According to a study by the University of Iowa, just 35% of adults have perfect 20/20 vision. For the other 65% of people, that likely means they needs some sort of visual aid such as glasses or contacts.
While glasses and contacts are easy ways to correct poor vision, another way to achieve better vision is through corrective eye surgery such as Lasik surgery. Lasik surgery was introduced into the United States as a corrective eye surgery 20 years ago and has become one of the most popular forms of corrective eye surgery. In 2015 alone, 21 million Lasik surgeries were performed. What’s more, more than 95% of Lasik surgery patients between 1995 and 2003 were pleased with their results.
You might be wondering, just what the heck is done to my eyes during Lasik surgery? A surgeon makes an incision across your cornea, raises a tissue flap and then reshapes your cornea to correct your vision. It sounds scary, but complications are rare (think 1 in 20 procedures) and it only takes about 10 minutes per eye to complete.
No corrective eye surgery is without risks, but there are plenty of benefits to undergoing Lasik surgery to improve your vision:
- No pain: Less than 1% of people who undergo Lasik eye surgery experience complications and they usually don’t experience pain.
- Instant improvement: The procedure may sound a little scary, but there’s no doubt it works. More than 80% of people who undergo the surgery return to having perfect 20/20 vision and 95% of patients have at least 20/40 vision. The results are different for each person, but your vision will greatly improve no matter what.
- Normalcy: With Lasik surgery, there’s no stitches to have removed and no bandages to remove. As an added bonus, patients can usually resume everyday activity within a day or so.
- Long term success: Another benefit of Lasik as a corrective eye surgery is that the results are permanent. Your prescription may change a little bit over time, but you’ll have greatly improved vision. Any problems that Lasik patients experience after the procedure typically only last a few months and more often than not, there won’t be a need for a follow-up procedure.
- Worth the money: Lasik surgery can be a bit of an investment up front, but for instant and long term vision improvement, it’s definitely worth the money. A successful Lasik surgery can eliminate the need to spend money on glasses, contacts and other types of visual aids that can add up over time.
With so many benefits, you may be wondering exactly what Lasik surgery costs. In 2017, Lasik surgery costs about $2,000 for each eye, keeping in mind that many factors are involved in determining that cost.
There are other options for corrective eye surgery and before you have any procedures, it’s best to consult an eye doctor and have an eye exam. There are a number of conditions that can affect the effectiveness of a regular Lasik surgery. These include:
- Glaucoma. Lasik surgery can raise your eye pressure and worsen glaucoma.
- Dry eye. Lasik may make dry eye worse.
- Eye injuries and lid disorders
- Large pupils. Lasik may make your eyes susceptible to symptoms like glare and star bursts.
- Any hereditary eye disorders
Meeting with an eye surgeon or an eye doctor can help determine just how healthy your eyes are, how stable your vision is and whether you’re a good candidate for Lasik surgery. If you’re not a good candidate for traditional Lasik surgery, there are many variations of surgery that fall under the Lasik banner that may be more beneficial for the health of your eyes.