LASIK surgery has become a popular way for adults to achieve permanent vision correction. However, the procedure should not be entered into lightly and is not for everyone.
LASIK is the abbreviation for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, better known as laser eye surgery. The procedure involves a doctor operating a machine that literally cuts a flap into the cornea to reshape it. LASIK can correct problems such as farsightedness or nearsightedness, but in some cases can worsen eyesight.
One of the major risks of any eye surgery is blindness. Though rare with laser vision correction procedures, blindness can occur. Other less serious but still impairing vision complications can also result from even properly performed LASIK surgery. In rare cases, patients have reported seeing “halos” or experienced double vision. Some cases of nearsightedness or farsightedness actually become worse after vision correction surgery.
Eye dryness is a common side effect, so people with dry eyes should consider not having LASIK. Diabetics and people with thin or oddly-shaped corneas are usually poor candidates for laser vision correction. LASIK as it is known today was approved in the 1990s, so the jury may still be out on potential long-term complications.
The satisfaction rate among laser eye surgery patients ranges from 92 to 98 percent, so serious side effects are relatively rare. In the hands of a skilled eye surgeon, LASIK is probably safer than many other types of elective procedures. However, carefully consider the potential drawbacks before undergoing the procedure. Also, insurance companies generally do not cover elective surgeries of any kind so the financial cost should be weighed before signing up for laser vision correction.