LASIK eye surgery sometimes seems too good to be true. Other times, people think it’s too risky to be worth a try. In the time since LASIK first began to be practiced, a lot of myths have sprung up about this surgery.
For anyone looking to get LASIK eye surgery in Utah, you’ve come to the right place for information. We want to help you see clearer than you ever have, but to do that, we need to clear up the top 10 myths about LASIK so you can feel comfortable when you come in for your procedure.
Myth 1 - Healing Time
Many people think that recovering from LASIK takes a long time. A lot of other people think that there is almost no healing time and you can go back to work right after your surgery. Neither of these is quite true.
LASIK won’t take months and months to recover from. In fact, your eyes heal pretty quickly, so you don’t even need stitches to seal the corneal flap (the flap that is cut into the surface of the eye to access the cornea).
However, even though your eyes will heal pretty quickly, LASIK is a surgery, so you should expect a bit of recovery time. It’s good to take a few days away from work while your eyes recover and adjust to their new eyesight. At Davis Vision, we typically perform LASIK eye surgeries on a Thursday or Friday so you can take the weekend to recover.
After the first few days of recovery, you should be able to return to normal activities, though Dr. Davis does suggest restrictions on certain activities such as water sports for a few weeks as your eyes will be more sensitive than usual. So if you love waterskiing, try having your LASIK in the winter or the spring so there’s no risk of harming your eyes.
Myth 2 - LASIK Has Never Changed
LASIK first started in the 1990s, and like every other technology has continued to improve since then. While the general procedure of cutting a flap in the front of the eye to access the cornea hasn’t changed a lot, the technology to do so certainly has.
For example, LASIK was first carried out with a microkeratome blade to cut the corneal flap. Some LASIK centers still use this, but many centers, like Davis Vision Center in Utah have updated to use Intralase, a laser that cuts the flap more safely and precisely than the microkeratome procedure.
Technology like Wavefront LASIK (the ability to find small, unique irregularities on the cornea and correct them) and Iris registration (locking onto spots on your iris so that the computer can track your eye movements during the procedure) have also been developed in recent years, which give better results and safer surgeries to our patients. Both of these technologies and others have been adopted into LASIK eye surgery in Utah.
Myth 3 - Lasers are Dangerous to Use On Eyes
When people think of lasers, they think of the kind that can burn your eyes and injure them. However, those are not the kind of lasers that we use for LASIK eye surgery in Utah.
LASIK procedures use a “cold” laser called the excimer laser. This laser uses reactive gases and inert gases to create a pulse of ultraviolet light. It doesn’t heat up anything around it but emits a precise (0.25 microns width) beam of light.
When the excimer laser is used on the eye, the top layer of eye cells absorb the light, and the light then breaks down molecular bonds between those few cells, essentially vaporizing them. While this might sound intense, it isn’t. It’ll happen so quickly, you’ll hardly realize it happened.
Myth 4 - You’ll Never Need Glasses Again
LASIK is a very successful procedure, and many patients don’t use glasses for a long time afterward. However, as humans age, our eyes change and become less elastic. This makes it harder for our eyes to adjust to light especially when focusing on things close to us.
So as you get older, it’s possible, even likely, that you will need reading glasses. This is simply a result of getting older. However, the rest of your vision should stay more or less the same, so LASIK is still worth getting, no matter how old you are.
Myth 5 - Contacts are Safer Than LASIK
A lot of people will hold off getting LASIK eye surgery in Utah because they think that sticking with their contacts is safer than having surgery would be. The fact is, LASIK surgery may actually be safer long-term than contact lenses.
This might surprise you, but consider this - contact lenses are exposed to all sorts of bacteria. As you put them in and take them out, the bacteria on your hands, in the water you use, etc. get on your contacts. Not to mention that contacts can get dirt, makeup, hair, and dust caught underneath them, and they can slip and end up stuck under your eyelid.
Contacts can be a good solution for clear vision, but they aren’t necessarily safer than LASIK eye surgery. LASIK is a quick procedure using just lasers. You don’t have to worry about mistakes because computers ensure the precision of the surgery. And any side effects that may occur with LASIK are minor and will wear off within a few weeks. So long-term, contacts are likely to cause more damage to your eyes than LASIK could.
Myth 6 - LASIK Wears Off
This myth comes from the fact that as people get older their eyes changed as we mentioned in myth 4. In fact, LASIK does not wear off, but certain effects from aging, such as needing reading glasses, will most likely occur whether or not you have LASIK.
Aside from some eyesight changes due to older age, LASIK should continue to help your vision after your surgery and for the rest of your life.
Myth 7 - Anyone can get LASIK
Unfortunately, there are some people who can’t get LASIK eye surgery in Utah, though many can. There are various reasons for this, but a big reason is if the vision problems don’t stem from irregularities in the cornea.
LASIK is generally used to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. But sometimes eyes are damaged by excessive rubbing or a loss of elasticity. This damage isn’t directly connected to the cornea, and as LASIK procedures are done to the cornea, this damage doesn’t qualify for LASIK.
The best-known condition that LASIK can’t fix is Presbyopia. This is when the eye loses elasticity and can’t adjust to light properly. Though laser surgery can be done to make one eye nearsighted and one farsighted (monovision) to help Presbyopia, if the eye continues to lose elasticity, this can’t help the patient’s eyesight forever.
Before you get LASIK surgery, you will be able to meet with a doctor and have an evaluation to see if you are a candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Most vision problems should qualify for LASIK.
Myth 8 - Astigmatism Can’t Be Fixed
As mentioned in myth 7, astigmatism can be fixed with LASIK. This has been curable with LASIK since the late 1990s. Some people might mistake astigmatism for Presbyopia, which can’t be cured, but if you have astigmatism, you are likely to be a good candidate for LASIK.
In fact, astigmatism is a very good reason to look into LASIK eye surgery in Utah. Astigmatism makes contact lenses and glasses uncomfortable to wear, which means that LASIK might be your best option for gaining clear vision.
Myth 9 - No One Knows the Long-term Effects of LASIK
While LASIK eye surgery in Utah is a relatively new technology and studies are still being done on it and its effects on vision, no serious long-term effects have been determined yet. LASIK procedures began in the mid-1990s, nearly 25 years ago, and with no significant long-term side effects reported yet, chances are good that you won’t have any serious long-term side effects.
People do worry about having dry eyes or halo vision following the surgery. These kinds of side effects do happen to some patients, but they typically fade after a few weeks as your eyes finish recovering. These should not be long-term side effects.
Directly after surgery, you may also have slight irritation in your eyes, but this should also go away quickly. More pain than that is not normal, and you should contact your doctor if you are in a lot of pain following the surgery. This is not common following surgery, however, so there’s no need to worry about this sort of side effect.
Myth 10 - It Doesn’t Matter Which Doctor Does Your LASIK Surgery
Some people think that because LASIK eye surgery in Utah seems simple and involves computers quite a bit that it doesn’t matter who performs the surgery. This is definitely not true.
Just like every other type of surgery, doctors with lots of experience will give their patients better results, even if computers assist in the surgery. Cheaper than average or inexperienced doctors might not give you the care you really need to have a great LASIK surgery.
Dr. Davis was one of the first LASIK surgeons in Utah and has performed over 26,000 LASIK/PRK procedures. That means he’s one of the most experienced LASIK surgeons around. With Dr. Davis, you’ll not only have a great LASIK eye surgery, but you’ll also have skilled evaluations before and after the surgery as well.
At Davis Vision Center, you’ll have the best LASIK eye surgery in Utah. Now that you know what’s a myth and what isn’t about LASIK, call us today to schedule your free consultation!