LASIK | St. Louis
LASIK eye surgery has been performed in the U.S. since the early 1990s, and has provided visual freedom to over 8 million Americans. It is one of the safest surgical procedures available. LASIK also has a satisfaction rating among the highest of any surgical procedure, yet there are plenty of LASIK myths that continue to circulate about this life-altering treatment.
Below are responses to some of the most common myths about LASIK. If you have questions or concerns we have not addressed, we’d love to talk.
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MYTH: Anyone can get LASIK.
FACT: There are people who are not candidates for LASIK. It is not an ideal option for people who have irregular or thin corneas, diseases or viruses of the eye, who are on certain medications such as acne medications or steroids, who are in poor health, or for women who are pregnant or nursing. Also, candidates should be over 18 years of age.
MYTH: LASIK complications are common.
FACT: Millions of people have undergone LASIK surgery, but serious complications are extremely rare. Risks can be minimized by consulting a surgeon you trust, specifically someone who invests in the time and technology to properly diagnose and evaluate your eye health.
MYTH: LASIK hurts.
FACT: It is uncommon for patients to report discomfort during the LASIK procedure. You will be given anesthetic drops to numb your eyes during the procedure. Most people report seeing a bright light, but are often surprised by how quickly and easily the procedure is completed. Following the procedure, patients may feel a gritty sensation in their eyes for a few hours, but many people take a short nap and awaken to find that the discomfort is minimal or gone
MYTH: Your eyes can be burned by the laser.
FACT: Laser eye surgery is done with a “cold” laser, meaning the laser is not capable of burning the surface of your eye.
MYTH: You’ll never need glasses or contacts again after a LASIK procedure.
FACT: Though the results of LASIK typically last for many years, you may find at some point that you need glasses or contacts. This is because our eyes change as we age. LASIK involves changing the surface of the eye’s cornea, which acts as a window to the eye. Presbyopia, or over-40 vision, affects the lens, located in the back of the eye, eventually becoming a cataract. Presbyopia alters vision and, without surgical correction, will eventually require the need for reading glasses, contacts, or prescription glasses.
Other factors can impact vision following LASIK as well, such as glaucoma, keratoconus, or other diseases of the eye; taking certain prescription drugs; viruses that affect the eyes; or injury. Any of these can result in the need for glasses or contact lenses, even after LASIK.
MYTH: There is a lot we don’t yet know about LASIK.
FACT: LASIK was first developed in the 1980s. Since then, an estimated 40 million people worldwide have benefited from this life-changing procedure. It has been extensively studied, and major complications are very rare.
MYTH: It doesn’t matter who you choose to do your LASIK procedure.
FACT: Poor outcomes can often be avoided by doing proper, thorough pre-operative evaluations to rule out patients who are not ideal candidates. Before making a decision about who to trust, research your potential providers online by reading reviews and finding out if they have any past or outstanding legal complaints. Also, don’t be afraid to say no to a LASIK provider who makes you feel like a number or a “sale.” There is no room for high-pressure sales when it comes to your eye health, and you should always stick with a surgeon who invests in the time, technology, and training to make sure LASIK is the best option for you.
MYTH: Cheap LASIK is the same as more expensive LASIK.
FACT: Like the old adage says, we get what we pay for. Just as we wouldn’t trust a heart surgery to the cheapest surgeon, cost shouldn’t be the primary factor in your LASIK procedure. A reputable LASIK surgeon will invest in the most modern of diagnostic equipment to make sure LASIK is the best choice for you. He or she will take time to talk with you about potential complications and manage your expectations. A good LASIK surgeon will also not hesitate to tell you “no” if you are not a candidate for LASIK.
A good LASIK surgeon will not cut corners when it comes to your eyes, and will not skimp on pre-surgical evaluation or post-surgical care. He or she will never engage in bait-and-switch tactics, promising cheap LASIK then telling you that your eyes will require a much greater cost. Instead, a good LASIK surgeon has confidence in the service he or she is providing and has pre-established costs that have been carefully considered. After all, your eyes, and your vision, are worth it.
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