TOP 10 LASIK MYTHS

#1 Myth: LASIK cannot treat astigmatism

Over 85 % of LASIK patients have some astigmatism.  Having astigmatism means that the eye’s front surface, or cornea, is shaped more like a football rather than a basketball.  In most cases, LASIK can reshape the eye to make it look more like a basketball, which is ideal for improving vision. Technological advances now allow newer lasers to safely treat it.The FDA approved treating astigmatism with LASIK in 1997. Since then, advancement in laser technology have greatly improved the results of astigmatism correction.

#2 Myth: LASIK wears off over time

A study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology (Jan. 2008) demonstrated long lasting results beyond ten years after LASIK. While the effects of LASIK are very long lasting, they may not be “permanent”. On average, eyes tend to change to a very small degree each year. With that, some patients may consider having a retreatment to fine-tune their vision after about 10 years.

#3 Myth: It doesn’t matter which doctor performs your surgery because the laser does all the work.

This may be the biggest myth of all. There are a tremendous number of tests to interpret and measurements to fine-tune in order to achieve the best results. The laser doesn’t make these decisions, your surgeon does. Ultimately, all medical care is dependent upon the individuals who deliver it. The skilled surgeons at Gailey Eye Clinic along with our experienced staff and state-of-the-art equipment ensure that you will have the best surgical outcome from your LASIK procedure.

#4 Myth: Anyone who wants to have LASIK is a candidate.

Although new technology is widening the spectrum of potential candidates for LASIK, not everyone is a candidate for LASIK, The best way to determine if you are a candidate is to undergo a thorough screening by your eye doctor. LASIK can treat patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Appropriate candidates must be at least 18 years old, in good health and have healthy eyes free of diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. Appropriate screening is the first, and one of the most important steps in preventing complications.

#5 Myth: The cheapest surgery is no different than the most expensive one.

The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” also applies to laser vision correction. Patients should remember that they only have one set of eyes and it’s probably not a good place to compromise. Patients should be cautious of discount centers that may not be as focused on patient screening and care. Consumers should make sure they are comparing equivalent care and experience when doing their research.

#6 Myth: Side effects such as night glare and dry eyes should be expected after having LASIK.

As with any other surgery, there are risks associated with laser vision correction. Clinical studies of laser vision correction have documented the risk of having a serious vision-reducing complication as being extremely low. Many complications can be treated if diagnosed and treated at the early stages.Moderate night glare and dry eyes are common side effects immediately following the procedure, but typically last just three to six months. Proper testing before the procedure can identify patients who are at a high risk for long-term complications.  Current advancement in LASIK technology such as Wavefront Technology and All-Laser Intralase, have greatly reduced the risk of having night vision problems to about 0.8%. Gailey Eye Clinic is proud to offer Wavefront and All-Laser Intralase technology to our patients to achieve the best LASIK outcomes.

#7 Myth: LASIK is so new that no one really knows if there are any long-term side effects.

Although laser vision correction became widely available in the United States in the mid-1990s, the technology was first developed in the early 1980s. The first patient was treated in the United States in 1987. To date, no long-term ill effects of the procedure are known.

#8 Myth: LASIK is painful

Most people cringe when they think of eye surgery, but LASIK surgery actually involves little to no discomfort. Most patients report that on a pain scale, LASIK is only a “0” or “1 out of 10”. Numbing eye drops are used to keep your eyes comfortable during the procedure. You may feel some pressure briefly during creation of the corneal flap, but laser reshaping of the eye is pain-free. If you are anxious before your procedure, your surgeon can give you a mild sedative to help you relax. After LASIK, people might feel like their eyes are irritated and/or blurry for the first several hours, but this subsides as the cornea heals.

#9 Myth: You could go blind from LASIK surgery

LASIK affects only the front surface of the eye. Serious complications are rare and there are no documented cases of anyone ever going blind from LASIK surgery.

#10 Myth: I’ll still need reading glasses after LASIK

The two vision focusing problems that cause people to need reading glasses are hyperopia (farsightedness) and presbyopia (aging of the lens of the eye).   Farsightendess is routinely treated with hyperopic LASIK, which was first approved by the FDA in 1998. Presbyopia is commonly corrected by treating one eye for distance and one eye for near vision— a process we refer to as ‘blended vision’.  While it isn’t 100% perfect, patients have remarkable improvements in functioning vision for seeing both near and far. Some patients may need glasses for limited tasks such as night driving or reading a menu in low light. However, after surgery, at least 95% of life activities can be enjoyed without glasses.

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