Have many people have had LASIK surgery?
More than 5,000,000 Americans have had the LASIK procedure and the number increases substantially every year.
What are the risks?
As with any procedure there are small risks, although LASIK complications are very rare. An experienced LASIK surgeon pre-screens patients with FDA approved equipment to ensure that LASIK is the right choice. Many ophthalmologists believe the long-term risk of wearing contact lenses can exceed the one-time risk of having LASIK.
Is LASIK safer than contacts?
Contacts help correct a variety of vision disorders including astigmatism, presbyopia, farsightedness and nearsightedness. However, recent studies suggest that prolonged use of contacts can represent a risk to eye health. Concerns range from corneal ulcers and eye infections that usually develop quickly and can, in some rare cases, lead to blindness. Daily contact lens wearers have a one in 100 chance of developing serious lens-related eye infection over 30 years of use.
Can I get rid of my glasses?
Most people over age 18 who suffer from farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism can be helped. If you are at least 40 years of age, have presbyopia and/or wear reading glasses or have bifocals, you may still need to wear reading glasses following LASIK surgery. A thorough eye exam is the best way to determine if LASIK can achieve your expectations. The exam would include a full corneal mapping (topography), corneal thickness measurement, and your pupil size measurement.
Am I a good candidate for LASIK?
Most people are good candidates for LASIK, however if you have a pre-existing eye disease such as advanced glaucoma, cataracts, corneal diseases or corneal thinning disorders, you would not be a good candidate. There are also temporary conditions that would prevent you from having LASIK, such as vision instability or pregnancy. A thorough pre-screening process determines if LASIK is right for you.
What Is PRK or advanced surface ablation?
PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. In this procedure, no flap is created but the laser is applied directly to the surface of the cornea. The outcome is the same as Lasik but it can take longer to achieve. This procedure has certain advantages over Lasik in certain individuals. Dr. Somers will determine which procedure is right for you following an evaluation.
Are all laser vision corrections the same?
The surgeon’s experience, laser technology, diagnostic technology and follow-up care are vital when undergoing laser vision correction. Laser vision correction will affect the way you see for the rest of your life. You should make your decision to have laser vision carefully by choosing an experienced surgeon and a center that has stood the test of time. At Somers Eye Center, we utilize the Wavelight Allegretto laser which has the best FDA results of any laser. It has been shown to be the fastest laser, and Dr. Somers believes the most accurate.
What about side effects?
Halos, starbursts, glare and blurry vision are mostly reported in the early days of LASIK, subsiding within the first few months as the eye heals. In extreme cases additional touch-up (enhancement) procedures would be recommended.
Can I afford LASIK?
The cost of LASIK is typically recouped within five years compared to a lifetime of purchasing glasses and/or contacts, eye care products and insurance.