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Separating the Myths from LASIK Facts

Many myths about LASIK eye surgery have surfaced over the last 20 years. But as LASIK becomes more commonplace, those myths are finally being put to rest. Some of the more prevailing myths are debunked below. To learn more facts about LASIK and other laser eye surgeries, schedule an appointment with a laser vision doctor.

MYTH: Everyone is a candidate for LASIK.

FACT: Some patients don't qualify for LASIK eye surgery. LASIK is not the best option for patients with thin or irregular corneas, eye diseases or eye viruses. Poor health problems, such uncontrolled diabetes or autoimmune disease, may increase risks of poor outcomes. For more information, visit Are You a Good Candidate for Laser Eye Surgery?

MYTH: LASIK is painful.

FACT: LASIK eye surgery is painless. Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye during the procedure. After the procedure, patients describe discomfort such as a gritty sensation in the eye for a few hours. Most people, however, experience very little discomfort and require nothing more than aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve any irritation.

MYTH: LASIK can cause blindness.

FACT: There have been no confirmed cases of LASIK blinding anyone. However, serious complications have occurred but are extremely rare. During the pre-operative consultation and exam, the eye doctor can review all potential risks with the patient as well as determine whether the patient is a good LASIK candidate.

MYTH: The laser can burn your eyes.

FACT: All laser eye surgeries, including LASIK, use "cold" lasers that will not burn the surface of the eye.

MYTH: Once you have LASIK eye surgery, you won't need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses ever again.

FACT: Even if you've had LASIK eye surgery, normal vision changes with time and age. This change may require the need for reading glasses or the need to wear prescription eyeglasses for driving at night. It's important that you continue to have routine eye examinations to maintain your eye health.

MYTH: Long-term side effects from LASIK eye surgery have yet to be discovered.

FACT: Laser eye surgery was first developed in the early 1980s. Since then, millions of patients have had LASIK eye surgery. To date, no long-term side effects of the procedure have been documented.

MYTH: All LASIK outcomes are the same so it doesn't matter which doctor performs the surgery.

FACT: An essential element in the success of any surgical procedure is the surgeon's skill. This is where it pays to do your homework – spend some time researching surgeons in your area, and look at things like how long they've been performing LASIK eye surgery, their success record of visual outcomes, and their willingness to provide patient references.

MYTH: The cheapest LASIK eye surgery is no different than the most expensive one.

FACT: Your precious eyes are not worth a cheap compromise. LASIK centers that advertise below average costs may be cutting out patient screening and essential pre and post-operative care. The surgeons may also be less skilled at centers that offer low cost LASIK eye surgery. Remember, you get what you pay for. Be sure your eyes are getting the best care possible.

Don't let LASIK fears and myths keep you from enjoying better vision. Visit a laser vision doctor to discuss any concerns you may have.