LASIK eye surgery is an extremely popular, vision-correcting laser eye surgery with highly positive results. About 700,000 people receive LASIK yearly, and 95% get 20/20 vision. In the span of about 15 minutes per eye, it’s possible to free yourself from needing glasses or contacts for the rest of your life.
But we understand that surgery is not everyone’s first choice. At Lusk Eye Specialists, we frequently evaluate patients who are curious about LASIK eye surgery, but aren’t ready to say yes quite yet. It’s very normal to have questions, and one of the most common we hear is this: Why Do I Need LASIK?
The answer is that almost no one needs LASIK, but life-altering vision improvement can have a major impact on the way you live the rest of your life. LASIK is a convenient and quick procedure, lasting less than half an hour (for both eyes!), and it can give you a lifetime of improved vision. You won’t have to pay for — or keep track of — eyewear after LASIK eye surgery. Many LASIK patients like to think of the laser eye surgery as an investment, in themselves and in a future of uninhibited clear vision.
What is LASIK?
LASIK stands for “Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis.” This outpatient laser eye surgery reshapes the cornea so that it can focus more effectively, improving your vision.
The cornea is the transparent layer at the front of your eye. It’s responsible for focusing light into your eye’s lens, which then processes those images. The cornea must be incredibly precise; when it’s misshapen, your eyes cannot focus properly. Depending on how the cornea is misshapen, your vision issues may be classified as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism.
During LASIK surgery, an ultrathin flap is created at the front of the cornea, and beneath that a laser is used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. This small adjustment can drastically, if not completely, improve your vision. The flap heals naturally, and you are released the same day. The surgery itself — in which your cornea is reshaped by a cool, Excimer laser — is usually finished in a matter of minutes.
Is LASIK Permanent?
LASIK eye surgery is a permanent solution to cornea-related eyesight issues in most cases. Some people develop vision issues due to the natural aging of the eye, but these are not caused by LASIK. In fact, laser eye surgery doesn’t have any impact on your risk of developing presbyopia, vision that worsens with age, later in life.
In the case of new vision issues after LASIK, you can elect to explore your options for LASIK enhancement surgery, but this is extremely rare.
The Top Reasons to Get LASIK
The reasons you should get LASIK surgery can be boiled down to two phrases: peace of mind and quality of life. While LASIK eye surgery has a larger price upfront than glasses or contacts, over time, it will almost certainly save you money. In addition, when you don’t have to rely on eyewear, you don’t need to worry about your vision while traveling, reading menus, going to movies, or even just exercising.
Another major benefit is that LASIK is usually an outpatient procedure. In the span of a day, you can go from seeing a blurry world to seeing clearly for the first time in your life.
There are, of course, plenty of things you’ll experience in a new way without the need for eyewear: going for a jog, taking a swim, walking around your house in the dark. LASIK can, both literally and figuratively, give you a new perspective on life.
Lifetime Savings with LASIK
LASIK is an investment in your eyes that saves you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over your lifetime. Let’s say that you’re the average glasses wearer, who replaces their glasses at the recommended rate of once every two years. The current average cost of an eye exam, lenses, and frames is $552. Over just 20 years, a quarter of a lifetime, that adds up to over $11,000 — and that’s before inflation.
Contacts are even more expensive, averaging $240 per year. Add in an eye exam every other year and you’re looking at over $13,600 in over 20 years. None of these prices are factoring in eyewear care items like glasses cases, contact solution, as well as eyewear maintenance and repair. And, these estimates don’t consider those who need costly, specialized lenses to correct their vision.
The current average cost of LASIK is between $2,000 and $3,000 per eye, making it plain to see that the numbers add up in LASIK’s favor. With LASIK, you’re buying years of worry-free living, and you’re paying a fraction of the normal cost for lifetime eye care.
LASIK vs. Contact Lenses
LASIK is an extremely low-risk surgery, but you may not know it can even be safer than some forms of traditional eyewear. Contact lens wearers have a 1 in 100 chance of getting a serious lens-related eye infection over 30 years of age. 1 in 2,000 would suffer “significant” vision loss.
In comparison, LASIK surgery has only a 1 in 10,000 chance of leading to significant vision loss. While eyewear is extremely safe to use overall, LASIK can be even safer.
Who Should Get LASIK?
LASIK eye surgery is a nearly ideal solution to many people’s vision problems. That said, as the surgery requires a fair amount of precision, there are those who don’t qualify. LASIK candidates should at the very least meet the following requirements:
- Want to reduce or eliminate dependence on eyewear
- At least 18 years old
- Eye prescription has been stable for at least one year
- No eye-related health issues
- No signs of glaucoma or cataracts
You shouldn’t get LASIK if your eyes are exceptionally irregular. For instance, those with an abnormal pupil size, irregular corneal thickness, or very strong eye prescriptions are less likely to see success from LASIK surgery.
Does LASIK Hurt?
LASIK surgery is not painful. At Lusk Eye Specialists, we use numbing eyedrops to prevent any pain or discomfort without the use of shots. During the surgery, you may feel pressure on your eye while we operate, but nothing else. Hours after surgery, as the anesthesia wears off and the eye heals, you may experience mild discomfort or itchiness, but there’s no pain associated with the period before, during, or after undergoing this type of refractive surgery.
LASIK at Lusk Eye Specialists
At Lusk Eye Specialists, we know that LASIK is an exciting opportunity, but it can also be a daunting one. That’s why we strive to make LASIK surgery as easy of a decision for our patients as possible. Two generations of Lusk family ophthalmologists have operated Lusk Eye Specialists, and we’ll treat you like family when you come to us for your eye care. This generational business model has also allowed us to build and maintain relationships with clients over the years.
While tradition is important to how we treat you, cutting-edge technology is important for your treatments. We perform the breakthrough, blade-free iLASIK procedure, which minimizes complication risks even further. With a long history of satisfied LASIK surgery patients, we’re happy to provide you with the same service that has given so many the gift of better sight.
To find out what Lusk Eye Specialists can do for you, please contact us today.