Advantages and Disadvantages of LASIK Eye Surgery
Those who suffer from vision impairment of any degree often dream of getting LASIK eye surgery one day. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is an elective procedure that uses refractive lasers to reshape the cornea. In so doing, light can properly focus on the retina for clearer vision.
It’s a pain-free procedure, and most patients can return to normal life with minimal recovery time. They can typically throw out their glasses and contacts and enjoy a life without vision correction.
But like any surgery, there are risks and potential disadvantages. Many people receive LASIK surgery every day without issue, but it’s important to understand the process and potential disadvantages before proceeding.
Pro: The procedure is safe and can be completed quickly.
In most cases, the procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete for each eye. Much of this time is devoted to setting up the procedure. This is one of the fastest surgeries out there, so you can be in and out of the doctor’s office in less than an hour in some cases.
Don’t be alarmed by the speed of the procedure—it’s perfectly safe! The process has been refined to an exact science, so you can rest assured that a qualified doctor in your area will perform the procedure well.
Con: There can be side effects.
The most common side effect is dry eyes that last up to three months. After that, almost all cases of dry eyes disappeared. In the meantime, patients could treat the problem with eye drops.
Some patients also report nighttime glare or halos around the eyes. This is extremely rare, and the technology advances daily, making the risks of this side effect almost nonexistent.
Pro: Say goodbye to glasses and contacts.
Within 48 hours of treatment, most patients can put away their glasses and contacts. This is a life-changing procedure that allows you to enjoy basic activities without vision assistance. Forget the expense of visiting the eye doctor regularly, ordering contacts, and replacing broken prescription glasses.
Patients with a moderate or light prescription will regain 20/20 vision. About a third of those with a higher prescription gain 20/20 vision, and the rest gain very close to it. Most can function without glasses and some need only reading glasses.
Con: The results aren’t necessarily permanent.
In rare cases, patients may need LASIK a second time. A patient’s eyesight might regress over time, but it won’t be nearly as bad as it was before the surgery. Additionally, factors such as age or eye damage can cause your eyesight to regress as well.
Pro: Recovery time is minimal.
Most patients are fully recovered within 48 hours of the procedure. Your eyes may be dry for a short or extended period and can be treated with eye drops.
In rare cases, a patient may need a month to recover. This typically occurs for those with high prescriptions where the cornea is thin and may need extra time for healing.
Con: It’s expensive.
LASIK eye surgery significantly improves patients’ lives, but it’s still considered an elective, cosmetic procedure. Therefore, most insurance policies will not cover it.
The average cost ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 per eye, although some regions offer extremely competitive pricing at less than $1,000 per eye. Technology is advancing all the time as well, making it more affordable.
Pro: The surgery has a high success rate.
According to a study from the UK, 98.5 percent of patients report being satisfied with the outcome of their procedure. Though side effects and mistakes can happen, they’re extremely rare, and this is one of the most effective treatments for vision problems.
Con: It’s not for everyone.
Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK surgery. You should be in good general health to avoid complications. Your vision should be stable, and your cornea must be thick enough to handle the procedure; therefore, those with very poor eyesight may be ineligible.
You should also be in the right age range. Those who are less than 21 years old likely haven’t fully developed, so LASIK would be pointless as your eyes will continue to change. Those over 60 may also be ineligible because of natural macro degeneration that would render the surgery ineffective.
Pro: Enjoy a higher quality of life.
Imagine a world where you can wake up and go without putting in contacts or finding your glasses. You don’t have to order new contacts or plan your activities around your eyesight. You have the power to live your life freely, all thanks to an amazingly simple and low-risk procedure!