Myths Surrounding LASIK Surgery

If you’re considering LASIK surgery and consulting your friends and colleagues about it, you may hear a range of opinions. Do you know which is fact or myth? I’m Rhonda Brown, and I’m a certified ophthalmic technician and patient advocate at Emory Vision. In this post, I’ll help you separate LASIK fact from fiction.

MYTH: LASIK should be done once your eyes change in your 40s. As we age, we find it harder to read – a condition called Presbyopia. LASIK has come a long way, and doctors can now treat one eye for distance and one eye for near vision— a process we refer to as ‘blended vision’.  While it isn’t 100% perfect, patients have remarkable improvements in functioning vision for seeing both near and far. Some patients may need glasses for limited tasks such as night driving or reading a menu in low light. However, after surgery, at least 95% of life activities can be enjoyed without glasses.

MYTH: If you have astigmatism, you’re not a candidate for LASIK. This is a common misconception, and definitely a myth.  Having astigmatism means that the eye’s front surface, or cornea, is shaped more like a football rather than a basketball.  In most cases, LASIK can reshape the eye to make it look more like a basketball, which is ideal for improving vision. Technological advances now allow newer lasers to safely treat it.

MYTH: You should get a “lifetime guarantee” on your LASIK procedure. You wouldn’t ask for a lifetime guarantee on your heart valve, would you? The same is true for LASIK. Although it’s elective, it’s still a surgical procedure, and doctors are working with soft tissue that can respond, heal and age differently from person to person.  If a center is offering a lifetime guarantee, consider whether its doors will be open 5 years from now. Sometimes these guarantees are only good if you have poor vision in both eyes – or only for a specific window of time, which is why it’s so important to read the fine print.

TRUTH: LASIK isn’t for everyone. This is true. If you are looking for a guarantee of perfect vision, you may not be an ideal candidate. No one can promise an exact outcome for LASIK surgery, and certain conditions affecting the eye prevent some people from being an ideal candidate. However, according to statistics, nine out of 10 patients can see 20/20 or better following LASIK.

And now I’d love to hear from you—what LASIK-related myths have you heard about? I would be happy to debunk them for you.

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