A study by the University of Iowa has found that just 35% of adults have perfect 20/20 vision. For the other 65% of people, that likely means they needs some sort of visual aid such as glasses or contacts.
While glasses and contacts are easy and traditional to correct poor vision, corrective surgery such as Lasik surgery has proven to be very effective. Lasik surgery was introduced into the United States as a corrective eye surgery some 20 years ago and has since become almost commonplace when talking about options to correct one’s vision. In 2015 alone, 21 million Lasik surgeries were performed and more than 95% of Lasik surgery patients between 1995 and 2003 were pleased with their results.
You’re probably wondering, what happens to my eyes during Lasik surgery? A surgeon makes an incision across your cornea, raises a tissue flap and then reshapes your cornea to correct your vision. It sounds scary, but complications are rare (think 1 in 20 procedures) and takes roughly about 10 minutes per eye to complete.
No eye surgery is without risks, but there are plenty of benefits to undergoing Lasik surgery:
- No pain: Less than 1% of people who undergo Lasik eye surgery experience complications and they usually don’t experience pain.
- Instant improvement: The procedure may sound a little scary, but it works. More than 80% of people who undergo the surgery return to having perfect 20/20 vision and 95% of patients have at least 20/40 vision. The results are understandably different for each individual, but your vision will improve no matter what.
- Normalcy: With Lasik surgery, there’s no stitches or bandages to remove. As an added bonus, patients can usually resume their everyday activities within a day or two.
- Long term success: Another benefit of Lasik as a corrective eye surgery is that the results are permanent. Understandably, your prescription may change a little bit over time (the same as if you had glasses or contacts), but you’ll have greatly improved vision. Any problems that Lasik patients experience after the procedure typically only last a few months.
- Worth the money: Lasik surgery can be a bit of an investment up front for you, but for instant and long term vision improvement, it’s definitely more than worth the money. A successful Lasik surgery essentially eliminates the need to spend money traditional visual aids whose costs add up to quite a bit over time.
With so many benefits, you may be wondering what Lasik surgery costs. As of 2017, Lasik surgery cost about $2,000 for each eye and several factors go into determining the cost for each person.
There are other options for corrective eye surgery and before you have any procedures, it’s best to consult an eye doctor and have an eye exam. There are a number of conditions that can affect the effectiveness of a regular Lasik surgery. These include:
- Glaucoma. Lasik surgery can raise your eye pressure and worsen glaucoma depending on how severe it already is.
- Dry eye. Lasik may make dry eye worse.
- Eye injuries and lid disorders
- Large pupils. Lasik may make your eyes susceptible to symptoms like glare and star bursts.
- Any hereditary eye disorders
Glaucoma in particular can be very debilitating and traditional methods of glaucoma treatment such as eye drops or medications can do so much for one’s vision. When it comes to laser surgery as a glaucoma treatment, it’s often used in open-angle glaucoma, which can be an effective glaucoma treatment for preventing the build-up of fluid. Procedures like laser trabeculoplasty and selective laser trabeculoplasty have been used as effective methods of glaucoma treatment to varying degrees. Again, the severity of your glaucoma is a big factor in how successful a Lasik surgery may be.
Meeting with an eye surgeon or an eye doctor can help determine just how healthy your eyes are, how stable your vision currently is and how viable you are for Lasik surgery. If you’re not a good candidate for traditional Lasik surgery, there are many variations of surgery that are considered types of Lasik surgery and may ultimately benefit your vison and visional health.