The holidays are right around the corner and just imagine how more enjoyable they would be with better vision and without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses. The holiday season is the perfect time to give or receive the gift of LASIK eye surgery and put a sparkle in your eye with more joy and freedom than you’ve ever imagined.
If you’re one of millions of Americans who suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, you already know the impact a vision imperfection can have on your life. Glasses and contacts can be irritating to wear, easily lost or damaged, and prevent you from doing the things you love. Playing sports, swimming, driving a car, pursuing certain career paths – they can all become more difficult, if not impossible, when you wear glasses or contacts.
LASIK eye surgery could be the answer for glasses and contact wearers who are tired of the general maintenance that comes with the corrective lenses. And there’s never been a better time to have LASIK eye surgery, which is why it has become one of the most frequently performed operations in America.
LASIK today is the best procedure it’s ever been, thanks to decades of experience and continuous improvement in technology and technique. Thousands of studies reflect the quality of LASIK, the high satisfaction rates of people who’ve had the procedure, and the extensive base of knowledge that refractive surgeons draw on when they evaluate candidates and perform the procedure.
If you are considering LASIK eye surgery for yourself or as a gift for a loved one this upcoming holiday season, here are a few things you think about in advance so that you can make the most of this magical time of year. After all, the gift of sight is both long-lasting and one that will be loved and cherished every day.
Who can get the procedure?
LASIK is not for everyone. People who have severe dry eyes and corneal diseases should not undergo LASIK surgery. LASIK is used to treat the common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
LASIK can also be used to fix presbyopia—that maddening effect of aging that makes it harder to focus close-up—but you need to have one eye corrected for near vision and the other for distance. This technique, called Monovision LASIK, affects depth perception and sharpness, so you may still require glasses for visually demanding activities like driving at night, or reading fine print for long periods of time.
To find out if you’re a good candidate for the surgery, see an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. “You need to make sure your cornea is uniform, you don’t have severe dry eye or other eye conditions, and your prescription is stable,” explains Dr. Abel.
How is LASIK done?
After your eye surgeon applies numbing drops, they make an incision in the cornea and lift a thin flap. A laser then reshapes the corneal tissue underneath, and the flap is replaced. “The patient can see very quickly,” says Delaware-based ophthalmologist Robert Abel, Jr., MD, author of The Eye Care Revolution. “You get off the table and think, ‘Wow.’
What’s the success rate?
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 90% of LASIK patients end up with vision somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40.
There’s a chance, however, that you will still need to use corrective lenses at times. A 2013 survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that more than 50% of people who get LASIK or other laser vision-correction surgery wear glasses or contacts at least occasionally. Still, 80% of the survey respondents reported feeling “completely” or “very satisfied” with their procedure.
According to the FDA, results are usually not as good in people who have very large refractive errors. Make sure you discuss your expectations with your ophthalmologist to see if they’re realistic.
What are the risks?
Dr. Abel says the procedure is overwhelmingly safe and that the risk of problems is about 1%.
That said, it’s important to weigh the risks against the benefits, as the potential complications can be debilitating. The FDA has a list on its site, including severe dry eye syndrome, and a loss in vision that cannot be fixed with eyewear or surgery. Some patients develop symptoms like glare, halos, and double vision that make it especially tough to see at night or in fog.
There are also temporary effects to consider. According to the Consumer Reports survey, many respondents experienced side effects—including dry eyes, halos, and blurry vision—that lasted six months or longer.
How long will I be out of commission?
You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure, but you can go back to work the very next day.
How much will this cost?
According to Lasik.com, the cost can range from $299 per eye to more than $4,000 per eye. Geography, technology, and the surgical experience of the doctor all factor into the price. Insurance companies don’t typically cover the surgery, but you can use tax-free funds from your FSA, HSA, or HRA account to pay for it.
How can I find a good doctor?
If you are considering LASIK, a good place to start is at the LASIK Vision Institute’s® website. Their experienced and independent LASIK eye surgeons have conducted over 1,000,000 procedures nationwide using the latest FDA approved LASIK technology since opening in 1999.
Whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism, your life doesn’t have to be restricted due to your vision problem. So, contact the LASIK Vision Institute today for a free evaluation to review your eye prescription, eligibility and which options for vision correction are right for you and your eyesight condition.
Start making your dream of enjoying more activities without having to be dependent on glasses a reality today. It’s simply a better way to live your life.
Sources: The Huffington Post