Rationing bullets at the AlamoThe writer is president of...


November 07, 1995

Rationing bullets at the Alamo

The writer is president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Eye surgery wrongly depicted

In response to the Oct. 17 article, ''New eye surgery spurs debate,'' I would like to make a few comments so that readers who are considering this remarkable new procedure -- photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) will not be afraid.

The Associated Press article said that although more than 90 percent of the patients in Food and Drug Administration studies ''ended up with vision of 20/40 or better'' after surgery, some people ''suffer from considerable post-operative pain.''

Having followed PRK's progress during the past seven years and having PRK done personally in Canada and after monitoring the cases of more than 1,000 PRK patients (more than a dozen from Baltimore), I believe the statement about pain is a gross overstatement, particularly when the patient wears a ''band-aid'' contact lens (the Canadian procedure) instead of a patch (the U.S. procedure). Perhaps the wire service reporter should have interviewed some actual patients.

Additionally, I am convinced that the article seems to imply that customers will be ''prey'' to an onslaught of advertising for the new procedure. Aren't we already bombarded by advertising for RK -- a far more dangerous and less predictable surgical procedure that uses a scalpel, a procedure that didn't have to go through the FDA-approval process?

Irwin Azman



The writer is an optometrist.

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