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The cost of Lasik eye surgery in Australia

This write-up is a piece of vital information for people in Australia. Are you battling with myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism? Have you been advised to undergo Lasik eye surgery in Australia, and do you want to know the cost? You’ve landed in the right place. Although, the cost of Lasik in Australia varies. It varies because eye clinics are not charging the same amount for their services. Some of the charges are based on their competency, while others charge something lower than others to help solve people’s eye problems.

But before I move further, please permit me to discuss what Lasik surgery entails briefly.

What is Lasik surgery?

What is Lasik surgery?

When a laser is used to reshape, resolve and correct the eye’s cornea whenever the eye is complex, then Lasik surgery has taken place. It is a process of using a Laser to correct any vision problem. Lasik eye surgery is a perfect procedure to fight myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. I have seen people saying something good about how this surgery transforms their vision on several occasions. At first, one might be scared of this surgery. One might even think about the possibility of regaining one’s sight permanently.

Sincerely, you are safe if you undergo this surgery. 

So, what happens during this surgery? During Lasik, the thin cornea flap in the upper layer of the cornea is lifted. The Laser will reshape the cornea tissue that is underneath. The reason behind this procedure is to ensure that light focuses better on the retina. So, if the surgery is carried out correctly, the cornea flap will be restored. Today, Lasik surgery is one of the safest and most reliable ways of solving visual problems. Let me chip in that a competent eye surgeon must carry out this surgery. Click here to read about the steps to follow before choosing the best Lasik eye surgeon.

Lasik eye surgery cost in Australia

Lasik eye surgery cost in Australia

If you want to undergo this surgery, you must have it in the back of your mind that eye clinics in Australia charge for this surgery per eye. Also, the cost of Lasik depends on the type of laser eye surgery you want to do. There are four types of Laser eye surgery. And their prices vary. Thus, we have Lasik, PRK, SMILE, and ICL. In Australia today, the potential cost range per eye for Lasik is between $2000 and $3400. That said, it means the minimum cost of Lasik surgery per eye is $2000. No eye clinic in Australia will charge you below $2000. Is that expensive? It might sound somehow to your ears. But I want to assure you that this price is not high. There are other things added that might be hidden from you. What do I mean? If you want to pay for Lasik in Australia, and you’re asked to pay $2300, you’re not paying for the activities or services in the theatre room alone. There are other things added. And if they separate them, you’ll later need to go for those things, and it’ll cost you the same amount of money. It is time to explain why Lasik is somehow expensive in Australia. 

Is Lasik expensive in Australia?

The simple answer is NO! Then, why are people paying $2000 at minimum for Lasik eye surgery in Australia? You can also read about Eye Health Schemes (aids and appliances) by visiting https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/optometry_eye_health

Is Lasik expensive in Australia?
  • Initial consultation fee: Before any activities about one’s health, one needs to consult the doctor. And usually, you need to pay a consultation fee. This consultation fee is part of what you’re going to pay together with the activities or services in the theatre room. I hope you understand what I am trying to say here. The cost of Lasik in Australia includes a consultation fee. So, if you want to separate the consultation fee from it, you’ll pay less than $2000. But don’t forget that you’ll have to consult your doctor before the surgery and you will pay for it. 
  • Tests: Test will be carried out severally to know the condition of your eyes. There are no special charges for tests. The money you’re going to pay covers the services in the theatre room and the test carried out on you before and after the surgery. Oh! Do you know you’ll have to do some tests even after the surgery? Of course, you’ll do some tests. The test will show the condition of your eyes. It is the test that’ll show if your eyes have been fully restored. 
  • Follow-up service fee: Follow-up services are essential. No doctor will do surgery for you without doing some follow-up. They will check on you and ask you some questions to know how you’re feeling after the surgery. They will ask you if you do not see the symptoms you’ve seen before the surgery. So, you don’t need to pay any money for follow-up. The money you’ve paid will also cover all these services. I hope you won’t say Lasik is expensive in Australia again. 
  • Potential enhancement treatment: If any dispute arises after or during the process, you don’t need to pay additional money. The money you’ve paid will shield everything that has to do with your eyes at that moment. For instance, if a severe hurdle arises a week after the surgery, you need to go back to the eye clinic and lodge complaints. Then, you don’t need to pay any extra money before they attend to you. This has been what is going on that people did not know. So, please remember that you’re not only paying for the services in the theatre room. You also paid for potential enhancement treatment.
  • Medications: The cost of medications is included in the real money you’ll be paying. For instance, if you need to use an eye drop after the surgery, you don’t need to pray specifically for the eye drop again. They will give you the eye drop and instruct you on when and how to use it. 

On a final note

Dear reader, I hope you’ve seen something powerful to run with here. It would be nice to share the link to this page with people that’ll benefit from it. I explained the cost of Lasik surgery in Australia. Also, I explained other things embedded in the cost that makes it look more expensive. Finally, do you have a question regarding this topic? Please drop your question in the comment box. 

Steps to follow before choosing the best Lasik eye surgeon

Choosing the best Lasik surgeon is not an easy task. One needs to be careful before entrusting one’s eye care with anybody. There’s no doubt that the world is going digital. But even at that, people still suffer before getting a competent eye surgeon online. I was shocked the day a woman told me that she searched for a Lasik surgeon online and all her effort were abortive. Nowadays, there’s no rest even after communicating with one eye surgeon online. 

The online stuff is the most difficult one. What do I mean? People can be easily deceived by the ranking of eye clinics on search engines. You can assume that you’re picking the best Lasik surgeon because to choose according to the ranks on search engines like Google. Let me be frank with you, the first Lasik surgeon suggested to you by Google might be an incompetent surgeon. How do I know? You don’t judge a book by its cover. It is wrong to assume that the first surgeon that Google will suggest to you is the best. 

Please permit me to share an important secret with you. Web pages can be designed to top the search engines. Some experts help in ranking web pages on search engines. So, if you depend on the rankings, you might fall into errors. Remember, Lasik requires specialized knowledge in its operation. That is why you can’t even assume that all Ophthalmologists can handle Lasik eye surgery.  

However, what is the way out? You’ve landed in the best place. This article aims at revealing the necessary steps to take before choosing your eye surgeon. There are some things you need to check and take note of. But before I take you through that, it would be nice to talk about what Lasik surgery entails. 

What are the occurrences in Lasik? 

The Laser is used to reshape or correct the corneal tissue underneath the flap. The flap will be lifted to ensure the corneal tissue underneath is corrected without any complications in this procedure. Do you know why this is done? This procedure is done to ensure the light focus better on the retina. So, if this process is handled carefully, the cornea flap can be fully restored to its normal state. One beautiful thing about this process is that it remains the best method of solving eye problems like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. However, one thing is crucial. If you don’t want to undergo this surgery again, make sure you’re connected with the right source. What do I mean by being connected with the right source? Ensure that your Lasik surgeon is competent and reliable. Visit http://heartsenseblog.com/limitations-of-undergoing-lasik-eye-surgery/ to read about the Limitations of undergoing Lasik eye surgery.

Why do you need an experienced eye surgeon?

This surgery that I’ve been talking about requires well-trained personnel to handle it. There are unpleasant outcomes for people that have once allowed an incompetent Lasik surgeon to handle their eye. To be candid, one can lose one’s eyesight permanently. Therefore, to avoid spending more money on surgery again, you need a competent eye surgeon. Not only that but if you don’t want to use eyeglasses after the surgery, there’s a need to be connected with a reliable surgeon. You can also read about Increasing Access to Cataract Surgery by clicking here.

Steps to follow in choosing the best surgeon

Step 1: Pay attention to the details of reviews

This is the first step you must take so seriously whether you want to choose your surgeon online or not. Check the surgeon’s website for positive reviews. What are positive reviews? Positive reviews are people’s testimonies about a good or service. There is a place on every website to make either a positive statement or a negative one about the goods or services. So, you must check the percentage of positive reviews on the surgeon’s website. Let me give you a clue. Make sure you see at least 98% of positive reviews on a surgeon’s website before you strike a deal with such a surgeon. 

Step 2: Ask some questions.

The write-ups on their web pages might not be accurate. So, you can ask them questions that will invoke accurate responses. Of course, you need to be sound psychologically. Pay rapt attention to gestures. This step is helpful for those that want to choose their surgeon online. Also, it is an essential step for those that want to visit an eye clinic close to them. If you have a clinic close to you, then ask the surgeon questions physically. You can ask the surgeon some questions to know if he has done Lasik surgery before. Questions like; how long have you been doing this surgery? When was the last time you did this surgery on someone? What are other experiences you’ve learned so far since the time you’ve been doing this job? I just give you a template. Other questions will flow within you organically in front of the surgeon. Please ask! 

Step 3: Do research about the surgeon.

This step is crucial. It is good to embark on knowing if the Lasik surgeon is well trained or not. Once you know your surgeon’s name, you can go online to read his profile. This will give you a clue about the surgeon’s personality. Knowing the surgeon’s academic background will assure you that you’re in safe hands. 

Step 4: Pay attention to the surgeon’s person during a consultation

The surgeon’s personality has a unique way of contributing to the success of Lasik surgery. If the surgeon is not friendly and harsh, I want to advise you to terminate the appointment with him and look for another surgeon. Then, how will you know the surgeon’s personality? Please pay attention to how he responds to questions you’ll ask him during the consultation period. If the surgeon is willing to attend to all your eye health questions, you’re safe. But if the reverse is the case, one needs to be careful.

On a final note

Dear reader, hopefully, you’ve seen something profound here. I believe if you can follow the steps above, you’ll have a lovely story to share. Finally, a question regarding this topic might cross your mind while reading this article. Please drop your question in the comment box.  

Limitations of undergoing Lasik eye surgery

Limitations of undergoing Lasik eye surgery

Even though the entire search engines are full of positive write-ups or information about Lasik, that doesn’t mean that this surgery has no shortcomings. There’s no good thing on earth without limitations. Of course, some limitations can be managed and controlled. The source of this topic came out when I was doing research about Lasik. I noticed that 80% of information about Lasik is about how perfect this surgery is when it comes to correcting some visual problems like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. 

So, I began to ask myself some questions. Are there no effects or shortcomings of undergoing this surgery? This question kept ruling my heart. So, I had to look carefully into what this surgery entails. Dear reader, I want to boldly tell you that there are disadvantages to undergoing Lasik surgery. However, this article aims at educating individuals about the disadvantages of undergoing this surgery. Also, I decided to write this article to help people about to undergo Lasik to have it in the back of their mind that this surgery has its shortcomings. You can read more about undergoing Lasik surgery by visiting https://www.personaleyes.com.au/lasik.

So, when you have this background knowledge, you will know that the chance of restoring your sight is not always 100% as some information you’ve read about it. But before we proceed, it is expedient to talk about what Lasik surgery entails. 

What is Lasik surgery?

What is Lasik surgery?

When a laser is used to reshape, resolve and correct the eye’s cornea whenever the eye is complex, then Lasik surgery has taken place. It is a process of using a Laser to correct any vision problem. Lasik eye surgery is a perfect procedure to fight myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. I have seen people saying something good about how this surgery transforms their vision on several occasions. At first, one might be scared of this surgery. One might even think about the possibility of regaining one’s sight permanently. You can read about The cost of Lasik eye surgery in Australia by clicking here.

Sincerely, you are safe if you undergo this surgery. 

So, what happens during this surgery? During Lasik, the thin cornea flap in the upper layer of the cornea is lifted. The Laser will reshape the cornea tissue that is underneath. The reason behind this procedure is to ensure that light focuses better on the retina. So, if the surgery is carried out correctly, the cornea flap will be restored. Today, Lasik surgery is one of the safest and most reliable ways of solving visual problems. Let me chip in that a competent eye surgeon must carry out this surgery.

Disadvantages of undergoing Lasik eye surgery

  • Flap problems: Lasik requires folding back the flap from the eye’s surface. The folding of flaps can lead to complications. Too many tears can occur during Lasik eye surgery. That is why it is essential to make sure your eye surgeon is an experienced one. During this procedure, the outermost cornea tissue layer may grow abnormally. And this will cause a problem. 

I have seen people having this problem even after undergoing Lasik. Some of them had to undergo another surgery to fix the problem that arose during Lasik. Therefore, one of the most significant shortcomings of this surgery is the flap problems. Remember, the whole process is around the flap. So, if a competent surgeon does not appropriately do it, one might fall into another error. If you don’t know this, you can assume Lasik has no limitations. 

  • Lasik is for adults: One of the disadvantages of this surgery is that not everyone is eligible to undergo it. The same eye problems can occur in both young and adults. Only adults battling myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism can go for Lasik. Kids who have myopia cannot undergo Lasik. Why is that? So, kids had to look for other means to solve their eye problems. It shouldn’t be. Why can’t kids undergo this surgery? That’s a topic to be treated on its own. Therefore, one of the disadvantages of this surgery is that not everyone is eligible.

It is said that this surgery is strictly meant for adults. In fact, people who can undergo this surgery are forty years and above. So, if you’re below 40years and battling either myopia or astigmatism, you’re not eligible to undergo this procedure. Remember, Lasik is the perfect way of treating visual problems like astigmatism, myopia, and hyperopia. What will you do if you have an eye problem that needs Lasik while you’re still below 40? Perhaps, one should consult a doctor for help. 

  • One may need Lasik again: Personally, when I got this information, I doubted the effectiveness of doing this surgery. Can you imagine that? How can one undergo surgery, and there’s a slight chance that one may undergo that surgery again? It means the process is not perfect in the first place. So, I travel in thought and research. Then, I noticed that one might do this surgery again if there are complications after the surgery. Not only that, but one can also undergo Lasik again if the eye surgeon is not a competent one. That is why I have been saying this fact at the beginning of this write-up. If you want to undergo Lasik, please ensure that your surgeon is competent and experienced. If you allow an incompetent or inexperienced ophthalmologist to handle your eye, it will later affect you. 
  • Infections: Another shortcoming of Lasik is the occurrence of infection during and after this surgery. I have heard about people who spent extra money treating infections after this procedure. However, the tendency to get an infection is low. But the fact remains that one can get infected. Therefore, my candid advice to anyone about to undergo Lasik is to ensure that a competent eye surgeon is the one handling their case. 

On a final note 

Dear reader, this article aims not to stop you from undergoing Lasik eye surgery. I only want to show you the limitations of undergoing this process. However, one can derive a means of overcoming the above-listed limitations. Please ensure that a competent eye surgeon is the one handling your eyes. Finally, while reading this article, a question might cross your mind. Please drop your question in the comment box if you have any. 

Have you heard of Femto LASIK

Laser eye procedures have gained popularity due to its effectiveness, speed of healing, and lack of post-operative problems. Since these technologies were first developed, additional advancements have occurred, such as the use of the femtosecond laser.

Femto LASIK is an acronym for femtosecond laser assisted in situ keratomileusis

LASIK is a type of laser eye surgery that utilizes femtosecond-assisted (Femto) laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK). This technique, in conjunction with others known as refractory surgery, is used to reshape the cornea of the eye in order to correct vision problems.

Keratomileusis, or the sculpting of the cornea to repair refractive defects, was invented in 1948Trusted Source using a tiny surgical instrument called the microkeratome.

This first technique, which included a mechanical instrument, was dubbed anterior lamellar keratoplasty (ALK). In the late 1980s and early 1990s, this procedure’s technology advanced.

In the early 1990s, the Femto laser enabled surgeons to construct the corneal flap needed in LASIK using a laser rather than a mechanical cutting instrument. The flap may be restored without sutures after surgery, allowing for faster recovery.

Have you heard of Femto LASIK

Laser surgery procedures

There are two primary forms of laser surgery utilized to remodel the cornea today:

  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK): In this procedure, the cornea’s surface layers are removed, and the cornea is precisely shaped using lasers to correct refractive vision disorders. This procedure was pioneered in the 1980s.
  • LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis): This procedure is essentially a combination of the ALK and PRK methods of corneal reshaping. It entails the formation of a tiny flap that is raised during the reshaping of the cornea. At the conclusion of surgery, the flap is replaced and heals properly.

Who is the most qualified candidate?

To be considered a candidate for Femto LASIK from a Trusted Source, you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • 18 years of age and older: Any sort of LASIK surgery is only authorized for use in adults.
  • Consistent vision: You cannot undergo LASIK surgery if your glasses or contact lens prescription has changed in the last year, if you are using drugs that may impact your vision, or if you are experiencing hormonal changes that may influence your eyesight, such as nursing or diabetes.
  • Good wound healing: You must be free of any diseases or drugs that may obstruct proper wound healing.
  • Extremely thin cornea: Individuals with extremely thin corneas may face an increased risk of blindness following a LASIK procedure.
  • Previous refractory surgeries: If you have had previous refractory surgeries or procedures, you may be ineligible for Femto or other types of LASIK surgery.

Conditions that might exclude you from undergoing surgery

Certain disorders or problems may need further conversation with your doctor or may exclude you from being a candidate for LASIK entirely. These include the following:

  • blepharitis 
  • dry eyes 
  • glaucoma 
  • herpes simplex 
  • herpes zoster 
  • iritis 
  • keratoconus

What is the cost of Femto LASIK?

One disadvantage of refractive surgery is that it is considered elective and so not covered by most vision insurance policies.

However, you may be able to utilize a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA) to cover the whole cost of the treatment or a part of it. Depending on your job or insurance provider, some insurance plans and LASIK facilities may also give savings.

LASIK surgery typically costs between $1,000 and $3,000 per eye. Femto LASIK is often more expensive than regular LASIK because to the advanced technologies employed. Additional considerations that may affect your cost include the following: 

  • your location
  • the amount of vision correction required
  • the surgeon’s ability.

Be cautious of “cheap” arrangements, which often include hidden expenses, use untrained surgeons, or depend on obsolete technology. Ensure that you inquire about the charges associated with your first meeting with your surgeon. Typical packages may cover the following: 

  • initial evaluation and testing
  • all procedure-related charges
  • post-procedure visits and drugs
  • any necessary follow-up treatments.

How is Femto LASIK performed?

To comprehend Femto LASIK, it is necessary to comprehend how vision issues originate and how refractive surgery might assist. When the eye has difficulty bending and focusing light, refractive errors occur. There are many types of refractive errors.

  • Myopia: Difficulty seeing objects in the distance, often known as nearsightedness. This issue develops when the cornea has a steeper curve, and refractive surgery corrects it by reducing the curvature of the cornea.
  • Hyperopia: Difficulty seeing objects up close, often known as farsightedness. The cornea is too flat in this condition, and refractive surgery is done to enhance the cornea’s curvature.
  • Astigmatism: Defects in the cornea’s shape. This problem is caused by the abnormal curvature of the cornea, and the irregular portions may be reshaped surgically.
  • Presbyopia: Decreased flexibility of the eye as a result of aging. This is a condition that arises when the lens within the eye grows more rigid and loses its flexibility with age. While refractive surgery may be able to assist rectify this issue in certain situations, it may also exclude you from being a candidate.

Not all of these complications can be resolved by refractive surgery. Refractive surgery is only effective for correcting disorders that can be corrected by corneal reshaping.

When refractive surgery is done to treat these issues, an incision on the surface of the eye is created and the cornea is reshaped using a laser.

Femto LASIK procedure

Have you heard of Femto LASIK

The following stages will occur on the day of surgery:

  • You will be escorted to a procedure room where you will be seated on a reclining chair.
  • You’ll lay on your back in front of a laser system and a computer monitor.
  • Your eyes will be numbed using numbing drops.
  • During the process, an eye speculum will be utilized to keep your eyelids open.
  • Suction is then applied using a suction ring centered over the pupil.
  • A glass lens to stabilize the globe of the eye and flatten the cornea. • Once the laser has focused on the surgical region, your surgeon begins the procedure.
  • The laser pulses to form a flap on the cornea’s surface, allowing suction to be released.
  • After peeling back the flap, a precision excimer laser utilizes ultraviolet light to remodel the cornea to correct your issue.
  • During this stage of the process, you may hear a ticking sound or smell something burning.
  • In Femto LASIK, the flap is replaced after reshaping.
  • Without sutures, the flap will heal in situ.

Each eye should take no more than 30 minutes to complete the treatment. Assure that you have someone to drive you home after the surgery.

Did you just go for a LASIK surgery?

Are you still debating whether or not to have LASIK vision correction surgery? The market research firm Market Scope estimates that around 10 million Americans have had LASIK surgery since the procedure was initially authorized by the FDA in 1999. In the United States, around 700,000 LASIK operations are done each year, making it the most popular permanent vision repair treatment available. LASIK eye surgery patients no longer require eyeglasses or contact lenses to see clearly, as the majority of them do after their procedure.

While many elective operations are being put on hold as a result of the COVID-10 epidemic, many individuals with impaired vision are taking advantage of the opportunity to learn more about lasik eye surgery and, more critically, to find a LASIK surgeon who is right for them. Listed below are the top ten considerations you should consider when selecting a LASIK surgeon to treat your vision correction needs:

1. RESEARCH. 

Make sure you do your assignment. There are numerous resources available, including the Internet, your local chamber of commerce, and medical organizations such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

2. EXPERIENCE IS IMPORTANT. 

In order to be effective, he or she must have extensive knowledge with the technique. Throughout the field of LASIK surgery, it is not unusual for one to have performed 25,000, 50,000, or even more LASIK treatments in their career.

3. CERTIFIED BY THE BOARD 

Inquire as to whether your surgeon holds any additional certifications beyond a basic license to practice medicine. This indicates that the surgeon has been certified by an entity recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to practice in his or her specialty by the Board. According to the American Board of Ophthalmology, board-certified doctors must complete specialized training and ongoing education relating to their specialty before they may be considered for certification.

Did you just go for a LASIK surgery?

4. LICENSING. 

The qualifications of a surgeon may be verified by state licensing bodies. You may also look up a surgeon’s qualifications by visiting the National Practitioner Data Bank website.

5. ADVICE ON LASIK CONSULTATION. 

Not everyone is a good candidate for laser vision correction (LASIK). This is due to the fact that LASIK is not suitable for everyone. A number of factors, such as certain health conditions, thin corneas, and others, may indicate that the procedure is not right for you.

6. TRUST. 

With your surgeon, you should feel at ease and be completely honest with him or her. You should feel confident in his or her ability to answer all of your questions and offer you with the knowledge you need to make an educated choice. You should be made fully informed of the dangers and rewards so that you can make the best decision for you and your circumstances.

7. There is no obligation or pressure. 

Never feel obligated to have the procedure performed; your LASIK consultation should not feel like a sales pitch to have the procedure performed. Rather of focusing on getting the greatest bargain, the objective should be to realize your best vision.

Guarantees of 20/20 accuracy. Be skeptical of a profession that makes unfulfilled promises. LASIK is a fantastic procedure, but it has its limitations in terms of what it can accomplish. For example, it may not provide you with perfect vision, but rather with improved vision. Furthermore, since your eyes will continue to change as you age, you may still need reading glasses as you become older. These limits should be communicated to you by your surgeon in an open and honest manner.

8. ADVERTISEMENTS. 

Newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet are all used by many refractive surgery facilities to market their services. Some advertisements provide more information than others. Some claim to have exceptionally competitive prices. However, although advertisements and treatment prices might be useful beginning points, they should not be your major factor when selecting a doctor.

9. REFERRALS. 

Inquire with your normal eye care expert, whether it’s an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, about getting a referral. Inform your doctor that you wish to have your LASIK surgery performed by the LASIK surgeon in your area who has the best reputation in the industry. It is possible that friends, family, and colleagues will make recommendations based on their own personal experiences.

The LASIK Recuperation Procedure

The use of laser eye surgery is an excellent choice for people who want a long-lasting, cost-effective vision solution that allows them to do what they love without the use of glasses or contacts. However, for some people, taking advantage of these advantages may not be as straightforward as just going in for a surgery and then returning to your regular schedule. Here are a few things you should be aware of when it comes to LASIK recovery, as well as factors that might influence your LASIK recovery timetable.

Did you just go for a LASIK surgery?

LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery Timeline – How Long Does It Take?

The healing process after LASIK surgery is divided into many phases. Many patients feel a considerable improvement in their eyesight shortly after having LASIK eye surgery performed. The majority of patients are able to return to their usual routine within a few days.

It will be necessary to use the eye drops prescribed by your eye doctor following laser eye surgery in order to maximize the healing process and prevent any infection. Take note of the fact that there are distinct expectations for each stage of the LASIK recovery timetable, including visual outcomes, measures to take in your aftercare, and suggestions to help you heal more quickly at each stage.

This is the first day following LASIK surgery.

In order to ensure a smooth recovery following LASIK eye surgery, it is critical to wear a protective eye covering on the first day following the procedure. In addition, you will need the services of a friend or family member to transport you home. Maintain the protective cover overnight and replace it with any protective sunglasses you received from your doctor the next morning. It is OK to wash after the first day but avoid rubbing your eyes with water or soap at that time.

It is possible that you may have some eye irritation on the first day of your LASIK recuperation. Typically, this results in symptoms like as dryness, blurriness, itching, and light sensitivity. These symptoms, on the other hand, should be addressed by using lubricating eye drops recommended by your doctor as well as over-the-counter pain relief medicine. If you see that your discomfort is becoming worse, consult your doctor.

Can LASIK eliminate the need for reading glasses?

Millions of individuals have benefitted from LASIK surgery, yet many still have concerns regarding the procedure and wearing reading glasses. Despite the fact that the majority of patients notice a significant improvement, reading glasses may still be necessary in certain cases, even after the treatment. A great deal is dependent on the individual’s circumstances.

If you are under the age of forty and have both eyes laser corrected for distance vision, it is likely that you will not need reading glasses after having the surgery performed. If you are over forty years old and have the identical treatment done, you will almost certainly need reading glasses soon after the procedure. Consider monovision as an option if you want to avoid wearing reading glasses. If you are over forty, this procedure may be a possibility for you. It entails having one eye corrected for distant vision and the other adjusted for close vision. It is recommended that you test this procedure out first using contact lenses before deciding to go through with it via eye surgery lasik.

The development of a method in which a laser forms a multifocal cornea is now under investigation. This would allow both eyes to be used for reading and distant vision. However, these approaches are still being refined, and they have not yet been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

The capacity of the lens to expand and contract is the source of the issues associated with nearsightedness and farsightedness, respectively. This process is referred to as accommodation, and it is something that we lose as we get older and our eyes become less adaptable to new environments. It is possible that you may have trouble reading for a few days after LASIK surgery if you undergo laser vision correction. Wearing over-the-counter reading glasses is a realistic approach that will have no negative impact on your recovery. However, even once your eyesight has stabilized, you may still have difficulty reading, in which case your doctor might prescribe reading glasses.

While some individuals may discover that LASIK removes their need for reading glasses, others may find that their answer entails a combination of LASIK and prescription reading glasses.

Once individuals reach the age of 40, a separate ailment known as presbyopia may begin to impair their ability to see up close. The condition known as presbyopia happens when the eye lenses begin to lose their flexibility, making it harder to concentrate on objects up close. Over-the-counter reading glasses in Rapid City are offered in a variety of strengths to assist with the adjustment to this change in visual ability.

Presbyopia cannot be corrected with LASIK. LASIK is a treatment in which the cornea is gently altered in order to enable light to correctly concentrate on the retina (the back of the eye) in order to obtain clear vision after cataract surgery. Because presbyopia is not caused by the structure of the cornea, LASIK in its most basic version is ineffective in treating this visual problem.

However, there is a snag in the system!

It is possible to have monovision LASIK surgery in Personal Eyes done to offer clear distant vision in one eye and clear up-close vision in the other, resulting in clear vision at all distances. Because this treatment may be difficult to adapt to, you may be given trial contact lenses before you undergo the operation.

Treatment with laser eye surgery: Can laser eye surgery reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses (presbyopia)?

Is it possible to get laser eye surgery to eliminate the need for reading glasses? Yes, it is possible.

This is a topic that is often misunderstood. There is an urban fallacy regarding laser eye surgery that is perpetuated by a large number of eye surgeons: laser eye surgery is only beneficial to young individuals. This is simply not true. It can only be used to entice individuals to take their distance vision glasses off, and it has no effect on their reading ability.

This subject has undergone several changes in the previous five to ten years, many of which are positive. Diverse laser systems are derived from a variety of different ways. The laser platforms, in my view, are the clear winners when it comes to providing an effective and safe therapy. This ice male 90 platforms treatment profile, which uses the Presby blended division treatment profile, is used to address the requirement for reading glasses in patients who have had LASIK. 

Can LASIK eliminate the need for reading glasses?

It is built on the foundation of something that happens naturally. While we’re in our twenties and thirties, we’re fortunate enough to have access to housing that has the magical capacity to shift focus from afar to close in less than a second. A portion of this is accomplished by increasing the amount of an optical flaw known as spherical aberration in the image. That is one of the things that happens as we accommodate, when our attention shifts from a distant to a closer distance. When a regulated degree of spherical aberration is employed to improve the depth of focus on each eye, the Presbyond laser blended vision software is used to achieve this result.

Afterwards, we may ask each eye to do a slightly different task, which will benefit the great majority of patients. If I look at myself, for example, my dominant eye is my right eye. As a result, my right eye would be configured for distant through intermediate vision, and my left eye would be configured for intermediate through close vision, thanks to the Presbyond laser platform. It is critical that they overlap in order to create a blend zone, a region where both eyes are contributing to the conversation. This enables me to concentrate from a distance all the way through to intermediate and close range, providing me a full range of focus.

Can LASIK eliminate the need for reading glasses?

It’s a middle-of-the-road solution. However, it is not the same as being twenty-one and having perfect distance vision that you can shift seamlessly to near and back out again, but it is an extraordinarily powerful and effective solution that provides 90 percent of my patients with complete vision that is independent of spectacles, and it is not expensive. All of the other patients are only utilizing readers for very small text or when they need to read for a lengthy amount of time, especially when under poor lighting circumstances, such as in the evening when they are fatigued and the lights are turned down low.

As a result, the urban legend that laser eye surgery cannot address the need for readers, which has been spreading via the grapevine, is incorrect. We provide LASIK with Presbyond blended vision, which enables us to provide our patients with distant, intermediate, and close focus, allowing them to be free of glasses. Learn more about Femto LASIK.

Sudden Death in Young Athletes

John Mandrola MD is a cardiac electrophysiologist practicing in Louisville, Ky who blogs as Dr. John M.  Below is his insightful discussion about why cardiac screening may not be possible to prevent sudden death in young athletes.  Yet it is so distressing each time a young athlete falls dead during or after a game because he and his family did not know that he had a serious heart problem that could have been identified in a test.  For some heart defects, if only the family were aware of the defect, it would be appropriate for the young athlete to wear an implanted defibrillator that would save his life either through extra pacing as the disturbance began or through electric shocks if his heart suddenly went into a wild shaking known as ventricular fibrillation.  

I understand John’s concern about the high cost of making electrocardiograms and echocardiograms, heart tests that could pick up significant heart defects, a required part of sports physical in schools and colleges.  Aside from the cost is the important issue that screening can pick up false positives and “shadows and innocent blips” that lead to further invasive testing.  Yet, I could see parents springing for these cardiac exams themselves, but then being very cautious about doing any further testing.

It is unforgivable not to have an automatic external defibrillator at all sporting events, close to the court or the field, and more than one athletic staff member trained to use it. Every minute counts when a person’s heart stops working.  Realizing what has happened, then calling an ambulance and waiting for the paramedics to arrive, may take up too much time to save a young athlete’s life.  When an athlete falls to the ground and is not moving, the trainer or other staffer should immediately have the defibrillator or crash cart ready so that the shocks could be applied to the athlete’s heart within one to two minutes. 

It’s heart-wrenching when young athletes die of sudden cardiac death (SCD). This week, the death of Wes Leonard, a Michigan high school star athlete, was especially poignant since he collapsed right after hitting the game-winning shot.  This sort of tragedy occurs about one hundred times each year in America. That’s a lot of sadness.

Sudden Death in Young Athletes

The obvious question is: Could these deaths be prevented?

Let’s start with what actually happens.

Most cases of sudden death in young people occur as a result of either hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), an abnormal thickening of heart muscle, or long QT-Syndrome, a mostly inherited disease of the heart’s electrical system. Both HCM and Long-QT syndrome predispose the heart to ventricular fibrillation–electrical chaos of the pumping chamber of the heart. The adrenaline surges of athletic competition increase the odds of this chaos. Unfortunately, like heart disease often does, both these ailments can strike without warning.

Sudden death is sad enough by itself, but what makes it even worse for doctors (and patients) is that both these ailments are mostly detectable with two simple painless tests: the ECG and Echocardiogram (heart ultrasound).

Let’s get these kids ECGs and Echos then. Git-r-done, you might say.

On the surface the solution seems simple: implement universal cardiac screening of all young athletes. And you wouldn’t be alone in thinking this way. You could even boast the support of Dr Manny Alvarez of Fox News, and the entire country of Italy–where all athletes get ECGs and Echos before competing.

But America is not Italy and things aren’t as simple as Fox News likes to suggest.

There are three major flaws with Dr Manny’s simplistic proclamation that all (American) athletes should have pre-participation ECGs and Echocardiograms.

The Economic:

The estimated cost–in our current health care system–for adding an ECG and Echo to the sport’s exam is about $1000. That’s a bunch more than $19.99–the advertised price of the sports physical at my local grocery store’s walk-in clinic. Parents may be amendable to charging $19.99 to their credit card, but even when the safety of their teen is at stake, few can afford the current-day costs of ECGs and Echos.

Now, you could make the argument that 1000$ is ridiculously high. And you would own a valid point. But that argument goes to the heart of the healthcare debate.

Let’s consider this notion for a moment: I could listen to your teen’s heart, look at their ECG, place a hand-held ultrasound probe on their chest, and in a matter of five minutes I could clear them for competition. The ECG would exclude long-QT syndrome, and the Echo would exclude excessive thickening of the heart muscle. The reason why I could do this are threefold:

  1. My entire medical career revolves around understanding ECGs.
  2. I look at Echos nearly every day, and was schooled by one of its pioneers, Dr Harvey Feigenbaum.
  3. In general, I waffle a lot less than the average reader of subjective cardiac tests. (That trait might not be valuable at the Mayo Clinic, but it would be good for screening thousands of young people, who are normal 99.999% of the time.)

Ah, but that’s not how things work in our present health care model. Obviously.

You can’t just deliver quality care that easy. There’s got to be a certified technician and machine to do the studies–portable Echos will not work. Calling an Echo normal these days is totally insufficient, fraudulent even. There has to be a three page report documenting each section of the heart. And of course, I can’t officially read an Echo because I am not board-certified in Echocardiography, I am just board-certified in Cardiology and Electrophysiology.

It’s not just the high costs that make screening athletes problematic.

It’s the Math:

Why don’t the numbers support widespread cardiac screening of athletes?

Again, it isn’t as simple as Dr Manny suggests. He portrays ECGs and Echos as black and white, yes or no, high or low kinds of tests. That’s not even close to accurate. They are both highly subjective tests that require mastery of nuance, including the ability guts to call something “normal.”  When a young person’s life is at stake, shadows and innocent blips look much more sinister. Before guaranteeing the invincibility of a young athlete, doctors often see things on ECGs and Echos that “might be something.” Radiologists sometimes call these shadows “incidentalomas.”

That’s the rub with screening that Dr Manny omits. For every life saved by the screening test, there will be hundreds (perhaps thousands) of patients sent for more (and often highly invasive) testing. Doctors are not going to be wrong about sudden death in a young person. No way. No how. There will be more tests, not just because of defensive medicine, but also in the name of quality.

To the numbers: Rare diseases like HCM and Long-QT kill athletes at a frequency of about 0.01%. That’s the left side of the equation. On the right side of the equation are the risks of all the cardiac caths, electrophysiology (EP) studies and dye-requiring CT scans ordered as a result of the screening tests. Though an individual cardiac cath, EP-study or CT are low-risk, the cumulative risk of doing these on thousands of normal people surely approach the 0.01% chance of sudden death in an athlete. Said more simply, with made up numbers to make my point, if screening saves 50 of the 100 teens who die each year, but 50 die from complications that occur from chasing down incidentalomas, than it’s an expensive statistical wash.

The Reality of the Athletic Ethos:

The third major flaw with the idea that mandated cardiac screening will save lives is that making the diagnosis of heart disease doesn’t always equate to preventing sudden death. The athlete has to accept the treatment, which for them, like it was for Boston Celtic great Reggie Lewis, is often untenable.

Gosh, I wish we could save all the young athletes that die suddenly.

But the paradox of our present health care system is that awash in all its fury of available technology (the MRIs, the robots, the GPS-navigational-systems) is our inability to do simple things for the many.

That’s too bad.

JMM

P.S.: One thing that Dr Manny was spot on about was that more AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillator) in athletic arenas are surely a good thing. In the case of AEDs, there exists strong science to show that increasing their availability saves lives.

HeartSense Helpathon: Fourth in a Series

I noticed on Twitter that Liz Scherer mentioned time and again that she was at the gym for her workout, even going in bad weather.  So I asked her to write about why and how she exercises for good health. Turns out she is even more dedicated than I thought.  Below is the guest post of a very determined woman who makes time for exercise daily because it is important.  In previous guest posts, Jody Schoger inspired us with her passion for walking and cycling and Brian Mossop dazzled us with Why I Run.  Here Liz Scherer tells about her gym workout and explains that she just has to move every day.  Maybe something she inherited from her very active mom and dad? Are you like Liz or do you marvel at her story?                                  

Move it or lose it: confessions of a junkie    

Here’s a little-known fact, even amongst my inner circle: I’m a junkie. And when I don’t get my daily fix, I lose my momentum, my emotional balance, my focus, my everything. 

As an aging, perimenopausal woman and a health writer/journalist, I’m well aware of the benefits of regular physical activity, including:

Significant improvements in metabolic and cardiovascular capacity 

Reductions in breast cancer risk, especially during menopause

Maintenance of normal weight as the metabolism slows

Better balance to counter bone loss, and along the same line, preservation of bone as estrogen begins to wane.

However, these benefits aside, it’s also personal; my activity regimen helps to keep the blues and life stressors at bay or, at the very least, temper them. Moreover, as an individual who’s been plagued with back and other joint issues most of her life, I know that movement keeps me upright.

HeartSense Helpathon

Here’s another confession:

It’s in the genes.

I have yet to see any data that demonstrate that interest in exercise and physical activity is genetically based. Hence, as an “n=1” example, I’d like to offer the following hypothesis:

The need/desire to exercise is hard-wired at birth.

If true, this would provide a rationale for why I went from the gateway of jungle gyms to the harder stuff: gym workouts, running, biking, hiking, and walking miles and miles and miles all over Manhattan. It would also explain why exercise doesn’t simply keep me alive and healthy, but it makes me feel vibrant and powerful. Moreover, every cell in my body craves it when I stay away for too long.

Physical activity. It’s my family’s genetic pool. Say what you will but one of the most vivid memories I have of my grandmother is her single-handedly moving a piece of furniture in her apartment, a piece that was at least twice her size and almost equivalent to her weight, and at the age of 87, no less.

My parents, currently 84 and 79, are also addicted. Back in the 70s, it was running and tennis; today, it’s horseback riding, exercise class, half-court basketball, tennis and golf, minutes on the BOSU, Qigong, you name it.  

For me, my routine is as varied as my interests. However, there are two constants:

A minimum of 50 minutes of cardio/aerobic activity daily.  Recent data suggest that women need a minimum of 55 minutes daily of moderate-intensity physical activity to maintain daily weight. I work out at a gym where I rely on a combination of the recumbent bike, elliptical, rowing machine, or walking backward on the treadmill. Not only is my aim to maintain a target heart rate but I also want to ensure that I am hitting both lower and upper body areas during the course of my daily workout. In addition to metabolic boost, the goal is multifold: cardiovascular/aerobic conditioning, upper and lower body strengthening, and core conditioning, all of which keep me healthy and upright. Of note, rowing has been a recent addition for me; not only does it work out my entire body, but it’s incredibly meditative and hence a stress buster and creativity enhancer.

An every-other-day weight/machine regimen as an add-on to aerobic activity. Due to time constraints, I tend to focus on either the lower or upper body on these days but ensure that I get both into my week. Of note, workouts should be individualized and take into account physical limitations, age, and overall health. My workouts were developed by a trainer who understands the challenges of an aging body in conjunction with my physical therapist, who is also a physiologist and is responsible for helping me to eliminate much of the joint and back pain I am prone towards. Specifically, my weight/machine regimen is designed to strengthen my core, develop my upper back/shoulder strength and combat the middle-aged bulge that accompanies waning hormone levels in women. It includes free weights, the use of resistance bands, and Free Motion Cross-Cable machines that allow a customized program and smoother resistance. Importantly, I focus less on the overall weight I’m using for each machine and more on repetitions; this helps me to achieve fitness goals without overtaxing any area of my body. 

Whether you’re 25 or 35, 50, 70, or older, do yourself a favor: move. Physical activity is an addiction that’s not only good for you, it’s also bound to make you feel good and can help keep you feeling good for the rest of your life. The one rule of thumb is to make sure that your healthcare practitioner supports whatever physical activity that you decide to engage in and that you work with a knowledgeable team of trainers and physiologists who can individualize programs.

Yes, I am a junkie and I come from a long line of junkies. I don’t need a pusher because I push myself every single day.  Kick the habit? Not a chance!

Heart Sense Helpathon: Third in a Series

Exercising Basics: Getting Started  

In the previous two guest posts on exercise, Jody Schoger and Brian Mossop inspired us with their stories of building and sustaining a rigorous exercise program.  Both promised that if you exercise regularly, you will never want to go back to being a couch potato. Exercise makes you feel better and has many health benefits.  For those of us who have experienced heart failure, the main reasons to exercise are to strengthen our hearts and the muscles in our legs, arms, and core of our bodies.

But the idea of walking, running, or biking for miles if you are unsteady on your feet or still get fatigued easily, may seem out of the question.  So let’s talk about how to get started and what types of exercise to do.  Please be sure to get your doctor’s approval before you begin exercising.  Much of the following is excerpted from Chapter 13 “Exercise:  How Much and What Kind” in Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition the book I co-authored with Edward K. Kasper MD.  While the entire book was a collaboration, the exercise chapter was one I researched and wrote and the main references are listed below.  

If you are not already exercising regularly, why not start today.  Let’s make 2011 a year we build our strength and fitness.

Why Exercise?

To keep from turning into a statue; gain more freedom of movement; ease your heart’s workload; strengthen your core body, legs, arms, heart, and lungs; and become more active.  The main symptom of heart failure is an inability to exercise for long, or even do normal activities such as walking or bathing without feeling fatigued or short of breath.  Heart failure doesn’t just affect your heart.  It also affects many of the muscles in your body, and muscle weakness is often most noticeable in your legs. 

At least three things contribute to your muscle weakness:  As your heart labors to send oxygen to your body, your skeletal muscles receive less oxygen, certain damaging chemical changes occur, and using the muscles makes them tire easily.  Your symptoms of heart failure – your general fatigue, shortness of breath, and muscle fatigue —  often lead to your becoming less active.    Randy Rocha, strength and conditioning coach who has worked with me, explains that with inactivity, as can happen when people first develop heart failure or have moderate to severe heart failure,  muscle tightening and muscle atrophy set in.  “You atrophy so much that you don’t have the strength to get from Point A to Point B,” he says. “Not only is everything atrophying, everything’s tightening up and it’s slowly getting tighter and tighter.”  Then when you try to get up from a chair or off the toilet or walk upstairs or even walk on a flat surface, your shrunken muscles can’t meet the demands you ask of them.  So you may find yourself hobbling along, stopping to rest your hands on the back of a chair, or leaning against a wall.  Not the shape you want to be in?  Regular stretching and strengthening exercises will help you get up more naturally and walk more normally with better posture for longer periods. 

Heart Sense Helpathon

Most heart failure occurs in people who are over 55 and so, aside from your heart failure, you also may have gotten out of shape, overweight, and have some arthritis, diabetes, COVID, or other medical problems.  Now it has become very important for heart patients to test themself regularly against COVID, this can be done at home with the use of the rapid test, learn more about the rapid tests at https://clinicalsupplies.com.au/collections/rapid-antigen-tests

I was fortunate enough to get through my bout with heart failure and come out with a heart that is working normally.  But separately from heart failure, I’ve developed a neuromuscular problem that makes walking challenging.  Like me, you may have multiple reasons to exercise. When you plan your exercise routine, treat your heart failure, but also take care of your whole body’s needs.  Besides gaining the ability to be more active and do more things, benefits from exercising include lower blood pressure and improved ability of the blood vessels to expand and contract.

Types of Exercise

If your doctor says you are healthy enough to exercise and have no particular exercise restrictions, choose a combination of these four types of exercise:

1.  Stretching exercises will isolate individual muscles, lengthen them, and keep them and your joints flexible.

2.  Aerobic exercise, also called cardiovascular exercise, such as biking, walking, or running will build the heart’s endurance and improve muscle function in your legs and arms, depending on the exercise you do. 

3.  If you are strong enough, balance exercises such as standing on a balance board or wobble board will improve your body’s awareness in space.  

4.  Resistance exercises or strength training can strengthen muscles throughout your body, increase muscle endurance, and improve balance and posture.  Increasing muscle endurance can increase the body’s ability to burn fat throughout the day.

We will discuss stretching, aerobic, and balance exercises in this post and save resistance exercises for the next one because there is much to understand about how to safely do resistance exercises.

If you still have an active heart condition, the safest and most effective way to start your exercise program is to learn exactly what to do at a cardiovascular rehabilitation program or exercise center.  If your heart problem is resolved or if you don’t have a heart condition and are exercising to be healthy, you may want to go to a sports therapy center to learn how to build your personal exercise program.  Please get instructions on how to do stretching exercises.  Once you’ve learned what to do, you can work out on your own at home or you may choose to make regular visits to an exercise center.

These are some basic questions to ask a therapist or trainer:    

What exercises should I do?

In what order should I do them?  

How long should each exercise last? (How many repetitions?)

How frequently should I do each exercise?  (More than once a day?  Every day?  Two or three days a week?)

How long do I need to rest between exercises or between exercise sessions?  The right workout/rest ratio is important for people with active heart failure.  Start with short exercises and progress as you get stronger.

How will I know when to progress to more intensity with my exercises?

Stretching exercises. Before doing your stretching exercises, ride your stationary bike or walk for five minutes.  After a short warmup, you will get more benefits from stretching your muscles.  Stretching your calf muscles in your lower leg, your quadriceps — the major muscles in the front of the thigh, and hamstrings in the back of the thigh is important for walking well and not tiring easily.  Stretching the muscles surrounding the hips – glutes, hamstrings, and the iliotibial band — can help reduce back pain and improve posture.  You will hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. 

Aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise. Examples are biking outdoors or riding a stationary bike, walking outdoors or on a treadmill, running or jogging, and using an elliptical trainer. These exercises, which you’ll spend the most time at, get your heart rate up. They also burn fat and help you lose weight. A recent study found that aerobic exercise helps remodel an enlarged left ventricle to more normal size.

Walking 20 to 30 minutes a day is a great aerobic exercise if you can manage it.  You may want to have a regular time each day to walk outside with a friend.  Walking in a grocery store is a good way to get started.  If you need some support when you walk, pushing a grocery cart acts as a great walker on wheels. 

If walking is difficult for you because your legs are weak, your balance is not as good as it used to be and you may fall, your knees are painful, or it’s too hot, too cold, or even icy out or the air quality is poor, there are aerobic exercises that you can do at home.  Riding a stationary bike is a good one.  Stationary bicycles and elliptical trainers are non-impact machines because there’s no pounding on the ankles, knees, hip joints, or spine. 

You can monitor your heart rate by wearing a heart rate monitor.  Some exercise machines have built-in heart rate monitors. You can also use the old-fashioned, low-tech method of counting your heart rate at your pulse.  Your target heart rate for aerobic exercise should be set by your doctor or an exercise specialist who communicates with your doctor. Your rate will relate to your medical condition and the type of shape you’re in.

Biking requires a lot of lower extremity strength, especially the quadriceps.  As you exercise targeted muscles, the heart sends blood and therefore oxygen to that muscle group.  Aerobic exercise also decreases your resting heart rate and your blood pressure.  Exercising your heart challenges it which helps it do a lot better when it’s not challenged.

Balance exercises.  Exercises such as standing on a balance board or wobble board are important because balance plays a role in stability and strength.  If you don’t have a good balance, something needs to assist you.  You’re going to focus more and use muscles a lot harder than a person who has good balance, or you will hold on to something such as a cane, a crutch, or a walker to take the stress off.  Randy says that, unless you have an injury, if you use a walking aid, what you are doing is making up for your lack of balance and strength. 

If you use a balance board or wobble board, please place it very close to a railing or other sturdy structure that you can grip to keep from falling.  You should also place the board on a rubber mat or rubber floor to help keep the board from slipping.

You can do balance exercises without using a balance board or wobble board.  Stand close to something you can hold onto such as a railing or the back of a sturdy chair in case you start to fall.  Try standing on one foot, standing on one or both feet with your eyes closed (but hold on to something or have someone stand next to you if you close your eyes), or practice marching, lifting one leg at a time, eyes open.

Start with short exercises and build to longer ones. Just get started.  Do a little each day and I think you’ll want to do more.  

Sources:

  1. Kerry J. Stewart Ed.D, Director of Clinical and Research Exercise Physiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  2. Randy W. Rocha, Director of Sports Medicine, Metro Orthopedics and Sports Therapy Centers, Maryland.
  3. American Heart Association Science Advisory, Resistance Exercises in Individuals with and without Cardiovascular Disease: 2007 Update.
  4. ExTraMATCH. “Exercise Training Meta-Analysis of Trials in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure,” British Medical Journal 328 (2004): 189.
  5. Stewart, K.J. “Cardiac Rehabilitation Following Percutaneous Revascularization, Heart Transplant, Heart Valve Surgery, and for Chronic Heart Failure.” CHEST 123 (2003): 2104-2111.
  6. HF-ACTION.  “Efficacy and Safety of Exercise Training in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure,” JAMA 301(2009): 1439-1450. 

Baseball and Heart Health

Engaging in a sport as a player or as a robust fan is surely good for your heart health.  My favorite way to blow stress away and soar on summertime cottony cloud puffs of happiness is to watch a baseball game.

I share my passion for baseball in this Guest Blog post at PLoS Blogs. An Open Letter to Bora Zivkovic on Baseball

Dear Bora,

You said on Twitter that you have lived in the United States for 20 years and have never seen a baseball game and don’t know what the point of the game is.  With the 2011 spring training games now underway, I must respond.

I love baseball.  It seems as natural a part of my life as eating and writing.  Baseball makes me happy.  My team is the New York Yankees.  You notice I said, MY team.  That’s how baseball fans feel about their teams.  The relationship is very personal.  I love the glorious remarkable history of the Yankees.  Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Casey Stengel, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson.  I wish those names meant something to you.  Each player was a legend and together with the owner, managers, trainers, and coaches, they built a legacy. The Yankees have had streaks of carrying on that legacy with modern players, winning championships and world series.  Baseball needs new heroes now who do amazing things, not for the huge salaries, but out of hard work for the love of the game.

Fans respect the giants of baseball for what they gave to the game and some of them we love for who they were as men.  On the wall of my exercise room is a large reproduction of a famous photograph of Lou Gehrig making his last appearance in Yankee Stadium after he learned he had the fatal paralyzing disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that would later bear his name.  In his famous short speech to his fans who had packed the stadium, with his teammates lined up nearby on the field, knowing his fate, he still said: “Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break  I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.”

Baseball
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Baseball – Men – Gold Medal Match – United States v Japan – Yokohama Baseball Stadium, Yokohama, Japan – August 7, 2021. Munetaka Murakami of Japan in action hits a home run. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Gehrig was the first “iron man”, playing 2,130 consecutive games over a span of 15 seasons between 1925 and 1939.  How many people go to work every work day over 15 years, never staying home sick?  During that time Gehrig had 17 hand fractures, back pain, and several different illnesses, but he played through it all.  His streak ended only because he developed ALS.  But his record was so strong it lasted 56 years before 

Cal Ripken, Jr., shortstop and third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, another true “iron man” with an unyielding work ethic, broke it in 1995. Cal Ripken brought a special joy not just to Baltimore, but to all baseball fans, and won back their respect for baseball after the bitter 1994 strike.  I will always remember the standing ovations fans gave him in city after city his final year as a player, 2001. These were cities that belonged to the opposing teams the Orioles had come to play.  But the other teams’ fans showed their respect for Cal.

You never know when you watch a baseball game if you will be witnessing history.  Lou Gehrig was one of 15 players who have hit four home runs in one game!  Can you imagine the thrill of watching that happen? A home run comes when a batter lays the bat just right on the ball, just right, on the “sweet spot” of the bat, sending the ball rocketing out of the ballpark.  What ecstasy to watch in disbelief the fourth time a batter does that in the same game! How can you have any stresses in your own life on a day that happens?  Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters was the first to do it in 1894 and Carlos Delgado of the Toronto Blue Jays the last on September 25, 2003. Maybe it will happen again this year. You always hope to see something great in each game you watch.

Gehrig still holds the record for the most grand slams: 23.  A grand slam is a fan favorite.  Especially when it wins a game.  One by one your team’s players hit the ball without it being caught by the other team and they get on base.  In a grand slam the batter stands in the batter’s box (it’s not really a box, Bora) and his teammates are out there on all three of the bases: first base, second base, third base.  If the batter hits a home run, he and all three of his teammates get to run home for a grand slam, a total of 4 runs.  Pretty spectacular to hear the crack of the bat, see the ball ascend over the heads of the outfielders, you suck in your breath, praying please, please, and then shriek as the ball sails out of the ballpark.  “See ya!”, one announcer always punctuates a homer.  Lots of high fives at home plate and in the dugout.  If you’re at home watching, you’re on your feet whooping and hollering, doing high fives with your dog.  You don’t hold back.  There is no holding back in baseball.  Not for fans.  How good you feel, Bora!  This is real happiness.

The point of the game?  The point of the game is to win.  To get more runs than the other team.  To do that your pitcher needs to be better than the other team’s pitcher so that the other team doesn’t hit balls that turn into runs.  A pitcher can be so skilled and so powerful in the way he unleashes the ball, sending it hurtling sometimes 94, 95, 97 mph at the batter as a fastball, a slider, a curveball, a cutter, a changeup, that batter after batter can not get his bat on the ball.  And in some types of pitches it’s more the finesse with which the ball leaves the pitcher’s fingers than the speed that matters.  A battle of wits goes on between the pitcher and the batter, as the pitcher tries to stare down the batter and the catcher crouches behind the batter trying to influence what kind of pitch the pitcher throws. You’ll see the pitcher shake his head back and forth if a pitch the catcher is signaling is not what he wants to throw or nod yes if he agrees with it. The pitch is everything.  A team wins if its batters find a way to hit what the pitcher throws.

And those men in the infield and outfield who chase balls and lurch and dive for them are very important.  Some of the spectacular plays of baseball come from outfielders who leap higher than you think possible and snare a ball about to fly out of the ballpark or throw themselves horizontally after a ball, clutching it in one glove as their body slams bruisingly to the ground.  Derek Jeter, Yankees shortstop and captain, has a signature twisting leap that always astonishes when he catches and then wheels in mid air and throws to first or second base for an out. Infielders often try for a double play, forcing runners out at both first and second base.

One of the grandest events in baseball is when a pitcher pitches a no-hitter.  Through nine innings, not a single man on the opposing team can get a hit. Either the batters are unable to connect the bat to ball or, if they do hit the ball, someone on the other team catches it.  No hits throughout an entire game of some three hours.  An amazing feat! If you are lucky enough to see one, Bora, it is an experience of a lifetime. It is the glory of baseball.

Fans feel baseball.  We are part of the game.  And we like to help manage the team.  In this pre-season time of year we worry about whether our team will be ready for the season.  I worry about what the starting lineup of pitchers will be for the Yankees who will add some new faces this year from youngsters coming up from the minor leagues.  I hope so much that A.J. Burnett who had a terrible season last year will make us proud as a starting pitcher.  I want to get to know the new pitching coach Larry Rothschild and feel content that I agree with his plan of action.  I feel the pain of distinguished veteran catcher Jorge Posada who will be 40 in August and learned that, barring some emergency, he will never again catch for the Yankees.  “I think I can still catch,” I heard him say in an interview.  He instead will be their designated hitter, a less involved role.  For all the emphasis on team and winning, a team nevertheless is made up of individual men who have feelings and pride, and it is hard to get older in baseball and relinquish leading roles.  A catcher helps direct a pitcher’s throws.  A DH just goes out and takes his turn at bat.

The Yankees will face outstanding competition in the American League East this season.  The Boston Red Sox who were held to low expectations by injuries last year could be a dangerous opponent this spring and the Phillies who snared Cliff Lee, a star pitcher the Yankees badly wanted, now have a starting lineup of pitchers that may be the best in baseball.  The Baltimore Orioles, under new leadership, were showing big improvement the end of last season and might surprise everybody.  There are great expectations for an exciting, suspenseful competitive season.

A baseball game squeezes many intense, anxious moments out of us.  You experience the game individually, willingly allowing what you see and hear and hope for to penetrate your senses and govern your soul.  Watching baseball is a take-no-prisoners commitment.  And yet it is also a spring and summertime and fall layback, informal, take-the-family group event where you eat and chat and join with thousands of others as you root for your team.  You can also enjoy baseball about as much by watching a good game on TV.  In fact, @Hudsonette recommends doing that before you go to your first game in person because you learn a lot by listening to savvy announcers call the game and explain what’s happening.

Some cool people on Twitter love baseball and send you some sage reasons why, if you give it a try, Bora, you will love it, too:

If you’re unfamiliar with baseball, it helps to watch a game while listening to great announcers, such as Vin Scully of the L.A. Dodgers, or Ken Singleton with the Yankees.  They will not only explain what just happened, which can be baffling because often several things are happening at once, but also the strategic choices and the moment to moment tension of competing interests involved in each pitch and each play.  It’s intricate, complex, dependent on individual skill choreographed with other teammates while battling the sun, wind, physical injuries, mental lapses, and the opponents’ own hidden stratagems.  It’s a game of statistics coupled with human grace.  

There’s not much more beautiful than watching the great relief pitcher Mariano Rivera strike out a batter with his cut fastball, or the sound of a ball hit perfectly on the sweet spot of the wood, or the shortstop Derek Jeter appearing out of nowhere to make an intricate play that saves the game.  There’s no greater anguish than being a Cubs fan.  But above all, it’s fun to go to a game, even a minor league game, sit in the sunshine, eat what you want, say what you want very loudly, and get away completely from the troubles of the world.

I don’t watch other sports. Baseball is different. No sport is as literary as baseball is. It’s a slow, evolving story that takes place over nine innings–no timers, no buzzers, no masks. The game begins with two protagonists, two pitchers, and goes from there.