By Dr. Anurag Bansal, Ophthalmology
One of the most cutting edge eye procedures which has been very successful in practice and has been loved by millions of patients is LASIK. LASIK is a form of eye surgery performed with the help of a precise laser and is very effective in correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness as well as astigmatism (imperfections with the shape of the cornea). With any such procedure, there are bound to be myths which arise out of misconceptions. Some of those myths as well as the advantages of LASIK have been enumerated below:
Myth # 1 – Lasik can only be performed up to a certain age.
Many people think that LASIK cannot be performed on people of advanced age. This is a misconception as LASIK has been performed on people above 90 as well. There are some considerations, however, such as the health of the person and the condition of the eyes. If there are no medical objections, then LASIK can be performed regardless of the age of the person. Doctors also tend to wait till young adulthood (around 18-20 years of age) before performing LASIK. However, LASIK procedures have been performed on young children with severe vision problems as well.
Myth # 2 – The technology behind LASIK is too new and thus not yet perfected.
This is yet another commonly propagated myth about LASIK. The technology for this procedure has been around for quite some time and has been performed with increasing regularity since the 1980s. There have been multiple long term studies done on people who underwent LASIK surgery and almost all of them have had favorable results both in the short term as well as the long term. It is a properly established field and means of treatment within ophthalmology and is subject to the same stringent standards testing as other treatments within the field of medicine.
Myth # 3 – LASIK can cause many complications such as dry eyes and night glares.
Any surgical procedure has a certain chance of complications occurring. However, LASIK tends to have very low occurrences of complications. What many people tend to confuse complications with is the normal healing procedure. Dry eyes and night glares usually occur after the first few weeks of the procedure and are part of the healing process of the body. It usually tends to go away with the first few months itself.
Myth # 4 – Contact lenses are better than LASIK.
While contact lenses do serve a purpose in correcting vision, they can often contribute to eye infections as well as irritations and headaches. Also, contact lenses need to be changed every few weeks or so. LASIK surgery eliminates all of these hassles and you can have perfectly clear vision without having to worry about all the problems that contact lenses bring with them.
Myth # 5 – The LASIK procedure is painful.
No other myth is farther from the truth. In this procedure, the surgeon creates a thin flap-like structure out of the tissue within the cornea with the help of a laser. This layer is then used to reshape the cornea and thus correct vision problems. Antiseptic and numbing eye drops are used when performing this surgery which results in minimal discomfort that only stays during the initial stages.