Laser eye surgery is about freedom from glasses and contact lenses, but what is it that that freedom actually entails? Is it possible to think about freedom in a more tangible way?
The fact of the matter is that it is possible to think about laser eye surgery in terms of the activities the fill each of our day-to-day lives.
Starting with physical activities, certain sports – including swimming – can be extremely difficult with either glasses or contacts. Furthermore, given the importance of precision in such sports as hockey, football, and basketball, the possibility of a shifted contact lens mid-play can be a major liability.
Virtually all sports have a visual element, and many patients who undergo laser eye surgery achieve better than 20/20 vision, with clearer, sharper vision than even with the best glasses or contact lenses. This benefit is, of course, not just restricted to athletes!
For those who are unable to or choose not to wear contacts, laser eye surgery can open a whole new host of possibilities in the athletics realm, from jogging outdoors, to mountain biking, to tennis. While many of these sports are possible with glasses, without glasses, one can perform at a higher level and experience increased enjoyment, without having to be constantly aware of their glasses.
Finally, for those who are outdoor-oriented, dealing with contacts or glasses on camping or hiking trips can be particularly frustrating. Glasses are inconvenient, and without mirrors, or running water for proper hand-washing, contact lenses are difficult to wear and keep clean.
Moving onto more mundane, yet equally important elements of day-to-day life, laser eye surgery means waking up and immediately being able to see the alarm clock without blindly grabbing for the glasses you’re hoping you’ve left on the bedside table. It means coming inside on a cold day, and being able to read in the bath without your glasses fogging up, and watching television in bed before dozing off.
If you’re solely a contact lens wearer, frustrated by the look and feel of glasses, laser eye surgery means having clear vision all day, every day, not just for the specified number of hours that you’re allowed to wear contacts while giving your eyes time to breathe. For university students apt to pull all-nighters hunched over books, or partygoers looking for a late night out, this can make a pretty significant difference. If you’re a frequent flyer, it means taking a red-eye without having to sport glasses or contend with inserting contacts in an airplane bathroom. If bad weather strikes, or any number of reasons leaves you unexpectedly stranded away from home for a night, it means being able to sleep peacefully without having to spend the next day with blurry vision, or with scratchy, dry eyes from sleeping in contacts.
Even if living with glasses and contact lenses seems to become second nature over time, laser eye surgery means never having to scour the house for lost glasses, or crawl about on the bathroom floor looking for the contact lens that got lost in the finger to eye transition. If you’re just flying carry-on, the lack of contact lens solution or spectacle lens cleaner is one less liquid to squeeze into your clear plastic bag.
Freedom from glasses and contacts doesn’t have to be an abstract concept without any meaningful connection to you – it’s about all the little changes that laser eye surgery will make to your everyday life.