I-Q MED, opticians in Lagoa led by Dr. Versteeg, offer many treatments to correct your vision. However, they are the first practice in Portugal to use the Pulzer solid state refractive laser, designed specifically for a more accurate treatment to correct vision disorders. This advanced laser treatment can correct vision and help to permanently eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses – whether for medical or cosmetic reasons.
Laser surgery has existed and been used by opticians for more than 20 years. Since 1980, a laser called the Eximer was used, obtaining its light energy from heating up toxic gas, and is still the most common laser used today – every centre in Portugal has one. However, the light created for the laser cannot pass through water, altering its effect and, if a gas leak occurred it could be fatal. The Pulzer solid state laser is special because it obtains its light from crystals giving a more stable light, which can penetrate water so as to not influence the lasers effect.
All laser treatments involve entering the eye through a thousandth millimetre of membrane, to adjust the shape of the cornea and the laser is used to vaporise a thin layer of the cornea to correct any abnormalities. The Pulzer laser technique is successful, far less painful and more accurate than any laser that has gone before, but you may still require reading glasses after the age of 45 unless you have lens implants.
Many think lasers are the miracle cure for sight problems, however this is not the case. As a result of advertisements and media hype, expectations are too high regarding corrective laser treatment, resulting in misconceptions of what the laser can do. “The laser is a destructive instrument,” Dr. Versteeg stresses. “If applied onto the skin with the same power as on the eye, after one minute you would have a burn on your skin.” However, with correct use it can change the curvature of the cornea, stopping the need for glasses or contact lenses, the treatment is performed within half-an-hour and far less pain is experienced.
With most other treatments, pain and discomfort may last for days even weeks, but with the Pulzer system, pain may last up to 10 hours maximum. The healing process is minimal, any blurred vision experienced on the day of the operation is normal and should improve the next day.
However, in rare situations, there are side effects: discomfort/pain, hazy/blurred vision, itchiness, dryness, light sensitivity and small, pink or red patches on the white of the eye could be permanent. Dr. Versteeg guarantees the laser will work. “What I can’t guarantee is how the body will react in individual cases. The laser is a fantastic instrument but it is not a miracle cure.”
Dr. Versteeg has been in his clinic in Lagoa for nearly three years and using the Pulzer laser for just over two months. “Not only can we monitor the patients’ gaze direction during the procedure, ensuring treatment is delivered precisely and obtain better results, but, by using crystals instead of gas, it eliminates the need for toxic gases and storage.”