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LASIK is SAFE – despite the myths surrounding it!
If the news headlines are accurate, there is a new threat to national security, and it’s in a neighborhood near you. According to some clickbait headlines and news stories intended to compel viewers to watch or read, LASIK is a far more dangerous procedure than it was once thought. This is an interesting story to tell, and it certainly does incite panic, which is always guaranteed to get viewers, but the narrative just isn’t true. While there are some complications and risk factors to LASIK surgery, it remains a highly successful and safe way to increase your visual acuity.
So, let’s debunk some myths and talk about facts regarding LASIK.
Myth One: The side effects are incredibly risky and last forever.
There are some examples in the media of people who had very serious side effects from LASIK surgery. Those stories are real and are nothing to be taken lightly. But, the facts support a relatively low occurrence of those side effects, and long-term effects are even less common.
Here are some stats from The American Refractive Surgery Council about some of the common side effects of LASIK:
- Up to 30% of LASIK patients report having symptoms related to “dry eye” after surgery. This usually subsides within the first three months of surgery.
- Occasionally, a patient will need to continue wearing glasses or contacts to help the eyes adjust after surgery. This number is less than 5% of those who have the surgery.
- Glare, halos, and night vision are also common, but these are not long-term problems for most patients. These symptoms, when reported, tend to subside within a year.
Myth Two: The surgery itself has a high complication rate.
As with any surgical procedure, there can be complications throughout the surgery. On rare occasions, there can be infections, a dislocation of the corneal flap, and other issues. But, to say that this is common is grossly inaccurate. The complication rate for LASIK surgery is less than 1% of all patients.
Myth Three: The PROWL (Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK) said the LASIK complication rate is 45%.
That 45% number came from a subset, not from the actual total population. 75 out of 550 respondents said they had no symptoms similar to the side effects reported after LASIK surgery prior to having the procedure. 32 people from that 75 person subset reported a side effect after surgery, which is 45% of that group, but only 6% of the total respondent population. 6 months after the surgery only 26 of those people still had symptoms, and that is less than 5% of the total group. As you can see, the real numbers indicate that a very small group of patients have side effects as a result of LASIK.
Myth Four: People are going BLIND from LASIK.
This is probably the craziest idea we’ve heard yet! There is a natural fear when it comes to surgery on the eyes, and obviously going blind is the worst scenario imaginable. The truth is that there has NEVER been a reported incident of someone going blind from LASIK surgery. On the contrary, LASIK has a 96% satisfaction rate with those who have had the surgery. It is safe, and it is effective.
Did we bust the myths? As with any medical procedure, you should do your research before considering LASIK. We have staff ready to assist in answering your questions, and there are great resources on our website to help you make your decision! Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and let’s get your vision corrected, safely, today!