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Is LASIK Worth It?

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A woman undergoing LASIK. Two perpendicular beams of light are being flashed at her left eye.

You may get tired of dealing with glasses if you’ve had them for years. However, you aren’t stuck with them. Your optometrist may recommend refractive surgeries like LASIK to help you see clearly—glasses-free. 

LASIK can be worth it for any patient looking to enjoy clearer vision without relying on glasses or contacts. There are many other refractive surgeries available if LASIK isn’t the right treatment for your needs

What is LASIK?

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a common refractive surgery designed to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It involves reshaping the cornea (the eye’s front surface) to improve sight.

Your surgeon reshapes the cornea using a laser to improve your vision, helping you see more clearly. LASIK has been used by surgeons for decades, with millions of successful procedures performed worldwide.

How Does LASIK Work?

The LASIK procedure is a 2-step process where your doctor accesses the cornea and reshapes it to improve sight.

Your surgeon accesses the cornea’s inner layers by making a small flap and pulling it back. They then use a specialized laser to remove precise amounts of corneal tissue, improving vision. They complete the surgery by laying the flap back in place where it heals. 

The entire LASIK procedure is generally painless and takes only a few minutes per eye.

Who is Eligible for LASIK?

In general, an ideal patient for LASIK:

  • Is over 18 years old
  • Has a consistent eye prescription
  • Has healthy corneas

What Can You Expect After Surgery?

Your eye may be a bit uncomfortable in the first 24 to 48 hours. Some common symptoms include itchiness, feeling like something is in your eye, or a burning sensation. You’ll likely visit your eye doctor within these 2 days to ensure your eye is healing well. 

A few weeks later, you may experience blurry vision, dry eyes, or changes in your sight. Your eyes heal after around a month or 2. During this time, you’ll visit your eye doctor several times to support your healing process. 

Is LASIK Worth It?

Surgery can be a big decision, and you may wonder if laser eye surgery is right for your needs. LASIK is likely worth it if you want to lower your reliance on glasses. 

This surgery has many benefits, including: 

A POV of a person with blurry vision looking at their laptop and cup of coffee.

What Are the Risks of LASIK?

LASIK is a safe surgery, but it can have potential side effects, including: 

  • Glare
  • Blurry vision
  • Discomfort
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Halos around lights

It’s important to note that LASIK might not be suitable for everyone. It’s important to meet with your optometrist—they can determine your eligibility for surgery and recommend other potential options. 

Other Refractive Surgery Options

While LASIK is the most well-known laser eye surgery, several alternative procedures are available to address your vision needs. 

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction)

SMILE is a minimally invasive laser eye surgery that corrects refractive errors using a femtosecond laser. Your surgeon creates a small lenticule (a small piece of the cornea) and then removes it through a tiny incision. 

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

Like SMILE, PRK does not require the creation of a corneal flap. The laser is applied directly to the cornea’s surface after removing the epithelium—the cornea’s outer layer. PRK can be ideal for patients with thinner corneas or certain corneal irregularities.

ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) – EVO

ICL is a procedure that involves implanting a thin lens between the iris and the eye’s natural lens. ICL can effectively correct high degrees of refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. ICL can be a great alternative to laser eye surgery if you’re not eligible for other options. 

Ask Your Optometrist About Refractive Surgery

Surgeries like LASIK have been helping people see more clearly for decades. While surgery is a big decision, you may find it worth it if you’re looking for visual freedom. Your eye doctor can help determine if LASIK is right for your needs and recommend other potential treatments. 

Contact us at Golden Vision Optometry if you’re interested in refractive surgery.

Written by Golden Vision

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