for temperature and humidity.
Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery,
April 2004
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