Myth Busters: Top 10 Myths about LASIK

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 12-Feb-2014

It isn’t uncommon to have fears or anxieties about any medical procedure, including LASIK eye surgery. If you are considering LASIK to correct your vision, you will most likely have questions about the procedure and risks associated with laser surgery.

Though LASIK is becoming more and more common, there are several myths and misconceptions about the procedure. Here are the top 10 myths we commonly hear from patients about LASIK.

Myth: LASIK is painful.

Fact: When you go in for LASIK, your doctor will use eye drops to numb your eyes during the procedure, which takes about 15 minutes for both eyes. You may feel some pressure during the surgery, but you should not experience pain.

Myth: LASIK isn’t really “surgery.”

Fact: During the LASIK procedure, a femtosecond laser is used to create a flap that is gently lifted and folded back. The laser reshapes the underlying corneal tissue by emitting a computer-controlled beam of light that removes the exact amount of tissue in a matter of seconds. The corneal flap is then placed back into its original position. Due to the cornea's extraordinary bonding qualities, no stitches or patches are required. It is a very delicate surgery, but it is surgery nonetheless.

Myth: You can go blind from LASIK.

Fact: Serious complications from LASIK are rare, and so far, there have been no cases of anyone going blind from LASIK eye surgery. The most common side effect of LASIK is dry eyes, which is usually temporary and can be managed with prescription eye drops. During your pre-operative consultation and exam, your eye doctor will review all potential complications and risks with you.

Myth: The laser could burn your eye during the procedure.

Fact: Lasers used in LASIK and other laser vision correction surgeries are considered “cold” lasers and will not burn the surface of the eye.

Myth: There’s nothing to be done to correct a poor outcome from LASIK.

Fact: While most LASIK patients experience good results (more than 95 percent), there are treatment options that can further improve vision following LASIK if your results are less than satisfactory.

Myth: LASIK is too new of a procedure to really know outcomes and risks.

Fact: Laser vision correction surgery has been around more than 25 years. The first treatment was performed in the United States in 1987 and the FDA approved it in the mid 90s. Dr. Whitman was one of the first to perform it in the metroplex. Side effects of LASIK are usually minor and complications are rare. Millions of patients have undergone LASIK or another form of laser eye surgery and experienced great results.

Myth: LASIK cannot correct farsightedness or astigmatism.

Fact: It is commonly thought that LASIK is only to treat nearsightedness (myopia), but LASIK can also treat farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. In addition to refractive errors, in some cases, LASIK may be used to correct vision following a previous LASIK procedure or cataract surgery.

Myth: If you have LASIK, you’ll never need contacts or eyeglasses again.

Fact: There is a normal change of vision that comes with age that cannot be prevented with LASIK. You will need reading glasses at some point, especially if you are over age 40, even if you had LASIK eye surgery. Some LASIK patients may sometimes need to wear prescription eyeglasses for certain tasks, such as nighttime driving.

Myth: All laser eye surgery is the same.

Fact: Different lasers are used in different procedures and will produce varying results. The doctors at Key-Whitman use the WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser designed to adapt to the curvature of each individual eye, and is therefore able to reshape the eye more precisely.

PRK (also known as LASEK or Advanced Surface Ablation) is another alternative to LASIK in which the cornea is re-shaped by removing a microscopic layer of tissue, rather than creating a flap in the eye.

Myth: Anyone can get LASIK.

Fact: It is recommended that LASIK patients are 18 years old or older. LASIK patients should not have had a significant change in their vision in the past 12 months.

Do you have more questions about LASIK vision correction surgery? Check out our frequently asked questions page on our website.

Categories: LASIK
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