There is so much chatter on television and online about laser eye surgery (LASIK or PRK) that it’s sometimes hard to figure out what and who to believe (especially if that “who” is asking for your money). Here our some of the “myths” we’ve heard ourselves and the truth that negates them.
Myth #1: If you wear glasses or contacts, you’re automatically a candidate for laser eye surgery.
Although everyone who undergoes laser eye surgery has been prescribed glasses or contacts at one point or another, not everyone who wears them qualifies for laser eye surgery. We don’t recommend laser eye surgery for patients with thin or irregular corneas, those with eye diseases or viruses, or anyone experiencing major health problems (like uncontrolled diabetes or autoimmune diseases).
Myth #2: Laser eye surgery is painful.
Laser eye surgery is a procedure during which a laser literally reshapes your eye’s cornea to improve its focus. While this may certainly sound painful, rest-assured, it’s not. Anesthetic eye drops are applied beforehand to numb the eye. When the numbness wears off, you may experience little discomfort (like a gritty sensation) for a few hours, but it should not be painful and nothing a normal dose of aspirin or ibuprofen wouldn’t immediately relieve.
Myth #3: Laser eye surgery can burn your eyes and blind you.
This myth is actually two rolled into one. The first misconception is that the laser used in laser eye surgery is hot. Surprisingly enough, it’s actually cold and will not burn your eye.
The second misconception is that you can be blinded by laser eye surgery. While this is possible, the risk is very small. There is always a risk with any procedure. It is very important to have a discussion with your surgeon regarding the risks particularly in your situation.
Like with any surgical procedure (no matter how minimal), there’s always the risk of a complication. Although laser eye surgery complications are rare, your eye surgeon will help you assess your unique risks as you determine whether or not laser eye surgery is for you. Learn more about how safe laser eye surgery is in our blog post, Is LASIK Safe?.
Myth #4: Laser eye surgery will give you perfect vision for the rest of your life.
Unfortunately, laser eye surgery is not a permanent solution to imperfect vision. With or without laser eye surgery, your vision will change over time as your eyes age. Sometimes these changes may require another round of laser eye surgery, but in most cases a pair of reading or prescription driving glasses will suffice. Even if you have great vision after your laser eye surgery, you should still continue your routine eye exams with your ophthalmologist to maintain good eye health.
Myth #5: It’s important to shop around so you can find the best deal on laser eye surgery.
We won’t argue with shopping around until you find the right eye surgeon for you, but we will draw the line at scouring advertisements for the best laser eye surgery deal. Be wary of practices who advertise incredibly low or discounted prices. As the old saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” While paying $499, $299, or even $99 per eye may sound like a great deal, you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage in the long run.
If you’re considering laser eye surgery, stop by our office in Knoxville or Morristown for a free consultation with one of our trusted eye surgeons. You can schedule your appointment over-the-phone by calling 865-579-3920 or by filling out this online form and we’ll follow up with a call and available times.