Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My thoughts on LASIK

Chris wanted to know what I thought about LASIK, so I'll tell you what I know. I haven't had it myself, but I've learned about the procedures and seen people who have had it done and have seen videos of the surgeries a couple of times and have had quite a few classes about it. So i'm pretty much a profi. But not really.

So here is what I think: LASIK is pretty cool. I think some optometrists are "against" it because they think that they're losing patients, but I don't think of that at all. You'll still see patients for pre and post-operative care, and for their other ophthalmic needs.

Here are the pros about LASIK (that I know about):

1) You no longer have to wear glasses (at least until you hit the age of 40 to 45, then you'll need reading glasses. That's something I didn't realize until I came to optometry school: EVERYONE will need reading glasses to see things up close once they hit the mid-forties).

2) The correction can be incredibly precise. They can correct the normal first and second order aberrations (like your typical myopia/hyperopia and astigmatism), but can go even further and correct the higher order aberrations that glasses cannot improve. Can most people tell a difference? No. But it's still pretty cool.

Here are the cons that I've heard of:

1) You'll need to wear glasses eventually. So paying $4000 out of pocket for 15 to 20 years of glasses-free vision will be worth it for some people, but not everyone.

2) It's not reversible. Once you cut the cornea to reshape it, you can't go back. So if there is a new type of technology or vision therapy developed in 20 years that can correct refractive error, you might miss out.

3) The surgery can be painful. At least that's what I've heard.

I go back and forth as to whether I want LASIK or not. I've known a few optometrists who have gotten it, and others who refuse to get it. Some really like the fashion sense of glasses and that's why they decided to stick with glasses.

I think I'll just plan on wearing contact lenses for as long as I can and just get readers when I need them.

So that's it.


Patricia said...

I didn't need reading glasses with my contacts until I was about 50. Even now in the morning before I'm tired I can read the newspaper or some magazines without reading glasses.

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

Eric wants to get Lasik...sometime.

Katie Lewis said...

I will probably think that "astigmatism" is "a stigmatism." Which I guess just goes to show that A.) I would never survive optometry school, so it's a good thing you're the one going and taking all those tests and stuff and, B.) My eyes are so amazingly and astoundingly perfect that I've never had the need or opportunity to buff up on my ophthalmic terms. Uhh... until now I guess.

Masayuki said...

It hurts for about an hour or two, usually just the time to drive home and get in bed and sleep. When you wake up, it hurts a little bit, but as long as you've slept for 7 or 8 hours it's hardly noticeable.