6 popular LASIK myths
Like any cutting-edge medical procedure, LASIK is sometimes misunderstood. Experts know that, within the field of laser vision correction, LASIK is one of the safest and most effective procedures available to consumers.
Despite the improved vision patients get from LASIK, a few half-truths and full-blown myths about the procedure have continued to make the rounds on the Internet or by word-of-mouth. Patients deserve the best that medical science can offer, and since myths like these only drive already reluctant people away from undergoing the procedure, it’s in everyone’s best interest to dispel these six popular myths about LASIK.
Myth No. 1 – ‘LASIK is painful.’
During a LASIK procedure, the surgeon creates a thin flap in the corneal tissue which is then raised. At this point a laser is used to reshape the cornea by removing tissue from its middle layer. The use of numbing, antiseptic eye drops keep the procedure painless for most patients. Some people may feel a light pressure on their eye during the initial stages of the procedure, but this quickly passes.
If you’re still worried about pain and nervous about the procedure as a whole, talk to the LASIK experts. They can provide you with a mild sedative prior to your procedure.
Myth No. 2 – ‘LASIK is so new that nobody knows the long-term effects.’
LASIK has a long and detailed history of treating vision impairment. The first LASIK procedure in North America was performed in 1987, and there’s never been a single instance of someone going blind from LASIK in the 25 years that the procedure has been performed. What we’re seeing now, is people who had LASIK 15 to 20 years are bringing their 18 year old kids into the clinic to have LASIK, because they know how beneficial the results can be.
Myth No. 3 – ‘Older people can’t get LASIK.’
Age is an important factor to consider when determining a patient’s candidacy. If they’re over 40, then they’re a good chance that they will soon require reading glasses. If they’re in their mid to late 60s, then age related eye conditions, like cataracts, need to be closely examined.
But at the end of the day, if a patient is 18 years old or 70, if their eyes are healthy and they want to free themselves from glasses then LASIK is a great option. All prospective patients should visit a laser vision correction provider for a preoperative consultation to identify how best they should go about their procedure. Certain conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma may prevent some patients from undergoing the procedure, but you’ll never know for sure until you go in for your consultation.
Myth No. 4 – ‘The recovery is long.’
Of all the myths surrounding LASIK, this one might be the most off-base. Because the procedure involves reshaping the cornea, some patients may think that the recovery process is more invasive than it actually is, or that they’ll have to wear an eye patch to school or work to keep their eye protected.
The reality is that the recovery from LASIK is so fast that it may not qualify as a recovery at all. While patients who choose certain forms of laser corrective surgery such as photorefractive keratomy have to wait a few days before noticing any significant improvement to their vision, LASIK patients may see a difference immediately after the end of the procedure. After a day, your eyesight is drastically improved and you can even return to work.
Myth No. 5 – ‘LASIK can’t treat farsightedness/nearsightedness/astigmatism.’
If you’re looking for proof that sometimes general opinion can be just plain wrong, look no further than this common misconception about LASIK. While some may claim that LASIK either doesn’t treat any of these three conditions or doesn’t treat them well, the opposite is true.
Because farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism are all conditions characterized by a slight defect in the shape of the eye, laser corrective procedures like LASIK that adjust the lens of the eye to make up for the defects are specifically made to treat those conditions.
Myth No. 6 – ‘LASIK is no better than glasses or contacts.’
Chalk this one up to personal preference more than strictly mythological, but the ability to experience clear vision without any glasses or contacts to take care of can be a new experience – especially after a life of changing prescriptions and toting around solution and lens cases.
Scheduling a preoperative consultation with a LASIK professional can help you get the answers you need to find out if the procedure is right for you – as well as clear up any misconceptions.