Debunking Common Myths Surrounding LASIK Eye Surgery

Written by
Jason D. Bullajian
Published on
June 22

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Have you ever wondered if LASIK eye surgery is right for you but found yourself held back by uncertainty? You're not alone. LASIK eye surgery is a remarkable procedure designed to correct vision problems by reshaping the cornea, providing clearer vision and often eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Over the years, it has gained immense popularity due to its high success rate and the continuous advancements in technology that make it safer and more effective than ever before. Yet, despite its widespread acceptance, many myths and misconceptions persist. What are the myths of LASIK eye surgery? Do these myths hold any truth or are they simply misconceptions?

In this blog post, we'll address the myths of LASIK eye surgery and provide you with the factual information you need to make an informed decision.

Understanding Myths

We know it can be hard to separate fact from fiction, especially when it comes to medical procedures like LASIK eye surgery. So, what exactly are these myths, and why do they persist?

Myths in the context of laser vision correction surgery are essentially misconceptions or false beliefs that have been perpetuated either through word of mouth or misinterpretation of information. These misconceptions are crucial for making an informed decision regarding LASIK. Misunderstandings can deter people from benefiting from a procedure that could significantly improve their quality of life.

By clearing up common LASIK myths, potential candidates can rely on accurate, science-based information to make their decisions. Trustworthy data and insights can alleviate unnecessary anxiety and allow individuals to fully understand what LASIK entails, including its risks and benefits.

Myth 1: LASIK is Painful and Risky

It's understandable to have concerns about discomfort and potential risks when considering any surgical procedure. Luckily, the realities of pain and risk in LASIK eye surgery are quite different from the myths that often circulate.

Exploring the Truth Behind Pain During and After the Procedure

One of the most pervasive myths is that LASIK surgery is a painful experience. In reality, the LASIK eye procedure is virtually painless. During the surgery, patients are typically given numbing eye drops, which prevent any discomfort. According to a study published in Cureus, the majority of patients report feeling little to no pain during the procedure. Post-surgery, some LASIK patients might experience temporary discomfort or a gritty sensation in their eyes, akin to having an eyelash trapped under the eyelid. However, this sensation usually subsides within 24 to 48 hours, and most patients find relief with over-the-counter pain medications.

Addressing Risks and Complications Associated with LASIK

While no surgery is completely without risk, LASIK is considered very safe, especially given the advancements in technology and technique. Complications are rare and typically minor. Potential risks might include dry eyes, glare, halos, or temporary visual disturbances. These side effects are generally mild and resolve within a few weeks to months. Furthermore, LASIK equipment and methods have significantly improved, resulting in a higher safety profile and better outcomes.

Myth 2: LASIK is Not Permanent

You might have heard that LASIK results are temporary, which could understandably make you hesitant about undergoing the procedure. But let's set the record straight about how long LASIK results actually last.

Clarifying the Longevity of LASIK Results

The notion that LASIK is not a permanent solution stems from misconceptions. In reality, LASIK permanently reshapes the cornea to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The changes made to the cornea are enduring, offering long-lasting improvement in vision. According to a study, most patients enjoy stable vision post-LASIK during the 10-year study period, and the vast majority do not require further corrective surgery.

Factors Influencing the Duration of Vision Correction

While the structural changes to the cornea are permanent, it's essential to understand that other factors can influence the long-term success of LASIK. Age-related changes in vision, such as presbyopia, can occur independently of the LASIK procedure. Additionally, individual healing responses and lifestyle choices, like proper eye care and protection against UV light, can also affect the longevity of LASIK outcomes.

A study in the Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology reports that 96% of patients achieve better vision after LASIK, showcasing its effectiveness. Moreover, technological advancements in LASIK continue to enhance the precision and effectiveness of the surgery, improving its long-term success rates.

Myth 3: LASIK is Only for Younger Patients

Contrary to popular belief, LASIK is not exclusively for younger patients. While it is true that ideal candidates are typically adults above the age of 18 since their eyes have generally stopped changing, there is no upper age limit set for undergoing LASIK surgery. Overall, older adults can also be excellent candidates for LASIK, provided they meet certain health criteria.

Explaining Suitability Criteria for Different Age Groups

The suitability for LASIK varies across different age groups based on specific factors and underlying eye conditions. Younger adults in their 20s and 30s often seek LASIK to correct vision issues such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. For this group, the primary criterion is achieving stable vision for at least a year before the procedure.

For those in their 40s and beyond, the primary consideration shifts towards addressing age-related vision changes and overall eye health. As individuals age, presbyopia becomes a common issue, where reading up close becomes difficult.

Myth 4: LASIK Can Lead to Permanent Vision Loss

Now, this is a big one—many people are understandably worried about the potential for permanent vision loss after LASIK.

Examining the Likelihood of Vision Loss Post-LASIK

First and foremost, it's important to emphasize that the risk of permanent vision loss from LASIK is extremely low. According to the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, there is a rare chance of a serious complication that could potentially result in significant vision loss. Most issues that do arise can typically be managed effectively with prompt medical intervention.

Identifying Rare Complications and Their Management

While LASIK is exceptionally safe, it is not entirely free from risks. Rare complications may include issues such as:

  • epithelial defect (in 0.6%–14% of cases)
  • flap problems (in 0.03% to 2.6% of cases)
  • dry eye syndrome (but it's mostly short-lived)
  • and ectasia, which is a progressive thinning of the cornea.

However, these complications are very rare, and with proper preoperative screening and post-operative care, they can be effectively managed. It's essential to follow your doctor's instructions carefully to minimize the risk of any potential complications.

Myth 5: LASIK is Inaccessible Due to Cost

Let's be real—one of the biggest concerns many people have about LASIK is the price tag. It’s a common LASIK myth that the procedure is prohibitively expensive and out of reach for most people.

Discussing the Affordability of LASIK Surgery

While it's true that LASIK surgery is a significant financial investment, it's often more affordable than many think. The cost of LASIK surgery can vary depending on the technology used and the surgeon’s experience, but on average, it ranges from $2,000 to $3,000 per eye. Considering the lifelong costs of glasses, contact lenses, and optometrist visits, LASIK can be a cost-effective long-term solution.

Options for Financial Assistance and Insurance Coverage

To help make LASIK more accessible, numerous financing plans and options are available. Many clinics offer flexible payment plans with low or no interest, allowing patients to pay for the surgery over several months or years. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can also be used to cover LASIK expenses, offering a tax-advantaged way to manage the cost. Although LASIK is generally considered an elective procedure, some insurance plans may cover part of the cost if it's deemed medically necessary—such as in cases of severe refractive errors.

Furthermore, here at the TVLC we have partnered with reputable financing companies such as CareCredit and Alphaeon, enabling patients to receive the vision correction procedure they desire without worrying about the upfront cost.

Contact Us Today & Get Started On Your Journey to Clearer Vision!

So, What Are Myths of Lasik Eye Surgery?

LASIK has become a popular option for those looking for freedom from glasses and contact lenses, and it's easy to understand why. With advancements in technology and your highly skilled LASIK surgeon, LASIK is now safer, more accurate, and more accessible than ever before. Don't let these common myths hold you back from considering LASIK as an excellent vision correction option for you. Speak with us at TVLC today; our team of experienced ophthalmologists will help you make an informed decision about your vision correction journey. So, schedule a consultation today and let us show you how LASIK can transform your life!

Contact Us Today & Get Started On Your Journey to Clearer Vision!

About Dr. Bullajian
Dr. Jason Bullajian, a Texan with 20 years of experience, is a leading eye surgeon specializing in cataract and refractive surgery. He pioneered all-laser cataract surgery in Collin County using the LenSx Laser platform and successfully implanted the iStent inject glaucoma implant. He's a former high school teacher and chief resident at the University of South Carolina, known for his contributions to eye surgery education. In 2000, he founded Texas Vision & Laser Center, with locations in McKinney and Frisco. Beyond his career, he enjoys various outdoor activities and family time.
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