Today, 98% of patients achieve 20/20 or better vision with advanced forms of LASIK, yet many people have big misconceptions about it. LASIK is the most studied ophthalmic procedure in the world and has been performed on more than 50 million people over the past few decades. Despite the comprehensive studies and global acceptance, LASIK misconceptions persist. To help dispel some these, I am going to address the most common misconceptions I hear on a daily basis.
Top LASIK Misconceptions
- “I can’t have LASIK because I have astigmatism.” Astigmatism is a condition in which the eye is more football-shaped than round, and it distorts vision at all distances. LASIK can actually correct astigmatism—even the most severe degrees of it.
- “My prescription is too severe for LASIK.” LASIK can treat mild, moderate, and even severe degrees of correction. I routinely perform LASIK for people with the most severe 1% of prescriptions in the world, and they do amazingly well.
- “I’m farsighted, so LASIK isn’t for me.” LASIK can correct not only nearsightedness and astigmatism, but also farsightedness.
- “I’ve heard LASIK will wear off, so what’s the point?” LASIK lasts a lifetime, but it cannot stop the natural aging of the eye. LASIK essentially makes you see like a normally sighted person. And, like all normally sighted people, you will lose your focusing muscle strength as you age (usually in your 40s). You will then need reading glasses or another procedure (KAMRA Inlay) to restore your reading vision.
- “I don’t want to have LASIK because I am worried about night glare.” LASIK is no longer associated with a high risk of night glare affecting your ability to drive. LASIK technologies evolved to reduce this risk from 20% in the 1990s to less than 1% today. In fact, studies show that it may even result in less glare than you have today with glasses.
Hopefully I have helped clear up a few of the misconceptions around LASIK. If you still have questions, the most important step you can take is to get all the facts from your eye doctor. He or she can answer all of your questions and provide a referral to a reputable clinic and experienced surgeon.
Dr. Machat debunks more myths in our next installment, Top LASIK Misconceptions: Part Two.
About The Author
Dr. Jeffery J. Machat, MD, FRCSC, DABO, is double Board Certified in Ophthalmology in the United States and Canada. He has performed more than 70,000 LASIK procedures and has trained thousands of surgeons. He practices out of the NVISION locations in Murrieta, Concord, and Foster City.