Laser Eye Surgery: Separating Fact From Myth



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.


Myth 1: LASIK is painful.


Fact: Numbing eye drops are used to keep your eyes comfortable during LASIK, which takes only about 15-20 minutes for both eyes. You will feel some pressure briefly, but laser reshaping of the eye is pain-free.


Myth 2: You can go blind from LASIK surgery.


Fact: Success rate of LASIK is almost 100% - it's the most popular and successful elective surgery in the world. LASIK affects only the front surface of the eye, complications are rare, and no one has ever gone blind from LASIK surgery.


Myth 3: LASIK corrects only nearsightedness; it cannot correct farsightedness or astigmatism


Fact: LASIK can correct all common refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism). If you have severe refractive errors, other refractive surgery options are available.


Myth 4: Everyone is a candidate for LASIK.


Fact: The procedure is not for everyone. We have to first do a detailed examination of the eyes and a computerized scan of the cornea in order to determine whether corrective laser treatment is safe and effective for you. If we recommend the procedure to you after the initial checkup, you can then get it done without any worries.


Myth 5: 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 6: Effects of LASIK wear off over time.


Fact: During LASIK surgery, an excimer laser changes the shape of the cornea, which is the clear outer structure of the eye. This shape change corrects near-sightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In fact, the effects of LASIK are permanent and should last indefinitely in the vast majority of cases, so there’s no need to wonder “How long does LASIK last, and does it wear off?”


This post originally appeared on All About Vision.