Is LASIK Right For You? Are You Right for LASIK?
While these questions appear to be the same, both are important to answer if you’re considering LASIK vision correction.
In this blog post, we explain what we mean by these two questions.
Is LASIK right for you?
Would your life be better if you could wake up and get on with your day without wearing contact lenses or glasses?
For many, the answer is an easy “yes,” but for others, it’s a bit more difficult to answer. Some patients like the way they look in glasses or aren’t bothered by contact lenses.
We’ve found that some of these folks when sharing deeper thoughts on the subject, admit that LASIK is…well…frightening. In their view, their current solution, albeit inconvenient, is not as frightening as having an elective medical procedure on their eyes.
For example, many patients are surprised to learn that there are no needles or shots used in LASIK, just anesthetic eye drops. Also, patients cannot see the laser used in the procedure. The laser doesn’t hurt while it reshapes a patient’s cornea.
Some patients are also surprised the procedure takes about five minutes per eye with an overnight recovery to get back to normal life.
For patients who had a different impression, learning these facts and meeting some helpful and caring people who transparently answer questions, without any pressure, helps out a lot.
If you happen to be one of these folks who is a little fearful of LASIK, there are a couple of things that we would like to share with you:
- You are normal. Most people who say they aren’t at least a little nervous are most likely not telling the whole truth
- There is no better place to explore your options, learn about LASIK and your potential candidacy than 20/20 Institute. We understand that your eyes are not a used car and your vision options shouldn’t be sold to you as if they were
That said, the decision to have LASIK is one that only you can make. If you decide to have LASIK, it should be because you feel comfortable with the procedure and want to make a change in your life.
Will LASIK help you achieve your goals?
There are things LASIK can do and things it can’t do. It’s important to make sure your visual expectations can be met.
LASIK can’t cure eye diseases, eye injuries, and other eye problems including a couple that can be the result of vision development problems in early childhood. (Aside: astigmatism is not an eye disease, and if you’re a good candidate, astigmatism can be effectively treated with LASIK)
A commonly discussed limitation of LASIK is it can’t stop or treat the effects of natural aging. Anyone who lives through their 40s will experience the effects of presbyopia, which causes blurry up-close vision.
Patients have many options to address their loss of near vision once they reach their mid to late forties. They can choose monovision LASIK, LASIK with reading glasses for up-close, wear their current glasses or contact lenses, or explore other surgical lens implant options.
What is important before you decide if LASIK is right for you is that there are no surprises now or in the future. You should explore all your options so that you know what is best for you and your future self.
How do you correct your vision?
LASIK is generally reserved for two groups of patients, assuming they are good medical candidates:
- Patients who wear glasses or contacts full-time and are generally happy with their vision, but due to convenience, comfort and/or lifestyle reasons would like to see without glasses or contact lenses
- Patients who would see better if they wore glasses or contact, but don’t
Therefore, a few questions to ask yourself:
If you wear glasses or contacts full-time, what problems are you experiencing with your glasses or contact lenses? Could these problems be alleviated with different frames or a different brand of contact lens?
If you don’t wear glasses or contacts full-time because you can squeak by, would glasses or contact lenses be an acceptable option for you?
If the non-surgical options are not acceptable options, then LASIK may be right for you.
Another situation worth mentioning is if you wear contacts, but do not follow your doctors’ directions regarding wear and care. Proper contact lens maintenance protects the health of your eyes, but some patients have a hard time following those directions.
In these cases, having LASIK or wearing glasses instead of contacts can be a wise decision that may save them from the vision-threatening complications of contact lenses.
Are You Right For LASIK
Lastly, if you feel that LASIK is right for you, then you should explore if you are right for LASIK.
There are medical criteria patients must meet to be a good candidate for LASIK.
Here are the four areas of candidacy that you must meet to be a good candidate:
- Age: 18 or older
- Good general health
- Good ocular (eye-related) health and the correct corneal anatomy for LASIK
- Stable eyeglass prescription within the FDA-Approved range for LASIK
Some of the items you can check off for yourself to qualify and others require some specialized testing. The best way to learn whether you’re a good candidate for LASIK is to visit 20/20 Institute for a complimentary LASIK consultation.
During your consultation, a caring and experienced vision counselor will help our doctors with testing and answer all of your questions and concerns. You will learn a lot, and you will not be pressured.
We hope you have found this to be helpful. We’re always happy to chat with you by phone and to welcome you to one of our Denver locations for a complimentary consultation.