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here’s how to correct them with refractive surgery

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here’s how to correct them with refractive surgery

Vision defects can also affect posture and the entire balance of the body. For this reason, correcting them can be decisive especially in high-level sportsmen. We talk about it with Dr. Angelo Appiotti, refractive surgeon

Maria Elena Perrero

06 May 2022 | 11:18 (edited May 06, 2022 | 11:18)

Not only to see better, but also to have a correct posture and limit them injuries which can mainly concern one side of the body: these are some of the benefits of the correction of vision defects in high-level sports. “If a person has a visual defect perfectly incorrect or undercorrected will try to compensate for this situation. This will lead him, for example, to rely more on the least defective eye, unbalancing the whole body on that side. This will also have a number of consequences at the level of postural imbalance e you propensity to injuries“, explains a Official Active Dr. Angelo Appiotti, a refractive surgeon who counts among his sports patients the caliber of Kaka, Simone Inzaghi and Federica Brignone.

The importance of sight in sport: the effects on posture

Just as a crooked set of teeth or facial asymmetry can cause imbalances in posture and body balance, so too vision defects can produce similar consequences. “With habit, everyone creates their own balance – emphasizes Dr. Appiotti -. This, however, entails further problems: if you have an incorrect or badly corrected visual defect, the brain will rely more on the less deficient eye and will create this way a precarious balance. The lack of perfect vision can make a difference especially in those sport in which in a split second you have to anticipate the opponent or notice an obstacle and overcome it in the best way as in sciin the tennis and in all sports where eye-hand or eye-foot speed regulate sports performance. Light conditions can also bring out visual defects in the negative. In conditions of ‘flat light’, that is when there is no sun and there is no contrast, certain peculiarities of the ground or trajectories of the balls are not seen. These situations can result in delayed reflexes and limited muscle reactions. At a competitive level, therefore, not seeing all this well could lead to delayed or wrong physical responses, with the consequence of losing even a few hundredths of a second which, in some sports, make the difference between getting on the podium or not. This is why it is important to always see well, even in poor lighting conditions “.

Vision defects In sportsmen: how to correct them

Among sportsmen, but not only among them, the most common visual defects are myopia and astigmatismwhile the cases of hyperopia they are a minority. All three, however, can find a solution in the refractive surgery. “In the cases of professional sportsmen the refractive surgery it does not have an aesthetic role, but a therapeutic and functional one: correcting the visual defect means improving performance. Today, thanks to some ‘customized by the surgeon’ programs (custom ablation), you can even see 20/10 per eye “, explains the curlew.

Defects of vision and refractive surgery

There are three laser refractive surgery techniques that can correct visual defects: the PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy), la FemtoLASIK and the ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction). “It must be emphasized that only expert and highly manual surgeons can approach these operations and always with the aid of very high precision lasers – said Dr. Appiotti -. PRK it is the oldest technique, used for over 30 years. It is the simplest to perform, since it is the laser that shapes the previously de-epithelialized cornea. He then puts on a contact lens and waits for the eye to heal in the following days. Recovery is slower than in the other techniques and you have variable pain for a few days. “With the FemtoLASIK and the ReLEx SMILE on the other hand, recovery times in the post-operative period are decidedly shorter and completely asymptomatic, assures the surgeon. “With the FemtoLASIK there is the combined use of two lasers (Femtolaser and Excimer Laser). The surgeon who performs it places a ring on the cornea and in 18 seconds a gas creates a kind of ‘door’ (flap) on the cornea. Relieved this flapthe laser reshapes the visual defect and at the end of the operation it is repositioned manually. Twenty to thirty minutes after the surgery the patient will already see quite well and will have no pain, only a slight burning or discomfort which will remain for a maximum of two to three hours. The only limitation of this technique is that you cannot rub your eyes or wear make-up for a week. “The last technique in chronological order is the ReLEx SMILE, which instead uses a single laser to correct refractive defects. “This third generation technique, which arrived in the last decade, has subverted the refractive surgery – underlines Dr. Appiotti -. There cornea it is not scratched and nothing is created flap, as in the two techniques previously illustrated. A ring is applied to the cornea with a light suction and while the patient fixes an intermittent green light, in 26-28 seconds, a gas creates a lenticule within the corneal thickness corresponding to the visual defect to be corrected. At the end of this phase, the surgeon removes the created lenticule through a small, half-curved, smile-shaped incision. This technique involves a micro-incision of 2 millimeters which therefore allows an immediate recovery without mechanical limits (such as putting on make-up or rubbing your eyes) especially useful for those who have to return to the field (literal or metaphorical) immediately after the surgery “.

Defects of vision: the risks of refractive surgery

As in all interventions, a minimum of risk always exists, even if Dr. Appiotti assures us that these are truly reduced and almost always solvable risks. “Risks are minimized thanks to a very strict patient selection done through in-depth pre-operative examinations and interventions always performed by expert hands – assures the surgeon -. I remind you that the choice of the type of technique must also be made by the surgeon based on the characteristics of the patient’s eye: not only the visual defect and its degree, but also parameters such as the thickness of the cornea, the curvature of the cornea, the diameter of the pupil and others. Today, after over thirty years of experience, making mistakes is very difficult. The greatest risks of these interventions are the hypo or overcorrections, which, however, in almost all cases can be ‘retouched’ with a second surgery to refine the desired correction. As for the risk of blindness, it is practically not reported in the literature. “Also with regard to the risk of night vision difficultiespresence of halos or glare, Dr. Appiotti is clear: “There are risks in all techniques if the surgeon makes a mistake in selecting, calculating and setting up. If these steps are performed correctly there will be no problems”.

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