LASIK Myths Debunked
Common Myths About LASIK
Do you have astigmatism and think that eliminates the possibility of LASIK? Do feel that you are too old for LASIK? At Summit Eye Center, we commonly hear people state various reasons why they feel that LASIK is not a good option for them. Often these beliefs are not correct and in fact the patient is a good candidate for LASIK. We would like to clear up some of these misconceptions in this blog.
Myth #1: LASIK Does Not Correct Astigmatism
Just like nearsightedness and farsightedness, Astigmatism can be corrected by LASIK. Astigmatism is simply and “out-of-roundness” to the cornea, the clear layer over the colored part of the eye. The more “out-of-round” the cornea is, the higher the level of astigmatism. LASIK works by reshaping the cornea to allow one to see better without glasses or contact lenses. Therefore, LASIK is a great option to correct astigmatism. Just like every patient who is nearsighted or farsighted is not a candidate for LASIK, the same can be said for patients with astigmatism. However, most who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism are candidates for LASIK.
Myth #2: I Am Too Old For LASIK
Whether or not a person is a candidate for LASIK is not based on age per se. The one age requirement is that a patient has reached ocular maturity, where there prescription is stable. This typically occurs between the ages of 19-21. As a result, most surgeons will not do LASIK on a patient younger than this. There is no upper age limit to when a person can benefit from LASIK. At any age, an examination to determine that the eye is in good health is required to determine if LASIK is a good option.
Myth #3: Contact Lenses Are Safer Than LASIK
Studies have shown that LASIK and contact lens wear have a similar safety profile. When compared to extended wear contact lens wear (overnight wear of contact lenses), LASIK has a superior safety profile. LASIK is the safest, most successful and most widely studied elective procedure in the world. It also has the highest rate of patient satisfaction of any elective procedure.
Myth #4: LASIK Wears Off Over Time
As we mentioned earlier, LASIK corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism by altering the shape of the cornea. This shape change is long lasting. We have over 20 years of LASIK data that supports this. Once a person reaches the stage of ocular maturity around the age of 19-21, a person’s vision correction typically remains quite stable. As we get into our 40s, the lens within the eye begins to harden. This is called presbyopia. As a result, we begin to lose our ability to focus at near. This process will slowly progress until about the age of 60. You can learn more about presbyopia here: https://www.summiteyekc.com/blog/struggling-to-read-now-that-you-are-45-welcome-to-presbyopia. As one develops presbyopia, there is typically minimal if any change to one’s distance vision. Eventually, this hardening of the crystalline lens will result in a cataract, a clouding of the lens. You can learn more about cataracts here: https://www.summiteyekc.com/blog/cataract-awareness-month.