Top Reasons Motivating Correctional Laser Eye Surgery
Fast on the heels of FDA approval, the passage of nearly two decades has seen Lasik eye surgery (laser in situ keratomileusis), assuming the number one spot in elective surgical procedures opted by the American public. Lasik has redefined eye care by surgically reshaping the cornea of the eye in such a way that light enters the eye at the appropriate angle necessary for ideal vision. But is it for everybody? What does it take to justify Lasik surgery? Would you have a cogent reason for opting for Lasik surgery? Read on to understand the real reasons that prompt people to go for correctional eye surgery, when eyewear has been tackling primary eye problems for untold ages.
Top five reasons why America is giving Lasik eye surgery the thumbs up
1. Lasik is cost effective in the long term
Costing you anywhere between $1,700 to $2,300 per eye, Lasik eye surgery is definitely cost effective over the longer term, considering that it removes the need for frequent doctor visits, regular eye checkups, and continuous replacements of glasses and contact lenses. You also save on the time and energy expended in servicing these visual aids that are cumbersome to handle. More insurance companies are now agreeing to partly finance or fully finance the costs, and if that is impractical, one can turn to flexible spending accounts or FSAs that now permit Lasik surgery expenses.
2. You can dispense with visual aids at least till you reach your 50s
For many people, this is the stellar benefit of submitting to laser eye surgery; you can stash away your glasses and contacts for the near future. The very thought of tackling the daily routine without reaching out for unwieldy visual aids is an incentive which is difficult to resist. The only negative is that a condition called presbyopia, which is the weakening of the eye lens, sets in by the age of 50, bringing on astigmatism, farsightedness or nearsightedness, and necessitating spectacles or contact lenses.
3. It gives you an edge in professions that demand high visual acuity
Designing, engineering, and sports are vocations that demand high visual acuity and spatial ability, and some professions, like fashion modeling and acting, happen to be high on the glamour quotient. Having external visual aids can be a severe handicap and may even be undesirable for such professions. Lasik surgery drastically removes physical eye discomfort and improves productivity and work efficiency.
4. You bid goodbye to the physical discomfort of glasses and contacts
Contact lenses, if not properly maintained and serviced, can transmit infection and cause the eyes to redden, itch, and swell. Contacts also require the eyes to be moist at all times; otherwise, the lenses simply dry out. Glasses are also weighty and cumbersome to handle, and they get in the way of contact sports and close encounters of the physical kind. Glasses also need to be changed regularly when the prescription changes. If you retain defective eyewear, headaches and eye pain spoil the day. Lasik surgery removes the discomfort and gives you a new lease on life, waking up to more interactive days and breezy routines where you need not be self-conscious about protecting your eyes.
5. You are blessed with sharper vision
The 20/20 vision is the gold standard that corrective eyewear aims to achieve, but frequent refractive errors mean that you need to change your glasses with every change in prescription. Such refractive deviations are more frequent because of the ever-changing positioning of the glasses on the bridge of the nose. Physical handling of contact lenses similarly erodes their visual sharpness. Lasik surgery makes changes to the cornea that are permanent in nature and, as long as your eye care is of impeccable standards, Lasik surgery is a once in a lifetime change which is more or less permanent and blesses you with a sharper 20/20 vision. Moreover, the change is clearly visible hours after the surgery.
Top physiological reasons why your eye needs Lasik surgery
1. Your prescription is low enough for corrective surgery
If your prescription or range of refractive error (the deviation at which light enters the eye) is not too high, Lasik surgery is an exciting option that allows you to jettison eyewear and become more active in life.
2. You are young with otherwise healthy eyes
Being in the younger age bracket (21 years and above) is an advantage, because the three primary refractive errors, namely astigmatism, shortsightedness, and farsightedness, are fairly under control, and you respond better to surgical eye correction. It is also important to attempt eye surgery before blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and eye ailments such as cataracts and corneal disease set in and raise the risk of complications.
3. The corneal layer is thick and amenable to laser treatment
The stroma or middle layer of corneal tissue lies suspended between the outer epithelium and the inner endothelium. The stroma is filled with collagen-like cells, the keratocytes, which add body and thickness to the cornea. Lasik surgery peels aside the outer epithelial flap and attempts to remove portions of stromal tissue to correct refractive distortions. By thinning the corneal layer, the ophthalmologist reshapes the cornea, allowing light to refract correctly and restore ideal vision. If the specialist determines that your cornea has sufficient thickness, you become a candidate for Lasik surgery.
4. Your pupil is small and there is no major vision distortion
The pupil size is an important factor that determines your eligibility for Lasik surgery. People with normal pupil size without vision distortion can safely attempt Lasik surgery to gain freedom from refractive errors. If the pupil is larger, it lets in more light than normal, and this gives rise to glare and halos. Lasik surgery in such cases raises the risk of worsening vision distortions and may hamper night driving. In any case, the ophthalmologist checks the pupil before permitting Lasik surgery.
5. You are otherwise in top physical condition
Being in a reasonably good state of health is the best reason for opting for Lasik eye surgery, simply because your eye and body easily tolerate surgery and heal faster without creating complications. The effects of Lasik treatment are longer lasting in individuals that are relatively free from cardiovascular and neuromuscular disorders. Certain medications also cause vision disturbance and nullify the gains of Lasik surgery. Therefore, being in good health is your passport to enjoying the true benefits of Lasik corrective eye surgery.
A word of caution
Like any other surgical operation, Lasik treatment has its limitations. If the individual goal is to shed dependence on eyewear, this is possible to a certain extent through corrective eye surgery, but the results are not permanent. Presbyopia, which is the age-related weakening of the eye lens, usually sets in around the late 40s and will necessitate eyewear regardless of whether you opt for Lasik surgery or decide against it. Again, the specter of complications never really goes away, and for individuals that err on the side of caution, it may be safer, more convenient, and cheaper to address refractive errors through changeable eyewear. It goes without saying that the people benefiting most from surgical eye correction are sports professionals for whom eyewear is a distracting nuisance and deglamorizing option.