As laser eye surgery continues to increase in popularity, we look at 12 myths that continue to surround the procedure in order to separate the fiction from the fact. Over 95% of patients are suitable for a refractive procedure. However, many feel that due to a myth they have heard from someone along the way, the procedure is not suitable for them. Outlined here are some myths that people often researching the procedure come across.
1. Laser Eye Surgery Is Painful
The procedure itself is actually painless. A patient may only feel a little discomfort as the eye is kept open throughout the 1-2 minute procedure. A small number of patients complain of itchy and irritable eyes in the first few days following surgery. This doesn’t affect everyone and for the majority is certainly not considered painful.
2. Laser Eye Surgery Is Risky
Over 20million people worldwide have undergone laser eye surgery with only a minority experiencing complications. The biggest risk from laser eye surgery is infection, however the chances of infection from contact lenses is about 10 times higher. If you are in good health and have a stable prescription it is one of the safest elective surgeries available.
3. Laser Eye Surgery is Too Expensive
As technology and methods have improved, the costs involved for patients have come down considerably. It is worth considering the amount you spend on contact lenses and glasses, and that laser eye surgery will eradicate this continued expenditure. Clinics such as Optical Express offer financing options, including 0% interest on payments.
4. I Am Too Old For Laser Eye Surgery
There is no upper age limit for undergoing laser eye surgery. Many patients who are over the age of 45 feel they are just too old to have the procedure. In fact the contrary is true; around 98% of people over 45 are suitable for laser eye surgery. If laser eye surgery is not suitable for you it is worth remembering that alternative treatments are available to provide freedom from glasses and contacts.
5. The Treatment Isn’t Permanent
The effectiveness does not wear off, contrary to what some people believe. In the vast majority the results are permanent and are intended to be permanent. If you have a very high prescription follow-up treatment may be required. This is due to eyesight levels changing naturally over time which would happen if you did or did not have the surgery.
6. It Could Burn Me If I Move
Laser eye technology is extremely advanced. The last thing that the equipment is designed to do is to burn the eye or cause needless discomfort. The laser itself is a cool beam laser, meaning that contact with the skin does not burn or scold. Furthermore, the laser is fitted with an eye tracker that detects movement and will pause treatment until stability returns.
7. The Results Are Not Instant
Many believe it takes days for the results to fully take effect. This could not be more wrong, in fact results are evident within seconds of having the surgery. For some, it may take a bit longer, however the vast majority will instantly notice the difference and be able to go on with their lives.
8. There Is No Aftercare / Follow-up Appointments
Aftercare is an important part of the entire treatment, and should be treated with importance. Leading clinics will offer an extensive and free aftercare programme. Patients who undergo the surgery should have a follow-up consultation at least three times in the one year following laser eye surgery.
9. The Recovery Time Is Long
When people think of recovering from laser eye surgery – the vision of someone walking around with bandages over their eyes comes to mind. The truth is that laser technology has increased so much over the last 20 years that results are instant. Normally no more than a day or two days are required off from work, and driving is – in the majority of cases – possible after 24 hours.
10. 20 / 20 Vision Is Impossible To Achieve
The myth that accomplishing 20/20 vision is impossible is a notion that no longer exists. Life with HD vision is achievable and is within reach for more people than ever before – thanks to the medical advances in technology. 20/20 vision is, in fact, normal for a lot of people. The majority of patients can achieve better than 20/20.
11. Different Treatments Mean Different Service Levels
Despite common assumptions, there are no differing levels of service for treatment. Both LASIK and LASEK eye procedures use the same laser procedure and result in the same outcome – crystal clear vision. Your prescription level is the only determining factor behind which treatment you receive. Your clinical provider should explain the best options available to you at your eye consultation.
12. Laser Eye Surgery Could Make Me Blind
With over 20 million people worldwide having undergone successful laser eye surgery the myth that you could lose your sight from the treatment is unsubstantiated. Diagnosis and treatment is taken very seriously in the laser eye industry. With experienced and professional surgeons, and advanced technology, becoming blind from laser eye surgery is an extremely improbable consequence.
Outlined here is a list of common mis-understood and mis-represented myths that have long been associated with laser eye surgery. Laser eye surgery has an extremely low complication ratio, and the common feedback from patients who have had it done is normally ‘I wish I had it done sooner!’ By considering the many laser eye surgery success stories over the myths, you are placing yourself in a much better frame of mind to undergo the treatment.