Browsing Category LASIK

Do LASIK Surgeons Operate on Family Members? Do They Have LASIK?

Posted on October 30, 2019

How do you know if LASIK surgeons really believe in the procedure they perform every day? Finding out if they recommend the solution to their friends and family members is a good place to start.

Researchers say that it's common for LASIK surgeons to both recommend and perform the procedure on their family members. They know a lot about the benefits of this surgery, as they often have it themselves.

Why Wouldn’t Doctors Operate on Family?


Watch medical programs like Grey's Anatomy, and you'll walk away convinced that doctors often perform surgeries on the people they love. In reality, there are guidelines about the practice. Sometimes, those rules make doctors step away from the surgery room.

Experts point out that organizations like the American Medical Association encourage doctors to stay in the waiting room when their loved ones need help. A doctor treating a loved one can struggle to:

  • Remain impartial. Serious illnesses often call for analytic decisions. That's hard to do when you're working with someone you love.
  • Deal with a crisis. During an intense surgery, a loved one can experience a complication. Surgeons must work quickly under pressure. Relationships can make that hard.
  • Maintain confidence. Worries and doubts can keep surgeons from making the right calls in a crisis.

Despite these risks, it's somewhat common for doctors to work on those they love. In a 2017 study, 76 percent of doctors said they'd performed surgery on friends and family members.

How Is LASIK Surgery Different?


When we're talking about surgeries and family, we're sometimes talking about life-and-death procedures. If someone we love has a severe bone break, a cancerous tumor, or a blocked artery, the surgical solution is serious. The surgery comes with enhanced risks. LASIK is a surgery, but the risk profile is a little different.

Doctors use finely calibrated equipment to perform LASIK procedures. They take very detailed measurements before the first cut is made. And the whole surgery is over in minutes.

It's still a surgery, but the chance that something will go catastrophically wrong is minuscule.

Doctors might choose to perform LASIK on those they love because:

  • They trust their skills. A doctor who has performed LASIK surgeries thousands of times knows the equipment inside and outside. Sending a loved one to a different surgeon can seem silly.
  • It helps with marketing. Patients trust doctors who are willing to perform LASIK on those they love. It's a vote of confidence that could help nervous patients feel safe while in surgery.
  • They believe in the surgery. Researchers say more than 90 percent of LASIK surgeons recommend the procedure to friends and family members. They know it works, and they want those they love to take advantage.
  • They understand the patient's lifestyle. Close families know one another well. LASIK surgeons may know their husbands have dry eyes in the summer, or they know their wives enjoy knitting in the winter. They can take precautions to match surgical outcomes to fit the person's lifestyle.

Doctors might also encourage family members to have LASIK because they know it works. Researchers say more than 62 percent of experts who perform LASIK have been patients at one point.

They couldn't treat their own eyes, of course. But they trusted a colleague to help them. And now, they see the results every day. They're in an exceptional position to discuss risks and benefits with those they love.

Patients have choices. There are plenty of practitioners ready to help people who want to leave a life of glasses behind. But if you know and love someone who provides this surgery, it could be a good option for you to consider.

References

Why Doctors Shouldn't Treat Family Members. (January 2012). CNN.

When You Operate on Friends and Relatives: Results of a Survey Among Surgeons. (May 2017). Medical Principles and Practice.

Do Ophthalmologists Undergo LASIK? (May 2016). The Ophthalmologist.

Eye Doctors Are LASIK Patients Too. (February 2016). American Refractive Surgery Council.

The 10 Myths About LASIK Surgery

Posted on October 21, 2019

You want to be a savvy consumer, so you're doing some LASIK homework. But you've run into contradictory information. And some of the things you've read made you fearful of having surgery at all.

There's a lot of misinformation available online concerning LASIK surgery. Don't be swayed by fiction.

We've highlighted some of the most common myths concerning this surgical procedure, and we'll help to set the record straight.

Myth 1: LASIK is risky.

Bloggers blur the line between surgical complications (which can be transient) and surgical errors (which can be permanent). While it's true that some people experience discomfort and vision changes in the weeks after LASIK, few have long-lasting problems.

In fact, experts say less than 1 percent of people who have LASIK experience surgical complications.

Myth 2: LASIK always hurts.

LASIK is a surgical procedure. The surface of your eye will be cut, and experts say it's common to feel a little discomfort as your eyes recover. But when the pain lingers for days, it's a sign of a problem.

Your doctor can use eyedrops and other tools to help it fade. Long-lasting pain is just not expected with LASIK.

Myth 3: You will never need glasses after LASIK.


LASIK is an effective tool in the fight against poor vision. After surgery, you'll experience a dramatic increase in what you can see without glasses or contact lenses.

Most people have 20/25 vision or better after LASIK, experts say. But you might need glasses for reading or driving at night. The surgery can't prevent vision problems that come with aging.

glasses resting on top of stack of books


LASIK is an effective and safe surgery for people with vision deficiencies. But some eyes aren't healthy enough for surgery. Common medical conditions can also make you a less-than-ideal patient.

Your doctor might recommend another solution if you have:

  • A strong prescription that falls outside the treatable range.
  • Thin corneas.
  • Naturally large pupils.
  • A health issue, such as uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Dry eyes.

Myth 5: Contacts are safer than LASIK.


You don't want to wear glasses, but you're not sure if surgery is right for you. Contacts are another option, but they're not automatically safer than LASIK.

To use contacts properly, you must follow your doctor's instructions to the letter. Experts say up to 90 percent of contact lens wearers don't do that. If you fall into that range, you could expose your eye to bacteria. That could lead to sight-stealing infections.

Orthokeratology contact lenses

Myth 6: LASIK can make you go blind.


Doctors use precise, calibrated equipment to cut your corneas during a LASIK procedure. There are no confirmed reports of persistent blindness after a surgery like this.

Myth 7: LASIK is only for nearsighted people.


LASIK can be used to treat almost every kind of vision problem, including farsightedness and astigmatism. Your doctor will conduct a complete vision check before your surgery begins to understand how to reshape your eyes for the best results.

Myth 8: You must have a strong prescription to use LASIK.


It's true that deep vision distortions are hard to ignore. Many people with significant prescriptions ask their doctors to help with LASIK. But even small vision problems can be addressed with LASIK.

In fact, people with very strong prescriptions aren't good candidates for this surgery. If your hyperopia measurement is larger than 6 diopters, or your nearsightedness measurement is greater than -12 diopters, your doctor may suggest another solution, experts say.

eye prescription copy

Myth 9: LASIK is a new and untested procedure.


The first eye sculpting procedures were performed in the 1940s, researchers say, and the LASIK surgery as we know it was developed in the 1990s. Millions of Americans have been through this procedure.

There's no need to wait to see if doctors can further enhance their knowledge or technique. 

Myth 10: LASIK is more expensive than glasses or contact lenses.

 

LASIK can cause sticker shock. You can expect to pay up to $2,500 per eye, experts say.

But remember that glasses and contact lenses come with maintenance fees. You'll need new pairs frequently. You might also need special solutions and cases to care for them.

All of those little bills add up. Over time, they can total more than you'll pay for one round of LASIK.

References

LASIK Complication Rate: The Latest Facts and Stats You Should Know. (October 2017). American Refractive Surgery Council.

What Should I Expect Before, During, and After Surgery? (July 2018). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

LASIK Surgery: Is It Right for You? (April 2019). Mayo Clinic.

Focusing on Contact Lens Safety. (August 2017). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Does My Eyeglass Prescription Qualify for LASIK? (February 2017). American Refractive Surgery Council.

The History of LASIK. (April 2012). Journal of Refractive Surgery.

Contacts vs. LASIK: Costs, Risks, and More. Care Credit.

Why Is LASIK Safer Than Contact Lenses?

Posted on October 15, 2019

You can’t see clearly without your glasses. But you don’t want to wear them all the time. Should you head into a surgery center for LASIK? Or should you skip surgery and opt for contacts instead?

If you’re safety conscious, you might assume contacts are a wiser choice, as you’ll avoid anesthesia and incisions. But contacts come with surprising risks, and some can cause vision loss.

Close-up Of Young Man Holding Contact Lens On Finger

Contacts and Eye Health


Contacts lay on the surface of the eye. Every day, you make choices about how to use these medical devices. It's those decisions, experts say, that hold ocular-health risks.

Of those who wear contacts, 40 to 90 percent don't follow care instructions. That startling statistic from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration highlights how a busy lifestyle and complicated medical equipment don't always mix. Even tiny decisions can have a huge impact.

You can harm your eyes by:

  • Not washing your hands before you put in your contacts.
  • Touching your eyes with contact solution bottles.
  • Disinfecting your lenses improperly.
  • Wearing your contacts for too long.
  • Storing your lenses the wrong way.

Every year, doctors treat nearly a million eye infections, says the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Most are caused by improper use of contact lenses.

But even if you use your contacts just as your doctor recommends, you can't eliminate your risk. Experts say contact-related infections stem from a combination of:

  • Your immune system.
  • Microbes in your tears.
  • Your hygiene habits.

You can’t eliminate all of these risks. And you can't always spot early infection warning signs. You could get an infection after wearing extended contact lenses for just one night, experts say.

lasik eye

LASIK and Eye Health


Sign up for LASIK, and your doctor will amend your vision in a surgical procedure. Once it's complete and you've healed up, you have no maintenance work to perform — no hands to wash, no solutions to use, and no lenses to disinfect. You'll see risks decline because your opportunity to cut corners also falls.

Researchers say the long-term LASIK complication rate sits at about 1 percent. The chances of problems with LASIK are very slim.

How to Reduce Your Risk


No one wants to live with complications, whether you're using contact lenses or having LASIK done. There are some steps you can take to ensure that your eyes stay as healthy as possible as you amend your vision.

For all the reasons we discussed, LASIK could be considered the safer choice. You can reduce your risk of surgical complications, experts say, by:

  • Researching your provider. Learn more about the equipment your surgeon hopes to use. Find out how many times that person has performed LASIK on eyes like yours.
  • Moving beyond cost. The urge to save money is universal. But bargain-basement prices can come with higher risk. Don't be afraid to pay a little more to get the quality you deserve.
  • Asking about aftercare. Make the most of your investment, and follow instructions to the letter. If something seems unclear, ask before your surgery date.

If you've decided that surgery isn't right for you, take care of your eyes with proper contact care. Experts say you can do that by:

  • Following a schedule. Your doctor will tell you how long your contacts should stay in each day. You'll also know when to replace them.
  • Using the right products. Don't rely on spit or water to clean your contacts. Don't lean on rewetting drops for disinfection. Use new solution each time you clean your lenses.
  • Caring for your case. Rinse it in warm water and let it air dry. Replace your case every three months.

If you can't decide which avenue is right for you, consult your eye doctor. You may find that surgery is the best way forward. And if not, your doctor can help you understand exactly what to do to protect your eyes from the damage contacts can cause.

References

Focusing on Contact Lens Safety. (August 2017). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Eye Health Statistics. American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Contact Lenses: The Risks You Need to Know. (October 2012). Medscape.

LASIK Complication Rate: The Latest Facts and Stats You Should Know. (October 2017). American Refractive Surgery Council.

What Are the Risks and How Can I Find the Right Doctor for Me? (August 2018). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

How to Take Care of Contact Lenses. (May 2019). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

LASIK Surgery Can Change Your Life: 8 Reasons Why You Should Seek LASIK Surgery Today

Posted on May 24, 2019

The ability to see clearly can positively impact your career and your personal relationships. Unfortunately, 544 million people are visually impaired and unable to fully enjoy these positive experiences without using corrective eyewear. With the advent of LASIK surgery, more people are now able to see clearly without the daily hassle of wearing and maintaining glasses or contact lenses. Below are the top eight reasons why you should stop waiting and seek LASIK surgery today.

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