Should You Consider LASIK Surgery?

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

If you have poor vision that requires corrective lenses, you may have heard of LASIK surgery as a long-term solution. It can eliminate the need for protective lenses for the duration of your life.

As you consider a possibility of seeing clearly without the aid of glasses or contacts, take into consideration the following items:

Procedure Overview

The goal of LASIK eye surgery is to restore 20/25 vision. Most eye problems are the result of improper light refraction, meaning that when the light hits your cornea, it doesn’t bend properly, resulting in a blurry image.

LASIK is a refractive eye surgery that involves removing tissue and reshaping the cornea so that it bends the light perfectly and clearly. An eye surgeon will use a special laser to alter the curvature of your cornea, removing tiny bits of tissue to achieve a perfect shape.

Typically, the effects of LASIK surgery are permanent; however, there may be age-related eye changes that require you to wear corrective lenses in the future.

There are several techniques used to achieve this effect, and your surgeon should carefully cover each one to ensure it’s the right method for you. During the overview, come prepared with a list of questions so that you leave the meeting with a thorough understanding of the procedure.

A Good Candidate

Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK surgery, so you’ll have to be screened carefully to see if it’s right for you. It’s best for those between the ages of 18 and 40. If you’re under 18, your eyes have not fully developed yet, so the surgery may not be successful. If you’re over 40, your eyes are starting to change with age, and the risks of complications increase significantly.

Additionally, a good candidate will be free of health problems that may complicate the surgery. These include:

  • Eye diseases
  • Eye injuries
  • Lid disorders
  • Overly large pupils
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Eye infections

The procedure is also best for those who have minor vision problems. Severe nearsightedness or farsightedness can be difficult to correct, not making the procedure worthwhile. It’s also probably not worth it if you only wear corrective lenses part time.

Reasonable Risk

The majority of patients who undergo LASIK eye surgery emerge with excellent vision and very few temporary side effects. However, there is a small risk of complications with the surgery. In the worst-case scenario, a loss of vision may occur, although it’s extremely unlikely. You may also experience problems associated with improper tissue remove.

Astigmatisms, for example, occur when the tissue removal in the eyes are uneven, and you’ll be required to either have additional surgery or wear corrective lenses. Overcorrections can result when too much tissue is removed, and it’s very difficult to correct. Under corrections involve removing too little tissue from the eye, which is considerably easier to correct with future surgery.

There are also side effects that can occur following the surgery. One of the most common is dry eyes. LASIK procedures may cause a temporary decrease in tear production for about six months. You may require eyedrops during this time and in extreme cases, you may need additional surgery for your tear ducts.

Patients of LASIK surgery also report side effects like glare, halos, or double vision clouding their sight. If you experience this, it will most likely be temporary and disappear within a few days to a few weeks.

With any surgery, there’s a chance of infection, so it’s important to monitor your recovery carefully. Keeping your doctor informed during recovery and making all your appointments will significantly reduce the risks of infection.

Discuss your risks with your doctor before undergoing the procedure. Again, the risks are very low, but it’s important to go into it with eyes wide open (no pun intended).

Cost

Last, but not least, consider the financial investment. Very few insurance plans cover LASIK surgery because it’s more of a cosmetic or elective procedure. Therefore, you’ll likely be expected to foot the entire bill.

Depending on your state, surgeon, and the condition of your eyesight, you’ll pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per eye for the procedure and post-op care. Considering what you spend on prescription lenses, contacts, and eye doctor appointments throughout your life, you might find this procedure to be a great value! It just depends on how you want or need to spend your money at the time.

Thousands of people enjoy the benefits of LASIK surgery every year. It’s important to know what you’re getting into, but most patients are extremely satisfied with this life-changing procedure.