Envision Eye Care
Answers to the most frequently asked questions.
1. Have many people had LASIK surgery?
More than 5,000,000 Americans have had the LASIK procedure and the number continues to increase substantially every year.
2. What are the risks?
As with any procedure there are small risks, although LASIK complications are very rare. In fact, experienced LASIK surgeons report a less than 1% complication rate. An experienced LASIK surgeon would pre-screen patients by using only FDA approved equipment for pre-testing to ensure that LASIK is the right choice. Many ophthalmologists believe the long-term risk of wearing contact lenses can exceed the one-time risk of having LASIK by a factor as high as 5X.
3. Is LASIK Safer Than Contacts?
More than 30 million Americans use contact lenses. In addition to offering flexibility, convenience, and a “no-glasses” appearance, “contacts” help correct a variety of vision disorders, including astigmatism, presbyopia, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. Contact lenses do present potential risks. Recent studies, which included an advisory member from the FDA, suggest that prolonged use of contacts can represent a risk to eye health. In the past six years the FDA has posted an increasing number of advisories concerning risks associated with contact lenses. Concerns range from corneal ulcers and eye infections that usually develop quickly and can in some rare cases, lead to blindness. Daily contact lens wearers have a one in 100 chance of developing serious lens-related eye infection over 30 years of use.
4. Can I Really Get Rid Of My Glasses?
Most people over age 21 who suffer from farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism can be helped. If you are at least 40 years of age, have presbyopia and/or wear reading glasses, or have bifocals, you may still need to wear reading glasses following LASIK surgery. A thorough eye exam is the best way to determine if LASIK can achieve your expectations. The exam would include a full corneal mapping (topography), corneal thickness measurement, and your pupil size measurement to ensure that LASIK is right for you.
Your doctor would discuss your goals and expectations, as well as the risks and benefits of the procedure.
5. Am I a good candidate for LASIK?
All reputable experienced LASIK surgeons screen their patients very carefully, mainly because not everybody is a good candidate for LASIK and surgery performed on a poor candidate is far more likely to have complications. By using proper FDA approved pre-operative technology for pre-screening candidates for the procedure, a LASIK surgeon dramatically lowers any risk of complication. Though most people are good candidates, there are some conditions which would preclude one from being able to have LASIK. If you have a pre-existing eye disease that affects vision – such as advanced glaucoma, cataracts, corneal diseases, or corneal thinning disorders – you would not be a good candidate. There are also temporary conditions that would prevent you from having LASIK, such as vision instability or pregnancy.
6. Will It Hurt? When Can I Return To Work?
LASIK is virtually painless. The LASIK surgery itself is very brief, only a few minutes for each eye. The next day you will be astonished at how clearly you can see. Most people are able to return to work within 24-48 hours following their LASIK procedure.
7. What Is PRK?
Procedures such as “epi-LASIK” and “LASEK” are forms of PRK: a type of vision correction where the laser treatment is done on top of the eye, instead of under the protective flap used in LASIK. PRK is necessary for certain eye conditions where the cornea is too thin to create a protective flap. The PRK procedure is less comfortable than LASIK. Although the outcome of PRK is the same, it can take longer to achieve the level of vision that LASIK can deliver.
8. Is All Laser Vision Correction The Same?
All laser vision correction is NOT created equal. The basic procedure to reshape the cornea is the same or similar regardless of whether it is LASIK, IntraLase or LASEK. The difference is in the flap creation and healing process. While IntraLase is the newest procedure, boasting blade-free flap creation, it is the surgeon’s experience, laser technology, diagnostic technology and follow-up care which are vital when undergoing laser vision correction An experienced, well trained refractive surgeon will yield wonderful results with any option. The decision regarding which of these procedures is best suited for the individual patient is a decision that should be made after a conversation with the surgeon following an exam.
Laser vision correction will affect the way you see for the rest of your life. You should make your decision to have laser vision carefully by choosing an experienced surgeon and a center that has stood the test of time.
9. What About Nighttime Side-Effects?
Nighttime side-effects can include halos, starbursts, glare around lights, and blurry vision. These side-effects are mostly reported in the early days of LASIK, and while some night-vision effects can occur today these usually diminish in the first few months as the eye heals. In extreme cases additional touch-up (enhancement) procedures would be recommended.
With the advent of advanced FDA technology, treatment zones have been expanded, reporting fewer nighttime vision side-effects. In fact, in FDA clinical trials, studies showed that four times as many people were very satisfied with their nighttime vision as they were with their glasses or contacts. In other words, the chances of long-term night vision problems were greatly reduced due to laser vision correction.
10. Can I Afford LASIK?
Although LASIK is a significant investment compared to a lifetime of purchasing glasses and/or contact lenses. An exact quotation is only possible after an examination and consultation. There are different FDA approved technologies available to meet each individuals needs.
11. How Do I Choose a LASIK Surgeon?
Having LASIK is a lifetime decision. Here are some key points to consider:
If you have additional questions, please email or call us. We will be happy to help you in any way we can. If you would like to book a brief, free LASIK consultation, click here or call our Laser Vision Correction department at 989-799-2020 in Saginaw, and 989-872-4900 in Cass City .