There were 663,000 LASIK eye surgeries in 2018 with an estimate of 690,000 for this year. This surgery has the ability to correct certain issues with someone’s sight such as long-sightedness, short-sightedness, and astigmatism.
With the ability to correct these issues, it’s no wonder laser eye surgery is becoming more popular. If you’re someone who’s considering laser eye surgery you should know what’s new, what’s true, and if the procedure is right for you. To answer these questions and more make sure you keep reading.
Although laser eye surgery is fairly new, there have been developments over the past few years. These developments have created various types of laser surgery.
- Surface Laser Treatments (PRK, LASEK, and TransPRK)
While each surgery has a specific purpose, they all use lasers to change the shape of the cornea. Make sure to research each procedure to find which one is best for you. Or you can visit the NW Cornea Institute for more information.
Now that you know a little bit more about what laser eye surgery is let’s get into some more important information.
Who Should Get Laser Eye Surgery?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have terrible eyesight or seeing problems to qualify for laser eye surgery. In fact, there are only a few conditions potential patients must meet to qualify for the surgery.
First, you must be at least 21 years of age or older. You must also have a stable eye prescription for at least a year.
There are, however, a few things which may not make you suitable for every type of laser eye surgery. These include if you are/have:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Severe dry eyes
- A significant change in your prescription
- Prescriptions over -10.00 or +5.00
- Rheumatoid arthritis
If any of the above apply to you speak with your optometrist about alternative treatments/procedures.
Once the procedure is over you’re free to go when you feel comfortable. Keep in mind you’ll have to have someone drive you home as your eyes begin to recover. It’s common for a surgeon to recommend you wear a protective plastic shield over your eyes for the first week and at night.
Your doctor will also prescribe you antibiotic eye drops and anti-inflammatory medicine to help with the healing process. You might want to consider using artificial tears to help keep them moist and comfortable.
The recovery time will depend on which laser surgery you had. While LASIK surgery allows you to drive and return to work the following day, others may take up to a few weeks of healing.
If it takes a few weeks to a few months for your vision to become stable, don’t worry. This is completely normal. It may take longer in some cases.
As with any surgery, there is a chance of side effects to occur. Side effects for laser eye surgery are typically mild and improve over time. In rare cases, they may become permanent. These include:
- a glare or halo effect (most noticeable when driving at night)
- dry eyes
- hazy or blurry vision
- red blotches in the whites of your eye
It’s also possible the surgery over- or undercorrected your vision. If this is the case you’ll need to undergo a second surgery. More serious side effects and damage could include damage to the cornea which could cause loss of vision.
Cost of Surgery
The cost of laser eye surgery varies depending on which procedure you choose, where you go, and the surgeon you choose. It will also depend on the prescription you have.
Most laser eye surgeries range from $900 to over $3,400. Make sure to contact your insurance company to see how much, if any, of the procedure they’ll cover. If you have astigmatism or other seeing issues it’s likely you’ll be covered.
Lifespan of Surgery
Once you have laser eye surgery it should last a lifetime. Regression does happen occasionally, though. This is more common in those who are longsighted or have high prescriptions.
Is Laser Eye Surgery Right For You?
After reading the above information we hope you’ve determined if laser eye surgery is right for you! With low side effects and an almost guarantee of lasting a lifetime, it’s hard to say no.
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