5 Myths About LASIK Surgery
The advanced technology used for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery, in which the eye’s cornea is reshaped to create a sharper focus on objects, has an average success rate of 90% for effectively improving vision. However, even though this laser treatment has been effectively used for decades, there are still myths linked to LASIK eye surgery:
1. Myth: Everyone is a candidate for LASIK
Reality: Every prospective patient should receive a thorough evaluation by a qualified board-certified ophthalmologist prior to having any vision correction treatment. Ideal candidates with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and mild to moderate astigmatism (yes, even astigmatism!) should have a stabilized vision prescription for at least a year and have a sufficient amount of corneal thickness. Individuals with very thin or irregular corneas may be better suited for an alternative corrective vision treatment.
2. Myth: LASIK is a painful procedure
Reality: Before the procedure, anesthetic eye drops are administered so the patient should experience little to no pain at all. Once the numbing effects have dissipated, patients may feel mild discomfort for a brief time, in which over-the-counter medication can be used to relieve symptoms. There is also a misconception that during laser eye surgery you may feel a burning sensation, however, the lasers used during LASIK do not emit any sort of heat and are designed to prevent the risk of harmful feelings or sensations.
3. Myth: LASIK side effects can be permanent or harmful
Reality: Generally, LASIK procedures have a very, very low risk of developing serious problems. Immediately following surgery, patients may experience temporary blurred vision, light sensitivity, and watering eyes, but these side effects usually fade within a day. Other side effects may include temporary glare, halos, double vision, and/or difficulty with night vision; however, most patients return to unaffected vision within a few weeks after their procedure. Dry or itchy eyes may occur, but long-term symptoms are usually rare and improve over time. Some individuals may be more prone to this condition, so it’s important that pre-surgical testing is completed to determine if the patient is at a higher risk for complications.
4. Myth: Long-term side effects from LASIK are unknown
Reality: Laser vision correction technology originated in the 1980s, with corrective procedures beginning in the 1990s. The past 40 years of research and developments have provided an extensive amount of time for long-term concerns to surface. Generally, most of our patients experience a safe and successful long-standing outcome of 20/20 vision.
5. Myth: You have to be a certain age for LASIK surgery
Reality: LASIK can be performed on qualified candidates of virtually any age. There may be some general recommendations advised by your doctor — such as ensuring your eyes have reached their full growth potential — but meeting candidacy requirements (like the ones noted above) is considered more important than a patient’s age.
At Riverside EyeCare, our board-certified LASIK surgeons are highly skilled and experienced in vision correction surgeries and take every precaution — including proper evaluation and all-around care — to ensure optimal results. For more information about LASIK eye surgery, please contact us to schedule an appointment.