LASIK is a surgical procedure that uses a laser to correct common vision problems including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Since 1987, over 35 million surgeries have been performed with overwhelming success. While LASIK is one of the most safe and effective medical procedures offered, there are many myths surrounding it. Here are the top three myths about LASIK eye surgery to consider while making your vision correction decision:
1) LASIK eye surgery is painful.
For most, LASIK is a relatively painless procedure, and few patients report feeling much discomfort afterward. Surgeons apply anesthetic drops to numb the eye, and can use mild sedatives to help patients relax if necessary. Patients might experience some brief, slight pressure at one point during the surgery.
One of the main concerns that many patients have about surgery is the recovery process. With LASIK, your eyes may feel some discomfort after the numbing drops wear off, but it is important to not rub or touch them. The irritation and tearing typically improves within a few hours.
2) LASIK surgery can have many complications.
LASIK actually has a lower incidence of complications compared with earlier techniques of corrective surgery. The risk for serious complications following LASIK eye surgery is significantly less than 1%. There are even studies that show a higher incidence of serious complications from simply wearing contacts (i.e. infection) than undergoing a LASIK procedure. While some patients experience side effects following LASIK, they are typically mild and temporary. The most common side effects, which is temporary in most cases, include:
- Dry eyes
- Nighttime glare
- Starbursts or halos around lights
Over 95% of patients are satisfied with the results of their surgery, but there are a number of treatment options available if further correction is needed.
3) Recovery from LASIK is a long process.
LASIK eye surgery is an outpatient procedure and the actual surgery takes about 10 minutes per eye. Following some rest from the mild sedative used, patients are typically able to drive and return to usual activities by the next day. Most people notice improvement in vision directly after the surgery and report even greater improvement in the following days.
Many patients are cleared to drive and resume normal activities the day after the surgery. For the first week, you will have prescription eye drops to keep your eyes lubricated, and may have to sleep wearing an eye shield. For further information on what LASIK recovery is like, we recommend this blog post.
LASIK eye surgery has painlessly, safely and effectively corrected the vision of millions of patients. At Piedmont Eye Center, our doctors care for you and will do everything we can to make the experience as pleasant as possible because we understand that any surgery can be intimidating. Schedule an appointment today for your free LASIK consultation with Dr. Darin Bowers, one of the region’s most experienced LASIK providers.