LASIK, or Laser-assisted in situ Keratomileusis, is an eye surgery that utilizes a technologically advanced form of laser vision correction to correct common vision problems. Around 600,000 LASIK surgeries are performed in the United States every year, and more than 19 million of these procedures have been performed in the 20+ years since LASIK has been FDA-approved. The vast majority of patients wind up with 20/20 vision after the surgery and most (95%) say that they’re happy with the results.
That said, getting LASIK comes with its own set of risks. Persistent symptoms, cost concerns, and the slim possibility of the procedure resulting in worse vision can discourage some patients from pursuing LASIK. Generally speaking, LASIK is a reliable procedure. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before pursuing it. Read on to determine whether LASIK is worth it for you.
LASIK can correct near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. The procedure is considered a safe and effective procedure that enables you to leave behind your glasses or contacts and have a clear view of the world.
There are two primary steps when it comes to performing a successful LASIK procedure. A superficial flap is created on the cornea which is subsequently lifted. Once lifted, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea beneath its surface in the bed of the flap. The flap is then repositioned to its original place, leaving minimal scarring once the flap has healed in place. The procedure takes around 10 minutes to perform and takes a few weeks to fully heal from.
As technology has become more advanced, so too has LASIK. The femtosecond laser, for example, has allowed for greater safety and precision when performing the procedure. Also, the ability to measure and create a customized map of the cornea allows for more precise vision correction and better outcomes.
- Significant vision improvement without the need for glasses and contacts
- Cost-effective in the long run (compared to prescription glasses/contacts)
- Less eye strain and irritation from contact lenses
- No more hassle with fogging glasses while wearing masks
- Advanced technology and techniques cause greater reliability in procedure
- Most side effects are mild and temporary
- Initial cost (not usually covered by insurance, although there are options for financing the operation or using HSA accounts)
- Small risk of long-term issues such as dry eye symptoms or nighttime glare/halos
- Possible for LASIK not to completely correct your vision and glasses/contacts may still be necessary
- Prescription/vision can change over time as you age
Are you eligible?
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether LASIK is right for you. These include, but may not be limited to age, amount of prescription, dry eye, and previous eye surgery. Try taking this quiz to quickly find out if you may be eligible for LASIK.
If you find that LASIK is not worth it for you, there are other options such as PRK, Refractive Lens Exchange, or the EVO Visian Implantable Contact Lens (ICL). Try talking to your ophthalmologist about the best options for you.
If LASIK is worth it for you, please contact us at Salisbury Vision. Dr. Salisbury is a cornea and refractive specialist who performs cataract surgery, LASIK, PRK, ICL, corneal transplants including PKP, DSAEK, DMEK, and DALK, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. He understands the importance of an eye doctor who truly cares about his patients.
Reach out today to find out if LASIK is right for you!