Myth #1: LASIK is uncomfortable.
LASIK is so safe, so comfortable, and so effective that it has become the most successful elective procedure in the history of medicine. Today’s LASIK procedure usually takes less than one minute per eye to perform and is surprisingly comfortable. [Read More. . .]
With advanced LASIK technology and topical anesthesia (eye drops), the only sensations that you should feel during the procedure are gentle touch, minimal pressure, and a mild stretching of the eyelids. In fact, with our next-generation LASIK technology, the vast majority of our patients tell us that they do not feel any pressure sensation or discomfort at all during their LASIK procedure. This improvement in comfort is one of the major benefits of this new LASIK technology and is quite reassuring to patients whose primary concern is achieving the highest level of comfort during their LASIK procedure.
Myth #2: LASIK is too expensive.
It is truly amazing to see how affordable LASIK has become over the past 20 years. Today you can get significantly improved LASIK technology, safety, and comfort at a lower price than was possible even a few years ago. [Read More. . .]
When you take inflation into account, the incredible value of today’s LASIK procedure becomes even more impressive. The average cost of LASIK in 1995 was approximately $4,400, but if we look at inflation-adjusted dollars this same procedure would cost around $6,760 today! Since today’s LASIK prices are much lower, most people shouldn’t be surprised to learn that LASIK usually pays for itself in about three years – or less! A recent study has also confirmed that the younger you are when you have your LASIK procedure, the more money you will save over your lifetime in eye care costs. At age 20, you will save $48,000
, at age 30, you will save $39,000
, at age 40 you will save $30,000
, and at age 50 you will save $21,000
over the course of your lifetime.If you wear contacts or glasses and thought that LASIK was too expensive, you need to know about the true costs of these traditional alternatives to LASIK. The simple truth is that the proper maintenance of glasses and contact lenses includes a lifetime of recurring expenses that simply get more expensive every year. These expenses include ongoing doctor’s visits, secondary or replacement glasses, lenses, frames, contacts, and contact lens solutions. Trying to find decent lookingaffordable glassestoday can also bequite a challenge. As a result, the glasses that many people actually end up buying are usually “designer” frames that are significantly more expensive than expected – and are usually not covered by health care plans. If you wear contacts, you will have monthly costs for new lenses and supplies along with regular eye examinations. However, the most important factor for contact lens wearers to consider is not only these costs, but rather the very real risks of developing a vision-threatening eye infection. Unfortunately, these kind of infections are much more common than most people think – and can be associated with permanent scarring of the eye. These risks increase the longer you wear contacts and have been well-documented in numerous medical publications. In fact, it turns out that the lifetime risk of developing a vision-threatening eye infection for contact lens wearers is actually higher than any
of the similar risks associated with the LASIK procedure. This is especially true when we consider today’s safer and much more comfortable all-laser LASIK procedures.
It is certainly true that LASIK can be a wonderful life-changing gift that you give to yourself or someone you love, but the gift of sight can also be one of the best long-term financial decisions you can make!
Myth #3: LASIK doesn’t correct astigmatism, farsightedness, or high prescriptions.
Back in the mid to late 1990s, this was not a myth-it was actually true. Despite the tremendous technological advances made in LASIK since that time, this misconception still manages to persist even though we have successfully treated astigmatism, farsightedness, and high prescriptions for 10 – 15 years. [Read More. . .]
First-generation laser vision correction technology was initially approved in the mid-1990s only for the treatment of simple nearsightedness with small amounts of astigmatism. As LASIK technology has evolved, higher levels of nearsightedness and astigmatism were approved in the late 1990’s. Approval for farsightedness occurred in the late 1990’s, and today virtually all prescriptions that are well-corrected with glasses or contacts can be treated safely and effectively with LASIK – especially with our next-generation all-laser LASIK technology.
Myth #4: LASIK can’t help with near (computer or reading) vision.
LASIK has always been extremely helpful to people who have worn glasses or contacts for distance vision who want to see better up close for “near vision” activities as well as “intermediate distance” activities. [Read More. . .]
We describe “near vision” as being the vision required for activities like reading or using your cell phone and consider “intermediate vision” as the vision required for activities like the use of a computer or other activities performed at a similar distance. What many people do not know is LASIK is also an excellent choice for patients who have always had excellent distance vision throughout their lives, but who are now experiencing difficulties with their near or intermediate vision for the first time. These are usually patients who have never worn glasses or contacts before and usually start to notice problems with near or intermediate vision around the age of 40. This transition can be quite a challenging time for patients who have never worn glasses before when they realize that they will need reading glasses for many of these everyday activities.For at least the past 15 years, we have helped thousands of our patients to reduce or completely eliminate their need for reading or computer glasses with a procedure called mono-vision LASIK. We offer our patients a unique opportunity to experience for themselves what this type of vision will look like after LASIK with our exclusive “LASIK test drive”. We have found this technique to be very popular because it provides the highest possible degree of confidence and peace-of-mind to our patients regarding mono-vision LASIK before they actually have the procedure. In addition to mono-vision, we expect that there will soon be additional options available to our patients to achieve these goals using our next-generation all-laser LASIK technology.
Myth #5: There is a lot of recovery time after LASIK.
This is one myth that is not true for LASIK, but was in fact true for a similar procedure called PRK. The recovery time with LASIK is actually quite fast, and both the healing process and visual improvement begin immediately after the procedure. [Read More. . .]
Many patients confuse LASIK and PRK procedures because they provide very similar visual results and both use similar lasers, but they are actually very different procedures with very different healing patterns. Most LASIK patients describe a dramatic improvement in their vision right after the procedure – often when they first sit up immediately afterwards. This is especially true when patients compare their vision without glasses or contacts right before the procedure to their new vision right after the procedure. Despite this noticeable improvement in vision, most patients will often describe their vision after the procedure as being a bit like “wearing their glasses underwater” or like “looking through foggy contacts” with their vision continually improving over time. It is not uncommon for us to see patients whose vision and comfort several hours after their all-laser LASIK is so good that they are able to resume their normal activities much sooner than expected. Since the surface tissue of the eye heals so rapidly, we expect that visual clarity will continue to improve every hour of the day of the procedure and on each and every day after the procedure. In fact, it is not unusual for us to see patients who have achieved “driving vision” within a few hours of their procedure. This means that many patients could actually see well enough to legally drive themselves home after their procedure – even though this is not recommended until further healing has occurred.It is important to understand that it is normal and expected for the vision to fluctuate during the healing process, but that the usual trend will be towards continued visual improvement over time. We usually suggest that most patients go home and take a one or two hour nap after their procedure to maximize their healing and comfort. Most patients will be visually capable of resuming virtually all of their normal activities on the day after their procedure even though we suggest that certain activities be restricted during the early stages of the healing process to allow uninterrupted healing during this time. Today’s next-generation LASIK technology can provide shorter and more comfortable recovery times than ever before.
Myth #6: LASIK only lasts a few years.
LASIK is a permanent procedure. This is true primarily because of the way the procedure is performed, but is also true because of the unique healing properties of the tissue that is treated during LASIK (the cornea). [Read More. . .]
Because the cornea normally contains no blood vessels, the healing of this tissue occurs slowly and gently over time. For this reason, there are only a very small number of patients that will require a secondary procedure or “enhancement” to achieve their visual goals. In our practice, 95% or more of our patients will require only one LASIK treatment.There are three main reasons why there is still a misconception that LASIK is not a permanent procedure. First, the older technology that was used in the early years of LASIK caused more stimulation of the healing response than today’s lasers. This means that there was more “irritation” after the treatment, and as a result there was a greater likelihood of losing some of the initial results of the procedure through “regression” than with today’s advanced LASIK technology. Secondly, although 80% to 90% of patients will heal just like everyone else, there are still small numbers of patients who will heal differently than the majority of patients. These “over-responders” or “under-responders” may therefore need additional laser treatment to achieve their visual goals. The third reason for this misconception is the natural and expected age-related vision changes that occur to near vision around 40 years of age–whether or not someone has had LASIK. These changes in “near vision” are not a result of the LASIK procedure itself, but are often viewed as “loss of the effectiveness” of the original LASIK procedure. In fact, this natural aging process is completely unrelated to the LASIK procedure and can actually be successfully treated with a modified LASIK procedure called “mono-vision”. Because this visual aging process is somewhat complex, many patients simply do not fully understand this concept until their doctor explains it to them in detail. This is why patients in this age group receive additional counseling (and/or a demonstration) to explain specifically how this process will affect their vision. This process allows patients to choose the right LASIK procedure to fit their particular lifestyle today as well as their needs in the future.
Myth #7: LASIK is not safe enough yet.
Many people know that LASIK is the most successful elective procedure in the history of medicine because it is so safe, so effective, and in less than one minute per eye you could be rid of a lifetime of glasses or contact lens wear. [Read More. . .]
Because of several recent advances in LASIK, there’s never been a better time to feel completely confident about LASIK. In Nevada, the combination of these factors along with our unsurpassed experience performing the LASIK procedure means that you can expect a safer, more comfortable LASIK procedure than ever before. When you consider innovations like our “dynamically stabilized treatment bed” that automatically adjusts for the smallest movements of a patient’s head or eye during their LASIK procedure, it is easy to see why both LASIK safety and our patients’ peace of mind has never been greater than it is today. If you want to improve your quality of life and your visual freedom with LASIK, you should consider all of these factors when deciding on the right time to have LASIK and for selecting the best LASIK provider for you.
Myth #8: I should wait for better LASIK technology.
LASIK and related laser vision correction procedures have been safely providing better vision to glasses and contact lens wearers for over 25 years. [Read More. . .]
In 1987, the first PRK procedure (the precursor to LASIK) was performed in North America. The first LASIK procedure in the world was performed in 1990, and the first LASIK procedure in North America was performed in 1991. There have been tremendous advancements in LASIK technology and LASIK safety during this time period, and these improvements have followed a very similar pattern to computer technology itself. This means that you can look at the evolution of a mid-1990’s computer or cell phone compared with today’s technology and immediately appreciate the dramatic advancements that have occurred over this relatively short historical period of time. In fact, today’s LASIK procedure resembles that of the LASIK procedure done 10 or 15 years ago just about as much as 1990’s “brick” cell phone resembles today’s iPhone. In reality, there is simply no comparison between the two other than the fact that they performed the same basic function of laser vision correction – but they did so with vastly different levels of safety and sophistication.When LASIK began in the United States in the mid-1990s, the lasers at that time were actually very limited in their power output and “optic zone size” and consequently the zones of treatment were much smaller and simpler than they are today. For this reason, simple nearsightedness with or without very low amounts of astigmatism were initially the only prescriptions that were approved for treatment. As the technology has improved over time, a greater variety and expanded range of treatments and prescriptions have been approved for LASIK to the point where today’s LASIK can treat virtually any prescription that is well corrected with glasses or contacts.
Myth #9: I was told that LASIK would not work for me before, so this must still be true.
LASIK has been successfully performed in the United States since FDA approval in 1995 and has a track record of success for nearly 20 years. It is also important to know that candidacy for LASIK has evolved and expanded continuously over these years. [Read More. . .]
The first approval for LASIK was limited to patients with small amounts of nearsightedness with very little astigmatism. Over the next five years, higher degrees of nearsightedness with astigmatism were approved, followed by farsightedness prescriptions, and finally prescriptions that included both farsightedness and astigmatism. By the late 1990s, virtually all commonly seen prescriptions had been FDA approved for LASIK.Since some doctors were more comfortable than others in treating more advanced prescriptions, patients were often given conflicting information about their candidacy for LASIK over this 15 – 20 year time period. However over the past 10 years, the advanced all-laser LASIK procedure has improved to the point that we can successfully treat virtually all prescriptions that are corrected well with glasses or contacts provided that the eyes are healthy and that the corneal thickness is adequate for a safe treatment. If you have been told that you were not a good candidate for LASIK in the past, it is very likely that we will be able to offer you a laser vision correction procedure that will provide you with the visual freedom that you want at a price that you can afford.
Myth #10: I am not a candidate because. . .I’m just not ready yet.
Although not exactly a myth, most patients would be surprised to know that the average LASIK patient starts thinking about LASIK about five years before having their actual procedure performed. [Read More. . .]
Since this is an average, what this really means is that some patients think about having LASIK for five days – and others think about it for up to 10 years. The good news is that these days it is very easy to find many friends, family, or coworkers who simply love their LASIK procedures. It is important to remember that the gift of sight is the best gift you can give to yourself or someone you love. (Hopefully, they are the same person!)We also specialize in nervous patients and have a special way of making your LASIK experience with us a positive and memorable experience. We look forward to meeting you soon and helping you see your world in a whole new way- but only when you are ready to do so!