If you or a loved one wear glasses or contact lenses, you’ve probably heard of the medical procedure called Lasik at least in passing. But what exactly does Lasik entail? And is it worth it for you?
What is Lasik?
Lasik is the acronym for the eye surgery laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis. According to the Mayo Clinic, what usually happens during Lasik is the ophthalmologist uses a laser to create a flap in your cornea (the clear, top layer of the front of your eye). They then raise and reshape the cornea so that light particles will enter your eye and hit your retina at the correct angle for clear vision.
There are other methods that surgeons can use, but this is the most common with Lasik.
Who Benefits Most from Lasik?
People under the age of 40 with mild to moderate corrective vision needs get the most out of Lasik surgery. Once over the age of 40, most people’s close up vision tends to get worse with time and Lasik won’t prevent that.
If you have really bad vision, then Lasik might not be able to fully correct it. Talk to your optometrist about your eye care options before making a decision.
The Pros of Lasik
There are many things people like about Lasik. Here are some of the main benefits from the procedure.
- Quick Procedure: The Lasik surgery takes less than an hour to complete, and you are free to go home afterwards. This means it doesn’t take a lot of time out of your schedule for the surgery or recovery.
- Advances in Technology: Lasik has been around for over 20 years now. With that, advances in the surgical tools used for the operation have come along as well as improvement in the surgical method itself. Lasik is considered a relatively safe procedure with low risk of complications.
- Fast Results: Patients often notice an improvement in their vision in less than a day.
- No More Glasses or Contacts: Lasik can make it possible for you to no longer need glasses or contact lenses at all, which means you no longer have to worry about contacts or glasses getting lost or broken.
The Cons of Lasik
There are risks and cons with every medical procedure, and Lasik is no exception. Here are some cons past Lasik patients have experienced.
- Dry Eyes: A common complaint after Lasik is that of dry eyes. This is usually short-term and clears up on its own after a couple of months. You can invest in eye drops to soothe your eyes.
- Itchy Eyes: Along with dry eyes, most report itchy eyes. It’s important not to rub your eyes while they’re healing after the surgery, though. Rubbing them can result in the cornea not healing right. This also usually goes away after a while.
- Vision Halos: Some report vision halos or glares in their vision after Lasik. Some patients saw these go away with time while it’s a side effect that remained for others.
- Infection and vision loss: Since you’re allowing someone to cut into the surface of your eyes, there is an increased risk of you getting an eye infection than if you stick to glasses or contacts. If the infection is bad enough, it can lead to permanent vision loss.
- Cost: Lasik generally isn’t covered by insurance since it’s not seen as a necessary procedure. It can cost over $2,000 per eye.
So, is Lasik worth it? In the end, it’s a question only you yourself can answer. Many patients are happy with the results and experience very few side effects or complications. Do the research and talk to a professional before making a final decision regarding your eye care.