Over the past few decades, LASIK and the technologies used to perform this refractive eye surgery have progressed tremendously. Whether it is due to practical or aesthetic motivations, LASIK has also become much more commonplace. That being the case, it’s high time to debunk the many myths and misconceptions about LASIK that have circulated for years.
Our Ft. Worth, Texas, eye doctor responds with facts to 11 prevailing myths about LASIK:
- Myth: LASIK is always done with blades and with cutting
Fact: There is more than one type of LASIK procedure, and one newer type is iLASIK, also known as bladeless LASIK. In this surgery, the corneal flap that is made in order to sculpt the cornea with a laser is created entirely with a laser – it involves no cutting with blades.
Another bladeless option is LASEK. In this modern method of refractive eye surgery, no corneal flap is made. Instead, the top layer of corneal cells is treated with alcohol, detached, and lifted out of the way, exposing the corneal tissue to a laser for reshaping by your surgeon. The top layer of cells is then replaced in position and the eye heals.
- Myth: Everyone can have LASIK
Fact: Some people do not qualify for LASIK surgery. Certain pre-existing ocular conditions, such as thin or irregular corneas or eye disease make LASIK unsuitable. Also, health problems such as uncontrolled diabetes or an autoimmune disease may raise the chances of an unsuccessful LASIK outcome.
In general, a minority of people – about 10% or less – may be unsuitable for LASIK. However, other refractive surgery options are available, and your eye doctor can advise you regarding your candidacy for other types of procedures, such as LASEK and bladeless LASIK.
- Myth: LASIK can lead to blindness
Fact: No cases of blindness caused by LASIK have ever been verified. As with every surgical procedure, complications can occur – but serious complications from LASIK are very rare. Your eye doctor will review all of the possible risks with you during your preoperative consultation.
- Myth: LASIK hurts
Fact: This laser eye surgery is almost painless. Your eye surgeon will insert numbing eye drops before the procedure. Some patients report feeling a gritty sensation in their eyes for a few hours after the surgery, but most people experience only a bit of minor discomfort – which is relieved effectively by taking aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Myth: The laser used for LASIK can burn your eyeball
Fact: LASIK is performed using a “cold” excimer laser that does not burn the surface of your eyes. Also, each laser has a high-tech tracking device that follows your eye movements, ensuring high precision – so you never have to worry about the laser missing its target.
- Myth: LASIK isn’t around long enough to know about the long-term side effects
Fact: LASIK dates back to the early 1980s, and to date, millions of people have had the procedure. At present, no long-term side effects have been reported. LASIK has demonstrated its effectiveness as a way to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism without any long-term side effects.
- Myth: After LASIK, you’ll never need to wear glasses or contact lenses again
Fact: As you age, your vision changes. So even if you had LASIK, your eyes will still undergo the normal effects of aging. As a result, you may need reading glasses or prescription glasses for driving at night.
- Myth: It doesn’t matter who performs LASIK; the procedure is always the same
Fact: The skill of your eye surgeon is instrumental to the success of LASIK. Contrary to what many people think, LASIK is not simply performed by a computer program. Invest time researching for the best eye surgeon near you who performs LASIK. Check how long they’ve been doing the procedure, their success rate with vision correction, and their willingness to give you patient references.
- Myth: The safety of LASIK is still questionable
Fact: LASIK is actually regarded as one of the safest elective procedures in modern medicine. Research has shown that the long-term wearing of contact lenses is riskier than LASIK, due to the potential for eye infections. In fact, statistics say that one in every 100 people who wear contacts will get a serious eye infection, but with LASIK, only one in every 1,500 people will develop an eye infection (which is easily treated) after the procedure.
- Myth: LASIK destroys night vision
Fact: From dawn to dusk and on through the night hours, you’ll be able to see clearly after LASIK. Seeing halos and glare at night used to be associated with LASIK, but the newer technologies have largely done away with these visual disturbances.
- Myth: The recovery from LASIK is long
Fact: There is virtually no recovery period. After regular LASIK, most people are back to their normal routine within 24 hours.
Learn more about LASIK
Within about 15 minutes, LASIK surgery can give you the freedom of seeing clearly without prescription glasses or contact lenses. To learn more about this precise laser eye surgery and to find out if you are a good candidate, book an eye exam at our Ft. Worth, Texas, eye care center.
At Eyeworks, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 817-346-7077 or book an appointment online to see one of our Ft. Worth eye doctors.
Want to Learn More? Read on!