Question: I have some peripheral vision loss due to the use of Vigabatrin. I don't use this medication any more is there any possibility that LASIK Surgery may be able to help me.
Answer: LASIK Eye Surgery is used to help patients suffering from nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism see clearly at distance with a reduced dependence on or even no need for eye glasses or contact lenses. LASIK Surgery does not have any indication for resolving or reversing visual field defects. Vigabatrin, which is also known as Sabril®, is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat epilepsy. It was FDA approved in 2009 and is potentially helpful for the 30% or so of patients who otherwise have treatment resistant epilepsy. Because of the substantial risk for permanent visual field defects, Vigabatrin can only be prescribed by physicians who participate in the SHARE (Support, Help and Resources for Epilepsy) program. The purpose of SHARE is to monitor patients for the development of visual field defects, and to stop the drug as quickly as possible if these develop. The field defects are permanent, but stopping the drug may limit the damage. If you are an eyeglass wearer with a high degree of correction and the eyeglasses restrict your visual field, and if this compounds the visual field loss from the Vigabatrin, if your eyes and general health are otherwise adequate it is possible that you might be able to have LASIK Surgery and experience some functional benefit. The best way to determine if this might be the case is to have a consultation with a LASIK Surgeon who can then confer with your neurologist about whether this might be possible. You should know that the fixation light in the laser that patients view as part of any Laser Eye Surgery treatment does “flicker” and has on rare occasion been a problem for some patients with epilepsy who are not otherwise well controlled.
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