In this article we will be exploring some of the most anxiety inducing questions prospective patients have when it comes to vision correction or having laser eye surgery. Even with millions of cases being performed globally every year some people are STILL skeptical about vision correction. Most of this fear is well justified, as nobody wants to imagine the prospect of completely losing their sight. Luckily, even though these fears are well founded, they are completely misplaced. Here are three big questions people ask regarding vision correction and laser surgery.
- Is laser eye surgery surgery painful?
This is probably one of, if not the most frequent questions we get asked by patients regarding their vision correction surgery. The simple answer is – No. Of course this needs further justification as it isn’t just a simple yes or no answer.
Firstly, we need to remember that there isn’t just one type of laser eye surgery. The three main ones are LASEK, LASEK and SMILE. Lens implantation is the other option but is not a surgery whereby vision is corrected with a laser. And on top of that each laser surgery is further customizable with options like Xtra, Countoura and Wave vision.
The discomfort or ‘pain’ that people refer to is broken up into 2 parts. During surgery and after surgery.
During surgery – Before the actual procedure numbing eye drops are administered to the patients which means there is absolutely no pain during the 10 minute surgery.
After surgery – After surgery discomfort will vary by procedure and also by individual. Based on previous patients’ experience and also method of procedure.
- SMILE – SMILE is the most recent vision correction method and involves making only a tiny 2 mm incision in cornea. Less trauma to the cornea means very fast healing and almost no pain reported by patients.
- LASIK – Probably the most well known laser correction method. A flap is cut in the cornea and then a laser is used to correct the vision. LASIK is also reportedly relatively painless, with discomfort only lasting a day or so.
- LASEK – LASEK vision correction has been performed for over 20 years now. It involves scraping off a layer of the cornea in order to correct vision. This means a certain amount of time is necessary for the top layer to heal. Therefore discomfort may persist for 3 or 4 days with LASEK, and 6 months of eye care like wearing sunglasses or a hat on bright days to protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation is required. But some people report it not being painful. Only that their eyes are very sensitive to light or feel gritty.
- Is laser eye surgery dangerous?
Another common question people who are considering laser eye surgery have is, is it dangerous. Before we can answer this question we will need to define what ‘dangerous’ means. Dangerous, as is intended by patients asking this question is, can I go blind?
The chance of a person going blind is extremely unlikely. Almost negligible. Vision correction is now such a common procedure that the chance of a person going completely blind from the procedure is near impossible. Laser technology and ophthalmology experience, based on decades of research, has made laser one of the safest surgeries in the world, with almost no reported cases of loss of vision.
However, it is expected to experience some symptoms for 6 months after the surgery such as dryness and night glare. But these cases are not permanent as it can improve with time. Most patients also report that the annoyance of halos is a good trade off for the ability to see again.
- Laser eye surgery success rate?
Laser eye surgery is a procedure with an extremely high success rate. Complications stemming from laser eye surgery is less than 1% in the USA. According to the FDA a procedure needs a 95% or higher success rate to pass safety standards.
The great thing about laser eye surgery is that your success rate is determined BEFORE you actually get the surgery. The 2 hours eye examination is the part that determines if you will have a successful procedure. If after the tests you are found to be a suitable applicant, all that remains is to get the actual 10 minute procedure. The actual surgery process has a near 100% success rate.
An interesting thing to note is that complications from contact are actually three times more likely than from vision correction! But people are not concerned about slipping in contact at all.
Obviously the most important thing is making sure to find a reputable vision correction clinic with qualified doctors like B&VIIT.