With approximately 75% of the adult population wearing some form of corrective lenses and more than 1 million people having LASIK annually, most of us know at least one person who has had or is considering having this vision correcting procedure. As with most medical procedures, the interpretation of fact versus fiction can often get blurry. To provide clarity, here are a few of the most common LASIK myths and their corresponding facts.
Myth: LASIK is new and is still improving.
Fact: LASIK has been performed in the U.S. for more than 15 years. The technology used in LASIK has changed and improved over the years; however, most people who had LASIK 15 years ago still have excellent results. LASIK is based on a procedure that is almost 50 years old. While no medical procedure can be deemed 100 percent risk free, developments in technology have greatly reduced the incidence of negative outcomes due to LASIK surgery.
Myth: All-Laser LASIK is better than LASIK with a Microkeratome.
Fact: Every LASIK procedures require the creation of a corneal flap. A microkeratome is a surgeon-operated mechanical device that is used to create a very thin (2-3 human hairs thick) corneal flap. In bladeless LASIK, a laser is used to create the flap. A study published in the May 2010 issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, found no significant differences in outcomes between the two methods of flap-making after a three year interval. At Raleigh Eye Center, we customize a treatment plan based on the individual not just what technology we offer.
Myth: All lasers used in LASIK are the same.
Fact: When it comes to laser vision correction, not all lasers are created equal and this is one area where you do not want to let price affect your decision. The term “custom or wavefront” LASIK is commonly used to denote a level of customized treatment. Rather than just addressing the patient’s prescription, the surgeon can take into consideration the hills and valleys of the cornea. The laser will also correct for visual distortions that could cause glare and night vision issues. At Raleigh Eye Center, we use the Allegretto Wave, which provides state-of-the-art wavefront optimized treatment, providing our patients optimal results.
Myth: LASIK doesn’t last.
Fact: LASIK is meant to be a permanent procedure. That is why we do not treat patients who are less than 18 and preferably 21 or over. This is because the cornea continues to change until around this time in life. Some regression can occur following LASIK; however, it is not common. The eyes will change around 40-45 years of age, but this has nothing to do with LASIK. The change that occurs at this point has to do with the lens, not the cornea and is a natural part of aging. This change is called presbyopia. For those considering LASIK who are around 40 years of age, monovision is something to consider.
It is important to do your research before deciding to undergo LASIK and before choosing a LASIK surgeon. Never select a surgeon or facility based solely on price. Choose a surgeon with whom you are comfortable. If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kiley, please call us at (919) 876-2427 or visit us online at http://raleigheyecenterlasik.com.