If you’re considering LASIK, you’ve likely heard that the vast majority of patients are extremely satisfied with their new, improved vision. For many, the results are life changing. Knowing as much as possible about the procedure will help you to have realistic expectations, which is why I’m devoting this post to ‘Five Things You May Not Know About LASIK’:
- The definition of an “ideal candidate” for LASIK can vary from practice to practice. Emory Vision devotes 2 ½ hours to determining whether you’re a candidate. Some centers take as little as a half-hour. Why the difference? We look at 10 factors when we meet with patients. A decade ago, looking at curvature of the eye and prescription was sufficient. Now physicians are able to tell which candidates will receive the best results.
- As you evaluate where you’d like to have your LASIK procedure performed, it’s important to know how the surgeon defines a “successful outcome.” At Emory Vision, our benchmark is 20/20 vision, which is the final result for the vast majority of our patients.
- LASIK doesn’t cause cataracts. Some patients mistakenly believe that over time their surgery is wearing off, when in reality they’re developing cataracts. LASIK doesn’t increase the chance of cataracts; birthdays do. Just as we get gray hair, we develop cataracts, typically in our mid 60s. You’ll know cataracts are the source of your poor vision if your condition doesn’t improve with glasses. For patients who have had LASIK, it’s important to know the curvature of your eye prior to having cataract surgery.
- The type of laser used by a LASIK practice is extremely important. At Emory Vision, we use the most advanced technology available—the Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q with Perfect Pulse Technology™. Clinical studies involving patients who have had surgery with the Allegretto show that 87% of patients have 20/20 vision or better one year after the procedure, and 99% have 20/40 or better, which is the standard for driving without glasses in most states. While it is possible to experience good results from an older laser, advanced lasers allow physicians to customize your treatment. Newer lasers, coupled with a thorough patient evaluation minimize complications such as halos and starbursts.
- The chances of you losing your vision due to LASIK surgery are truly minuscule. To put it in perspective for you, there is less than a 1 in 5 million chance of vision loss with the procedure. In fact, you have a greater chance of losing your eyesight from wearing contact lenses than from having LASIK. Patients rarely experience complications after LASIK surgery; however, approximately 3-5% may encounter minor difficulties, such as dry eyes and nighttime glare. For more information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions section of emoryvision.org.
And now I’d like to turn the conversation over to you—I know that many of you are curious about LASIK, and you may have questions beyond what I’ve covered here. Fire away!