Top 10 LASIK Myths – Demystified 

by Gabe R Monday, May 02, 2011
Besides glasses and contacts, I also recommend LASIK to patients who may be good candidates. Almost everyday, I find myself in a deep conversation about LASIK, and I’ve set out to demystify what I consider to be the top 10 LASIK confusions or myths. Enjoy.

1. The effect of LASIK will go away over time.
Studies have shown that if you go into LASIK with your glasses prescription unchanged or stable for 12-18 months, then the likelihood of needing an “enhancement” within 10 – 15 years is unlikely. Conversely, if your prescription is always changing year after year, then it is likely that it will continue to change – even after LASIK.

2. LASIK is painful.
A topical anesthetic is used during the procedure, so virtually no pain is felt. You may feel pressure on the eye, and one can hear (and smell) the laser doing its work. After the anesthetic wears off, most people experience a feeling like there is an eyelash stuck on your eyes. This usually goes away after 3 – 5 hours.

3. If your vision changes, you can always have an “enhancement” done.
Not necessarily true. . . . Most LASIK surgeons offer an “enhancement” package. One year, five year, or a lifetime package can be purchased. However, you will have to go through another consultation, and it is the surgeon that decides whether or not an enhancement surgery is can be done.

4. Everybody who wants LASIK, is a good candidate.
Not True. There are many factors involved when determining if you are a good candidate. A LASIK surgeon may turn someone away for something as simple as expectations that are too high. There are conditions of the eye like active glaucoma, severe dry eyes, and a “lazy eye” that can make one a poor candidate. Also, there are certain anatomical attributes of the eyes that make one a “bad” candidate; e.g., pupils that are too large, corneas that are too thin. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

5. LASIK is expensive.
In the Bay Area, for an A+ surgeon with the latest technology, expect to pay between $3000 to $5000 for both eyes. You can find “deals” like $999, but be sure read the fine print. It will probably be for the older “Traditional” LASIK technology, administered by a surgeon of lesser experience, and there may be limitations in the type of refractive disorder being treated. The technology employed and surgeon skill play a huge roll in successful outcomes.

6. Having astigmatism and/or farsightedness makes one a bad candidate for LASIK.
The newer “Custom Cornea” or “Wavefront” LASIK technology allows for correction of astigmatism and farsightedness. A “Hartmann-Shack Aberrometer” scans your visual system for “higher order abberations”. There are limits to how strong of a correction could be treated, and corneal thickness may be a limiting factor. You’ll need a LASIK consultation to determine that.

7. After LASIK, I won’t need glasses.
If you’re young enough so that you do not need reading glasses, then this could be true. However, most people will need reading glasses at some point in their life (usually when you’re past the mid-forties). This is true whether you’ve had LASIK or not. Also, some people who need to have their distance vision enhanced – but decide against it – may need glasses especially for night driving in unfamiliar places.

8. 20/20 vision is guaranteed.
In the hands of an A+ surgeon with Wavefront LASIK technology, a 20/20 outcome is achieved 93 – 95% on a given eyeball. So although 20/20 is not guaranteed, the odds are in your favor (if you’re a good candidate). Many surgeons report that approximately 95 – 99% of their patients are “happy” with their results. So a proper expectation would be “20/Happy”.

9. Once you’ve had LASIK, you no longer need vision insurance and annual eye exams.
Absolutely false. Whether you’ve had LASIK or not, an annual eye exam is necessary to ensure optimal vision and proper eye health. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep your vision plan, and have annual eye exams. Some “enhancement” packages actually require an annual eye exam.

10. Optometrists go out of business because of LASIK.
Not true. Many Optometrists, like myself, have partnerships with LASIK surgeons. This allows him to “co-manage” and perform pre and post-op evaluations.

If you looking for an Optometrist in Hercules CA or an Eye Doctor in Pinole CA don't hesitate to Optometry By The Bay!

General | Categories: health
0    submitted by Gabe R
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